A week or so ago I was reading the IT section of one of the papers (I think perhaps the Australian Financial Review) and noticed a full page, colour ad from IBM. The thing that really jumped out at me was the prominant positioning/size of the url. This would be fine if it was something simple as www.ibm.com.au – easy to remember as it’s IBM (which is a company – hence the “.com”) and we want the Australian sub (hence the “.au”). Unfortunately the url was completely unmemorable – to the extent that I didn’t post about it at the time because I’d forgotten the actual url.
This morning I was again reading the paper, and again noticed a full page colour ad for IBM. This time the url was much smaller but was still equally complex – ibm.com/innovation/au/finance. So I can understand why this url makes sense from an IT perspective, but from a marketing perspective can you honestly imagine someone remembering this? Interestingly enough when I went to that url I got a single line redirect to http://www-07.ibm.com/innovation/au/index.html?CID=BTI_FINA.
It gets even better – now say I was an average person who isn’t that great at remembering urls but I am interested in looking into this innovative finance software which IBM is selling. I start at www.ibm.com.au where of course there is no mention of this advertising campaign, no quick links to “innovation” or “finance”. I’m left doing a search – here if you type “innovation finance” you do indeed get a link to the correct site but if you happen to type “innovate finance” you get a bunch of search results that don’t go anywhere near the site you want!
Honestly IBM, is it that hard to understand the power of simple URLs?