IBM doesn’t get simple URLs

IBM doesn’t get simple URLs

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?

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