By Gary Hotze
Great marketers are on the cutting edge of today's digital trends. They often know what’s destined to go big before anyone else. They may even know what you want before you even do.
Is this telepathy? Sorcery? Voodoo magic?
Not usually. It's simply a marketer's job: to stay on top of current and future trends in order to remain relevant.
One of the trends that they're seizing: the "not-com" domain name. More than 1,000 new domain extension options have been made available since 2014. You no longer need to settle for a clunky or uninspired 'dot-com' (.com) or 'dot-net' (.net) or 'dot-biz' (.biz) URL. There's a brand new palette of options, and a handful of them are highly relevant to the marketing and advertising communities.
To make it crystal clear what they do, forward-thinking marketers are seizing domain names that end in 'dot-agency' (.agency), 'dot-digital' (.digital), 'dot-marketing' (.marketing) and 'dot-media' (.media).
After all, one of the most basic, yet important, tools in a marketer's tool belt is his or her agency's website, and these digital names -- which can dropped into social media like crazy nowadays -- are hugely important in inspiring memorability, curiosity and ultimately new clients.
The URL is the digital front door to an agency. So it had better look good.
Here are some of our favorite 'dot-agency' (.agency) businesses:
1903 x Where Eagles Dare
*redirects to 1903agency.com
"Where Eagles Dare X 1903" is a zany mouthful for an agency name. Hailing from the steel capital of Pittsburgh, the firm chose a 'dot-agency' domain that is clean and simple. This digital content development agency brings levity to the space, which includes a funny video campaign for American Eagle Men’s underwear.
Get it? It’s damn good. URLs that spell out a complete phrase can communicate your story before a customer even clicks on your website. "Damn Good" is doing a dang-good job of that. The agency specializes in cross-platform advertising. Recent highlights include a colorful campaign for a Southeastern printing company.
Farm Grown Agency
Farm Grown Agency is a Nebraska-based agency that is bucking the big-city or coastal trend of most agencies. Based in Lincoln, Neb., the state's prairies, cornfields and blue skies serve as inspiration for this small-town visual branding agency.
It's a mobile future. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan, according to Google. Five Agency recognizes the prevailing trend focusing exclusively on design driven mobile and app development. It's developed projects for big names like Squarespace, Rhapsody and Rosetta Stone. High five, indeed!
Mistress Agency is a mistress to no one. Clients include VH1, Coca-Cola, Pearson, IMAX, Netflix, DirectTV and Netflix. It's a veritable who's who of the marketing world. This agency's secret is now out ...
*redirects to opusagency.com
The award-winning Opus Agency is a promotional and events and marketing agency with offices across the U.S. and in London. In other words, this agency helps brands create kick-ass parties and swag bags (among other things, of course).
Pavlov Agency is named after the famous Russian physiologist who pioneered research into classical conditioning with a focus on the patterns of stimulus and response. The agency's name is fitting: It takes an analytical approach to agency work, focusing on methodology and proven formulas. These advertising scientists have developed campaigns for Konami and TCU Football.
Rostrum Agency is a UK-based PR agency that specializes in helping leading-edge corporations grow their brand and share of voice around the world.
Space Chimp Agency
There’s nothing cuter than a chimp going into space, right? This full service digital advertising is more than just its cute branding and logo, however. Urban commuters should take notice of their mobile transit application, Total Transit. And this is a chimp with international national reach -- with locations in L.A., Austin, Miami, D.C. and London.
Founded in 1994, Upshot is a Chicago-based “seamless marketing agency” with strong ties to storied brands in the Second City. Its Chi-city stable includes Gogo Inflight Internet, Procter & Gamble and KraftHeinz -- just to name a few.
Understated design defines this agency’s web presence. It perfectly reflects ideals that Utopia “directly translates to ‘no-place’ an ideal that enforces the notion that perfection cannot be found, but in the quest for it one can often stumble upon excellence.”
X Studios is an agency that specializes in interactive experiences such as digital installations. Its traveling Titanic museum exhibit, which included an oh-so-adorable interactive bear named Polar and a Marconi S.O.S. Kiosk, just sunk our hearts. "I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go." (Cue Celine Dion.)