What do you think? Cause there's going to be a fight!

11 replies
After 18 years, our company is going to be releasing a SaaS product that leverages our technology. This new product will have is own name and will be a different business model that this company has ever known. There are 2 schools of thought on how to market this

The question is... Should This product have it's own domain or should it stay on our corporate site?

I believe it should have it's own domain for these main reasons...
1. It will allow itself to stand in the face of users looking for that specific service immediately.
2. With it being a separate domain, you can use related keywords that will allow us to rank allowing our company to occupy addition real estate on SERP's.
3. You can build strong back links.


I don't agree it should be brought into our corporate site for these main reasons.
1. It will get buried in our site so people have to find it... Sure maybe 1 or 2 clicks away, but they won't see it immediately.

2. It might cause confusion with visitors from our other service offerings (which are not SaaS models)

3. You can't optimize it as efficiently as you would on another domain cause all your strong keywords/phrases are already being used.

Now, I agree that we can and should advertise on our corporate site and then link it the SaaS domain.

Your thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.
#fight
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  • Profile picture of the author Obermair
    The first thing that comes to mind is your current company's reputation. If you have a large happy current customer base, many who have been waiting for SaaS version, then you should leverage your current site and highlight the new product!

    I assume you have a upgrade program in mind for current clients... If you look at how large software companies entered the SaaS market several years ago (SAP and Oracle for example), they offered a choice to clients who were seeking a SaaS model and no longer an on-premise software model. Some clients are still hesitant with SaaS solutions (Utilities and O&G come to mind) and the on-premise.

    If on the other hand your client base are single proprietors and small businesses, and your software is a relatively inexpensive purchase, then a separate sales model might be better. If you are not thinking upgrade cycles with your current client base (small businesses have a tendency to not upgrade software and use it until it no longer works), then a separate domain and marketing strategy should be developed. You can drive targeted prospects to the appropriate site based on SaaS vs. On-premise and functionality.

    btw: perhaps you can elaborate at a high level the target market as it will help in providing better feedback. I have developed B2B software targeted at the Fortune 1000 and that is why I was discussing the current client base. My clients were always seeking options!
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  • Why not just do both
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Arcaign View Post

    Should This product have it's own domain or should it stay on our corporate site?

    I know this is the answer that everybody hates: "It all depends." Let me explain.


    If the corporation is strong, with a recognized brand, a leader in the niche, and with high customer and buyer loyalty, I would leverage those advantages in marketing the new product at your current site. It typically takes months (sometimes years) for a new brand to get traction and trust in the marketplace starting from scratch. By using the corporate name, brand and power, you will be way ahead of the recognition and trust curve.


    If, on the other hand, the new product is in a different niche and marketplace than the corporation, or if the corporate brand and loyalty is minimal (or even a negative), then staying at the corporate site is not so advantageous and you might want to put the new product on it's own new site.


    I don't fully agree with your reasoning here:


    "I believe it should have it's own domain for these main reasons...
    1. It will allow itself to stand in the face of users looking for that specific service immediately."
    There is no reason why the new product can't be featured on the corporate web site. As you do your marketing, ads and information about the new product can link to landing pages specifically created for the new product. If you wanted to, you could put the new product on a sub-domain of the corporate site and it would be just like the product had it's own site.
    "2. With it being a separate domain, you can use related keywords that will allow us to rank allowing our company to occupy addition real estate on SERP's."
    I think keywords and phrases are a non-issue. There are ways to use long tail phrases to rank well for either strategy (corporate site or new site). If you want additional real estate on the SERPs, expand your reach with new content, better SEO, and wider coverage on authority sites in your niche.

    "3. You can build strong back links."
    Again, this is a non-issue. You can build strong back links regardless of which option you decide upon. Back links point to pages (often "landing pages") and your marketing strategy can focus on getting links to whichever pages your want on the corporate site, the new site or both.

    "I don't agree it should be brought into our corporate site for these main reasons.
    1. It will get buried in our site so people have to find it... Sure maybe 1 or 2 clicks away, but they won't see it immediately."
    The new product doesn't have to be buried at all and "1 click away" is nothing on a corporate site - it is to be expected. If you bury the new product on your site ... shame on you. It doesn't have to happen unless that's how you design it. Your reasoning here doesn't hold water.
    "2. It might cause confusion with visitors from our other service offerings (which are not SaaS models)"
    Granted, it could cause some confusion if you allow it too. It all depends on how well you explain the "reasons why" this new product is SaaS. Highlight the benefits of SaaS in the product description and include a reminder about it in the product offer, the call to action, and the "buy" page (financial transaction narrative).

    "3. You can't optimize it as efficiently as you would on another domain cause all your strong keywords/phrases are already being used."
    Not so at all. There is no good reason why the same strong keywords and phrases can't be used on the corporate site and the new site. Also, consider this: you will probably find that your strongest keywords for the new product will be different from your best corporate keywords if you do your targeting correctly and use specific, focused long tail phrases for marketing the new product. If you're tempted to use the same keywords only (for both sites), your not optimizing your campaigns appropriately.

    "Now, I agree that we can and should advertise on our corporate site and then link it the SaaS domain."
    Yes, this goes without saying. In addition, do the reverse - link to and promote the corporate site from the new product site so that cross selling can happen.
    Good luck with this new project.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      I agree with Steve in every respect except the following:

      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      If the corporation is strong, with a recognized brand, a leader in the niche, and with high customer and buyer loyalty, I would leverage those advantages in marketing the new product at your current site. It typically takes months (sometimes years) for a new brand to get traction and trust in the marketplace starting from scratch. By using the corporate name, brand and power, you will be way ahead of the recognition and trust curve.
      IMHO... if the corporate brand is not so strong, your new SAAS product could help strengthen the existing brand by adding it to the current offerings - on the existing site.


      As detailed earlier by Steve, none of your reasons for placing the new product on its own domain are valid, NOR are any of the reasons you gave for not doing so.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    You could put it on a subdomain of your current domain. I've found that subdomains get traffic pretty much straight away, especially if your existing domain gets traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Use a separate domain because you'll be able to build STANDALONE BRAND RELATIONSHIPS

    You don't want the 18 years of whatever baggage your other site weigh down your new project
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  • Profile picture of the author Arcaign
    Thank you all for the feedback. It's much appreciated. Allow me to add a little more substance to the conversation.

    For the past 18 years, we have been geared towards the enterprise company and while we can fit into pretty much any vertical market, media and broadcast have been the main focus. We are extremely niche so optimizing our site isn't always the easiest and running paid ads is a long drown out minimal lead affair do to the search parameters people use to find us or our competitors for that matter.

    So now we are entering into a market that will cater to small, medium, large businesses as well as consumers as our new model will offer a pay as you go type options. We do not offer upgrades on solutions that we sell... We have add on's but that is it.

    My thinking is this.... We have our corporate site now that is primarily focused on enterprise solutions and I want to keep it that way. I would create a subdomain for the new platform and create separation from the enterprise side of things in order to create brand relationship as writeaway mentioned. As Steve B and Sid Hale didn't seem to agree with my reasons, that could be from a lack of details from my part as well as not understanding the details in our traffic, market, analytics etc. And while gentlemen, I really do appreciate your honest feedback, I do believe my reasons are sound and do hold water but that also come from an internal standpoint and view of things. As mentioned, we are extremely niche and while I could come up with keyword, phrases, long tail or not, if people aren't searching it, it won't matter... So that is the challenge.

    With the platform (Which I will most certainly push on the corporate site) I think the targeting will lend itself to be a bit easier simply because of its pay as you go nature. When I say I don't want to cause confusion, what I mean is because the SaaS is built on a current enterprise product, I don't want to have people's inquisitive nature take over, start to venture through the site only to find that oh, they are an enterprise solution then leave... No, I want to create a clear distinction right off the bat so that I can capitalize on the very short amount of time I have to grab attention. People should know immediately Yes! that is the product I need.

    Does this make a bit more sense?
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Arcaign View Post

    After 18 years, our company is going to be releasing a SaaS product that leverages our technology. This new product will have is own name and will be a different business model that this company has ever known. There are 2 schools of thought on how to market this

    The question is... Should This product have it's own domain or should it stay on our corporate site?

    I believe it should have it's own domain for these main reasons...
    1. It will allow itself to stand in the face of users looking for that specific service immediately.
    2. With it being a separate domain, you can use related keywords that will allow us to rank allowing our company to occupy addition real estate on SERP's.
    3. You can build strong back links.


    I don't agree it should be brought into our corporate site for these main reasons.
    1. It will get buried in our site so people have to find it... Sure maybe 1 or 2 clicks away, but they won't see it immediately.

    2. It might cause confusion with visitors from our other service offerings (which are not SaaS models)

    3. You can't optimize it as efficiently as you would on another domain cause all your strong keywords/phrases are already being used.

    Now, I agree that we can and should advertise on our corporate site and then link it the SaaS domain.

    Your thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.
    Well, you've illustrated your reasons as to why you think it should be separate.

    What are the reasons others feel that it should not be seperate?

    Without knowing more about the parent company and the SaaS product it's hard to give advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    If you think that it will get buried. Why do you think that it will not get buried on the different domain? Everything depends on your reputation. If you want to create something new by your company, than you must have good reputation. With a such big amount of competitors, it's a neccessary to have a good reputation, then people will not buy it. Perhaps, I'm wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author Arcaign
      Originally Posted by Ian5 View Post

      If you think that it will get buried. Why do you think that it will not get buried on the different domain? Everything depends on your reputation. If you want to create something new by your company, than you must have good reputation. With a such big amount of competitors, it's a neccessary to have a good reputation, then people will not buy it. Perhaps, I'm wrong.
      When I say buried, what I really mean is 1 - 2 clicks away from the main page. Also, as mentioned, we have been primarily an enterprise solution provider. We are now entering a SMB, consumer based market and so a product of that nature, with it's own online presence that definitely and immediately explains its nature to the exact market it is geared towards , well, that should have more success then it being batched in with enterprise offerings... IMHO.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Originally Posted by Arcaign View Post

        When I say buried, what I really mean is 1 - 2 clicks away from the main page. Also, as mentioned, we have been primarily an enterprise solution provider. We are now entering a SMB, consumer based market and so a product of that nature, with it's own online presence that definitely and immediately explains its nature to the exact market it is geared towards , well, that should have more success then it being batched in with enterprise offerings... IMHO.
        Proximity to the "main page" is irrelevant.

        That's because essentially, every page is the "main page".

        For SEO purposes, each page should rank for its own set of keyword phrases. Every page should be optimized such that it shows in the search results for the terms that are relevant to that page.

        Any ads or emails should be targeted to a specific page, and will link directly to that specific page.

        Off site articles (and any references from social sites) should link back to the relevant internal pages.
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        Sid Hale
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