Network Solutions (1-26-10)

1-26-10: Network Solutions – Web Hosting and Marketing

Highlights: For Network Solutions, the world’s first Internet registrar, small business is big business. About 46% of its customers come from the 1 to 9 employee size band. Network solutions offers services geared to the different stages small businesses go through, from getting a business online to helping to grow and manage the business. Network solutions undergoing a major rebranding mission and Web site renovation to re-introduce the company and its solutions to the market—especially younger Gen X and Y business owners, as well as businesses without a Web presence. Network Solutions operates its own JD Powers-certified call center out of Hazelton, PA—staffed with its own employees, split into specialized skill teams—and boasts below industry-average churn rates—in the single digits for hosting. Next week, Network Solutions will launch a free Web site service, and later on this year, will add capabilities in three hot areas: 1) profile presence, for SMBs that aren’t online but want to have a compelling social and web presence; 2) mobile enablement, to help SMBs manage their online presence from their smart phones; and 3) self-managed marketing, with self-guiding tools and recommendations to optimize Web site content and build low budget ad campaigns.
Quick take: Network Solutions has set its sights in the right directions, adding capabilities that can help it move into new segments (such profile presence, for businesses not yet online) and cross-sell new services (such as mobile and marketing) to help online businesses grow. We think that in addition to revamping it’s own storefront, social media and other online marketing initiatives, a clever high air-cover brand promotion would help Network Solutions raise it’s market profile and acquire new customers that are not yet tech-savvy.

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