DomainDiction is a marketing consultancy, solely dedicated to Top Level Domains. We are specialists in delivering critically effective marketing and usage programs for existing and new TLDs.
The Internet is about to enter its biggest period of change since it began. More than 1500 new alternatives to the name you can give your business online, the name you can call yourself and unlimited branding possibilities. In late 2013, early 2014 the first of the new Top Level Domain extensions will be available to buy in the global internet space. This means consumer and business identity choices far and beyond the limited availability in .com and local country codes like .co.uk, .de and .fr.
Our programs incorporate a 20 Step Implentation Program for both new brand and generic TLDs to ensure a systematic, structured and accountable launch process:
With the first go live dates expected to be in announced in Spring 2013 new gTLD applicants around the world are now considering their go-to market strategy and execution. It is time to set realistic budgets, plan precision marketing, channel strategy and target audience preparation. It takes quick and careful execution to be more successful than 500 other gTLDs competing for visibility on the Internet.
Attending the ICANN 48 Meeting in Buenos Aires? Book your ICANN new gTLD applicant video interview, or book a meeting with the DomainDiction team, here
You want to elevate your brand status online and experiment with your new digital asset. You must introduce your TLD strategically, systematically, and with minimal business disruption.Learn more
You've applied for a generic, community or geographical TLD and want to realize accelerated commercial success.
We draw upon the experience and insight of our multi-national DomainDiction team, carefully selected from the domain name, Internet and digital marketing industries to ensure best of breed expertise and years of experience marketing TLDs and web-based products.
DomainDiction is comprised of an unrivalled pool of talent, combining many years of experience working with top global brands, TLD registries, registrars, resellers, and end user corporate and non-corporate brand marketing.
We are flexible and can work in a variety of ways with clients and agencies. Privately owned, we operate independently from any domain name registry or registrar ensuring complete neutrality.
Jennie-Marie has an extensive marketing, PR & business development background in web-based products and services with years of experience launching new businesses through digital marketing and channel management. She entered the domain name industry 12 years ago as Head of Europe for NeuStar´s registry business and participated in the creation, market introduction and development of their channel business for .BIZ, .US, and ccTLDs. Jennie-Marie is fluent in English, French, German and Norwegian.
Watch a CNN interview on the launch of .CN internationally.
Watch an interview with Jennie-Marie with Domain Sherpa.
Tina’s early background included MOD projects on UNIX, via Directory and National advertising before diving back into IT marketing for 20 years. Tina launched some of the first pioneer Bluetooth products to emerge from Japanese brand TDK. Her interest in the expanding DNS led to her heading up International marketing and PR efforts for UK registrar Easyspace, opening offices in Asia and leading the launches of new TLDs such as .biz and .info. Outside of DNS, she has worked with many international brands such as BAA (Heathrow Airport), Sony, Canon Europe, Panasonic, Unilever, BlackBerry and Nissan. Tina has assisted many SME businesses, startups and agencies to improve their digital branding and maximise their marketing ROI.
Henry has worked in online publishing since 1994, and is a founding Director of Barracuda Digital, the UK's leading search and online marketing agency. Henry is the first accredited Google AdWords Professional in Europe. His clients include leading UK and French registrars, thus Henry brings unrivalled knowledge on how to market a TLD online using superior SEO and paid search technology and methods.
A domain industry veteran, John was the Group Marketing Manager at HostEurope PLC, the UK’s biggest domain registrar and largest virtualization provider in Europe. Whilst at Host Europe, he managed many key accounts, including WebFusion and 123 Reg. Prior to this John was European Business Director for Melbourne IT and Managing Director of registrar Coeur Internet.
The last two decades has seen the confluence of marketing and technology, introducing highly measurable and finely targeted opportunities. Ben has spent the last 8 of his 16 year career overseeing due diligence, internet M&A, data integration and countless marketing initiatives. His roots are in development but he found his feet with C-Suite positions in roles including IT Director at Trinity Mirror plc and CTO for UK registrar Easyspace (now Iomart). Ben closes the marketing-technology loop in DomainDiction with clear analysis of campaign traffic, big data and cutting edge technology for penetrating further into clients' target markets.
A former GNSO Council Chair and current ICANN Nominating Committee member, Stéphane is an industry veteran who founded corporate registrar Indom and has been a regular participant in Internet governance for many years. He is also a journalist and his Internet-related work has been published across international media, both industry and mainstream. In addition to his work as an independent consultant, Stéphane works with DomainDiction clients to both represent them in the ICANN community and offer his expert writing skills in both French and English.
Intellectual property lawyer with a focus on technology, media and telecommunications law, Bart is a highly pragmatic and commercial thinker who serves TLD applicants in developing their strategies, managing their approval and delegation processes with ICANN, and defining and managing their launch processes. His experience in the space is incomparable. Bart has defined and directed the launch processes for most of the TLDs that have been introduced over the past ten years, including .MOBI, .TEL, .EU, .ASIA, .ME, .CO, .SO, and many others. He was also a part of defining ICANN's evaluation processes and criteria, which became a part of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook. Bart lends his expertise to DomainDiction clients to both define and consult on all phases of the launch and TLD management processes, policy development, as well as contract drafting and negotiations.
The youngest on the DomainDiction team, Line (pronounced Leena) is a commerce and entrepreneurship graduate with experience working for Scandinavian registrar Active 24. Line has the freshest and most dynamic perspective on social media marketing of the DomainDiction team, in particular, using visual imaging to portray and articulate a marketing story. Creating and managing client identies, she uses tools like Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram campaigns to generate following, engagement and participation from the audience. Line manages our clients' complete visual presentation across social media networks.
Beverly is a highly accomplished UX and digital designer with the rare ability to plan, design and build custom websites from scratch which are in line with the needs of the user and are both beautiful and standards driven. Beverly has a long list of clients for whom she has designed suites of digital branding assets including many high end brands as well as a host of successful start ups. Bev’s work brings intensity, vitality and style, giving visual expression and life to our ideas, and to our clients' TLD identities.
A Russian national with 12 years of international experience in marketing communications and business development. Natalia worked for international telecoms company Tandberg (recently bought by Cisco) as their head of marketing for Russia, CIS & Baltic states. Natalia holds an MBA in strategy and corporate finance and speaks fluent English, Russian & Norwegian.
Formerly one of Canada's top financial analysts for Merrill Lynch, Hugo is developing DomainDiction´s Domain Name industry analysis from a marketing, big data and search perspective. With a career ranging from International Diplomacy to founding 3 online businesses, Hugo has a very strategic approach to commercial growth and financial governance. Including an early career as head of investor relations for a wireless Internet technology company and a multinational insurance broker, Hugo has held multiple roles which have keenly developed his CFO skillset. Hugo has a degree in Computing Science as well as an MBA in Finance.
Our TLD Marketing Programs form the backbone of our methodology and go-to-market strategy. Each program is carefully crafted to exactly meet the needs of your sales goals and target markets. We provide clients with an in-depth proposal outlining each stage of the process, so you will know exactly what we will deliver, how it will be achieved and when.
This modular program covers all new TLD’s that have commercial, geographic, generic, niche or community appeal. We work closely with your team members and resources to create engaging programs with proven commercial traction from Sunrise to Renewals.
We produce full digital marketing suites: Create and design custom websites or landing pages in order to promote and sell your TLD; produce quality assets for Registrar Kits; interesting content for Social Media and the Press and in multiple languages for multiple geographies.
This intensive program is designed to revitalize existing TLD’s and ccTLD’s before and during the impending deluge of new TLDs entering the market. Pulling apart current structures and examining the market in detail, we find fresh ways of promoting and selling a TLD, both through existing registrar channels and by helping to create new ones.
DomainDiction has devised a step-by-step Brand TLD roll out program to enable large, international, multi-stakeholder organizations to efficiently implement their new TLD asset.
The consultancy has identified and simplified each stage in the process, and shows how it looks from the brand’s business perspective. The plan takes into consideration the vested needs of all stakeholders including technical, marketing, legal, and PR and accommodates the legacy of existing .COM or other TLD identities.
The program aims to guide brands from their current domain structure to the eventual global use of their dotBrand extension. It ensures that all stakeholders as well as customers will understand the authenticity and value of the dotBrand extension.
Where your TLD lives, educates and sells. TLD Home is a direct sales channel which can be used alone, or in conjunction with channel promotions. Completely branded to your own identity and the de facto point for all search connected to your TLD.
Which we combine to create our 5 steps to launch success
Marketing Strategy Planning
The most urgent job on your launch agenda. A detailed plan of exactly what activities can and should be done and all execution.
Registrar Relations & Channel Management
Sign up your RAR channel and determine which countries you should target. Build relationships and awareness.
PR & Media
Creating press lists in vertical markets and begin early chatter about your TLD. Writing compelling stories and getting them in the press to stimulate audience interest, awareness as well as build important journalistic relationships.
Representation at ICANN meetings and identify your most suitable channels per country and who to partner with.
Online & Offline Marketing
Utilizing the best marketing techniques suited to your goals, executed to perfection.
Contrary to some opinion, online communities don’t just appear. They take time to grow, time to connect to influential bloggers and industry figures. Facebook and Twitter in particular are key platforms, but there are many more around the world we address.
Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click
Complete SEO packages combined with very advanced paid search strategies and techniques to maximize budgets and shoot your TLD to the top of all the rankings.
Be present in your target industries through press events, industry exhibitions, sponsoring social events - perfect activity to engender community building and awareness.
It’s never too early to start building momentum leading up to the official go-live date. Early media coverage can be extremely valuable helping to build the brand, create awareness, and generate interest.
Creating a stand-out TLD brand using the highest quality design and writing. Getting this right early on engenders trust, credibility and ownership of your space.
Being prudent with regard to online and offline marketing and advertising will save money and keep activity focused.
We offer superior, domain industry specific SEO and Paid Search experience, from founders of the UK´s and the US´s leading SEO firms, ensuring our client’s TLDs are on the first page of search engines.
Contrary to some opinion, online communities don’t just appear. They take time to grow and nurture. Time to build awareness and credibility with influential bloggers and industry figures. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn in particular are key platforms, but there are many more around the world we address. Even if you can’t see the value in Social Media now, it’s good to have it there for when you are ready.
Your TLD has an extensive network of online advocates and existing users. Access those channels and introduce them to the new revenue opportunity of selling domains. Find brand ambassadors for your TLD and create important launch partnerships.
DomainDiction’s own purpose-built single string site is the customer facing home of your TLD, where your TLD lives, sells and inspires. We work with a number of accredited registrar partners to create the right white label sales site for your TLD, often complete with an existing network of resellers.
You will be assigned to a DomainDiction Director to oversee your account, working closely with our project management team to ensure costs are adhered to and that campaigns are delivered, on time and budget.
By Chris Daniels - PR Week, Feb 01 2013
After investing substantial sums to incorporate brand names in generic top-level domains,(gTLDs) marketers could finally debut their new digital assets as early as this summer...
“When you sit down and talk to the people who applied for these new gTLDs, you realize there are enormous communities online devoted to these subjects,” explains Jennie-Marie Larsen, CEO of DomainDiction, a France-based marketing consultancy. “There is no reason why they should not carve out their own dedicated space.”
Download the full article here
By pinkybrand, Jan 11 2013 14:10PM
I’ve put together a little scenario calculator on a spreadsheet in the quest to figure out some idea of when a new a new gTLD might be delegated into the root zone by simply entering in the known ‘Draw number’ for the TLD application.
Hopefully it’s simple enough to understand on its own, but if you care to watch my 10-minute explanation video at http://youtu.be/LOsl0jeycWI it might give you a better flavor for my logic in the assumptions.
In particular I made assumptions based on the following metrics:
- I’m saying it’s 30 per week for now, but ICANN says it could ramp up to 150 per week.
- ICANN says no more than 1,000 new gTLDs delegated in a year, so that implies a PDT and delegation rate of about 20 per week. It’s been stated that this could be ramped up to 80 or 100 per week.
- That’s 23 March 2013 at the moment
- We all know there have been/will be delays. At present ICANN says on it’s microsite that first delegation requests begin on 1 August 2013, so for now I’ve added 110 days to the process as the ‘fudge factor’ to force a first delegation date in the calculated results for Priority String 1 to = 1 Aug 2013. You can change this if you believe otherwise.
- I’m going with 7 assuming there is no negotiation and the applicant signs the standard deal. We all know back and forth and paperwork and lawyering can make this longer, but I’m thinking motivated applicants will move very fast and have some advance knowledge what they are dealing with before they even get to this stage
- I’m going with 7 based on what I’ve read. Change it if you don’t agree
- I’m going with 7 again based on what I’ve read. Change it you wish.
- 30 according to the Strawman proposal. That’s the minimum. You can change this if you think it will be longer.
If you don’t agree with my assumption metrics, or just want to play around with various ‘what if’ scenarios then have at it as I’ve designed it so you can change the numbers.
The output of the calculator provides:
The calculator assumes no Contention Sets, no negative GAC advice, no Formal Objections,no delays with financials, contracting, PDT, delegation, lawsuits, etc. It does not formally take into account that ICANN may not start any delegation requests until 1 August 2013 as currently displayed on the ICANN new gTLD microsite.It does not formally take into account that ICANN has stated that no contracting will begin until after the April ICANN meeting in Beijing is completed.
WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTING FOR CONTENTION SETS?
If you know that x number of contention sets are ahead of your draw #, then consider inputting an artificially lower # to generate an alternative scenario. For example: Your draw # is 942 but you believe 200 contention sets exist where the highest draw # is lower than yours --- so input 742 instead.
If you feel that reasonably 100 of the 200 contention sets ahead of you might be resolved ahead of your draw #, then consider entering 842 instead.
NOTE: This tool is purely speculative, based on some facts and plenty of opinion.Finally, as many know over the years following and participating the process, the situation is likely to change. I may have made some mistakes. Don't rely on this to make business plans.
Chief Strategy Officer
By Jennie-Marie Larson - CEO DomainDiction, Jan 28 2013
Sitting on the plane after a tightly packed 3 days in Amsterdam for the regional registrars meeting, I'm bursting with ideas and thoughts. The highlight of the event for me was the meeting organized by Google to propose the creation of a trade association on behalf of TLDs. Brilliant and long overdue. The comedy of the situation the domain name industry has lived with since its inception is the fact that it actually doesn't exist in the eyes and minds of the average business or consumer. Domain names are simply a by-product of websites, or possibly even web-hosting. The term 'domain name' is familiar to a dinner party of friends, but it never ceases to surprise them when you say there's actually an INDUSTRY behind it, carefully governed, very international, and no, not a pack of bandits running away with the money they've extorted from brand names.
The new TLD program has begun to show this little industry that we are about to be catapulted on to the world stage of business and informed consumers. Dare I say, we're not quite prepared for all that such a shift implies to us as business professionals. Scratch implies: DEMANDS.
I am delighted to welcome the likes of Google and Amazon to our space. With their entry comes credibility, recognition, advocacy, and access to the digital masses by association with their brands. I was also pretty thrilled to meet the clever German advertising fellows they introduced this week, who gave us a glimpse of a possible industry-wide awareness campaign. Their example gave the concept of domains a much-needed visual reference - the Dot, represented by a little green cartoon dot character. Perfect. With this kind of newfound professional vehicle, like a trade association through which to finally speak as a collective, the industry can take advantage of shared resources such as consumer visibility, PR & marketing, and channels of distribution. Pull all this together and the business of Dots might even begin to look like a real industry. Maybe even to those 'real people' I met in the elevator in Amsterdam and explained what we were all doing in the hotel.
So, given that I've spent my marketing career in and (possibly more importantly) outside of the domain business but always online, I thought I might share a little MARKETING TLDs 101 lesson for those just entering the game and eagerly awaiting their launch. Bear in mind, the following can take about 6 months to completely assemble and deploy. Add an additional 3 months to see and record measurable results. So if you, as an applicant, have been grumbling about a 2013 launch being a longer delay than you would like, you'll come to appreciate the time to plan and properly prepare for a launch. The time to begin these activities is NOT when you learn your delegation date. That is precisely 3 months too late for EXPERIENCED domain launchers (who also know marketing). May the two be as one as often as possible in the coming years to ensure the success of this program.
Internet users need to be educated about the existence and benefits of new TLDs. While the industry and the program would benefit from general PR and marketing efforts introducing Internet users to the new TLDs via BENEFIT driven statements, the applicants themselves need to begin gaining recognition in their respective niches. This applies in particular to geos, communities, and niche names. But generics will need every bit of brand recognition they can muster when it comes time to launch.
With these tools in place you are in a position to begin building your profile in your space. You will need many months to achieve initial brand recognition (3-6) across the space. Once you have an actual audience you need to begin qualifying them. i.e. identifying listeners and supporters open to your idea who actually understand what you are. At this point you can begin asking them to commit to your product. This is also when you hope your Sunrise Date is announced so you that are ready to begin the selling phase of your marketing. Gaining the purchasing commitment will likely take that 3 month window you will have from the date your launch is set. (Have a peek at my colleague Pinky Brand's TLD Delegation Date calculator for an approximate estimated date for launch.) But do not go promising your audience any timeframes. Not only is it unnecessary for the purpose of an awareness campaign, we know better than to bet money and customer beliefs on the ICANN schedule.
On that final note, the ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade gave a great speech at the Amsterdam event. However, he said one thing that caused a little TLD applicant heartache (maybe a lot).
"If it were up to me, this program would be delayed another year."
At the risk of interpreting his words, and based on a brief chat I had with him afterwards, what he meant was:
We are working SO HARD internally on getting everything in place, on time, within our current very stretched (human) resources, I WISH we had another year.
He did not give me the impression he had any intentions of actually TAKING that year, only that he is pushing his staff to their limits and expecting start up level output from them. Forge onwards Fadi, you continue to impress us all.
By Jennie-Marie Larsen, CEO at DomainDiction
By pinkybrand, Sep 21 2012 6:10PM
So perhaps you have survived reading the Applicant Guidebook, paid your fees and waded through the TAS process. Assuming your application is successful, how are you going to engage your channel(s)? What will you need to do to garner their attention? Why should they care about your TLD? What will you need to do to make them choose to work with you? Or will it be the other way around—in that YOU will need to decide who to target and YOU will need to decide who you want to work with?
I think some new TLDs will need to look beyond the traditional registrar channel, but many others will depend on the established global distribution network to help them quickly build essential new “create” revenue. Most new TLD business models will absolutely have to have this revenue just to survive year one, so let us focus on the registrar channel in this first blog post.
One need not look too far beyond the introduction of the older “original” new TLDs sanctioned by ICANN such as .info, .biz, .mobi, .tel, .asia, .museum, .jobs, .pro, .xxx etc. and “repurposed” ccTLDs such as .tv, .me, .co, .cc to learn what seems to have worked and what does not work.
Relationships. You must have them in the registry/registrar world and the domain investor (domainer) world. As digitally connected as we all are, nothing beats old-fashioned relationships.
Trust. Do what you say you are going to do. Registrars don’t like surprises and they do talk to each other. Your reputation alone may determine whether you can even get in the door.
Plan ahead. Way ahead. Registrars that matter don’t like doing things last minute.
You better have one that makes sense, even if you have the relationship–with-the-registrar part down. Flush it out. Twist it around a little with a few test cases, but in the end it better be spot on. Otherwise you are probably toast. You need to communicate how you are different, how your domain will work. Define the problem and what you are doing to solve it, how the registrar and end-user registrant will benefit AND of course how much money the registrar can make!
You must inform registrars of key sunrise, landrush and general registration dates/deadlines/policies well in advance. Registrars must clearly understand your application, technical and OT&E procedures. They must understand payment procedures and all fees.
BD. BD. BD. Market. Market. Market. Sell, sell, sell. If you are not doing all three you are not going to capture revenue. You must first get to the registrar and then, even if they buy your story and your deal, you will have force feed many of them with your messaging/value proposition along with other critical integration information that won’t make them choke on their morning coffee and croissant vs. all the other stuff they have to do that day/week/month/quarter/year.
Registration restrictions. The more you have the more I can guarantee you will lose in new creates and the fewer registrars you will have in your distribution channel. It creates confusion. Besides, registrars don’t like it when they get more support calls and their costs go up. The history of the DNS is littered with restrictive policy TLDs. If you want to join me for a beer sometime I could easily discuss how much money has been made and lost in this industry with overly restrictive TLDs.
Not talking directly and often to prospective and existing end-user registrants. Those who have studied the history of the DNS know of the wall that is supposed to exist between registries, registrars and the registrar’s customers. We all know that has changed and will change again moving forward, but beyond just offering your TLD in a registrar’s storefront you must establish a relationship and build trust with your end user base. That relationship must not end a few months after launch. It must go on, for years.
Marketing and PR programs with no clearly defined goals. How will you gauge success? How will you know you are on track to achieve that success? How many registrations do you need on a daily basis to achieve your goal with your top 10 accredited registrars? Do you even know who your top 10 partners should be?
I’m simplyfing here based on past experience at dotMobi. How the TLD game is played with registrars moving forward is changing and will likely change quite a bit with the introduction of new TLDs.
The introduction of new TLDs, to the scale being contemplated at this time, represents an incredible opportunity for those that understand their market and the channel opportunities to make a difference and ultimately profit to a great extent. I look forward to examining issues in greater detail and to your feedback to get the conversation going!
By Jennie-Marie Larsen, Sep 20 2012 3:14PM
I must say I had a bit of a chuckle when read that “Tears will run when this new gTLD goat rodeo plays out.” Our CEO, Jennie-Marie Larsen, shared her thoughts on which will fail with this post on CircleID yesterday.
By Jennie-Marie Larsen Dec 20 2012
Thank goodness for Monday’s new gTLD draw!!! To date the process has been more of an intellectual exercise in marketing, technology, and strategic game thinking - it was getting a little boring. A business needs to see regular ´wins´ to keep momentum and stay motivated. The presumptive lineup of new gTLDs has now been established which has giving most applicants (save those poor souls looking at 2015 as their launch year) a clear view of the starting gate.
Trying their best to stay busy and productive for the past 2 years, many of the applicants, primarily the new comers to the industry, have been busily meeting with the existing registrar sales channel. They weren´t wrong to do so, but the timing just hasn´t been right. Many accredited registrars are not ready and not especially interested in signing up new TLDs. They assume that aside from the closed or restricted names, they can sell any which ones they happen to like - and they are right.
Registrars will decide which names they wish to sell, when, and how they would like to present them. Lucky for names like .web, .app and .blog that will fly right to the top of the drop down menu. Sadly it appears most of those ´sell themselves´ names could be locked in contention and not released until the very last has been evaluated (sound the alarm!).This means most of the best names won´t come out until long after the world´s attention span for new names has expired.
As to the the rest of the names, expect to be ignored until the registrars have decided; 1- they like and believe in your name, 2 - have time to plan for your inclusion in their systems, 3 -you are on a back end they are comfortable working with, and 4 - they have the time to work you into their 3-6 months development cycles. Oh, and 5 - you have presented them with an attractive and comprehensive marketing/sales kit that will take all the guess work and web design out of the equation for them. These are not exactly rapid roll-out odds for 20 new gTLDs a week.
Now that we know in theory who could be launched in the first group of new TLDs, and in which order (not withstanding any disturbances to The Force such as formal objections, GAC advice, failure to pass financial and technical tests, a glitch) the sales and marketing strategy begins to feel like something applicants actually have to think about. They would be wise to throw out all lessons of the past and think about what would work for THEIR TLDs and, more importantly, their actual resources.
The registrars have been to this show before---3 times in fact. Registrars have had a lot of practice launching new or repurposed TLDs. They know a little about what works, and a whole lot about what doesn´t.
2001 - Round 1: The 7 Dwarfs That Would Take on .COM
In 2001 ICANN approved the very first new gTLDs, which we lovingly call the 7 dwarfs; .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME, AERO, .PRO, .MUSEUM, and .COOP, marked the arrival of two important new players, Afilias and Neustar, that were there to break up the Network Solutions (later sold to Verisign) monopoly of .COM, .NET, .ORG – where it all started.
It also market the introduction of the thick (vs. thin) registry – which meant the registrars (there were closer to 100 accredited registrars around the world at that time) were all wildly motivated to get on board with the integration and accreditation if they wanted to sell the new names. .BIZ, .INFO & .NAME spent a lot of money and time getting to know all of the registrars individually, holding their hands through the technical accreditation, and working on ways to help the channel market their names. It took 3-9 months for registrars to prepare and begin selling the names.
Over a period of a few years, several additional names were added to the root. Many were called ´sponsored´ TLDs and were meant to satisfy a niche market online. We saw some interesting changes in how gTLDs were marketed:
The traditional thinking of don´t compete with the channel can and should be challenged. It´s been done indirectly and successfully by the likes of .MOBI. With a name that spoke directly to an industry not well served by the registrar channel (mobile) there was no choice but to be bold and try new things. With the likes of Google, Nokia and T-Mobile as backers, they had the resources and talent to re-invent the service bundle of a domain. .MOBI stood out from the crowd by creating and executing global marketing and PR campaigns themselves that funneled registrations through the registrar channel. They also developed complimentary products and services, directing primary sales of such via the registrar channel and aggressively developing non-registrar channels. They were also the first sponsored ‘new’ TLD to market and auction Premium Names to the public, raising millions of dollars in the critical early stages of launch. To date .mobi remains one of the world’s larger TLDs in terms of paid registrations.
Another recent example of how to change the game is .CO. The standard practice with gTLDs is to treat all registrars equally and provide the same base of services to the whole channel without preferential treatment. (Did you know the NEU of Neustar stands for Neutrality? This neutrality works for them in their telco business but has challenged them in DNS). .CO, (being a ccTLD not under contract with ICANN) decided to select only 10 registrars they thought would be most effective for their launch and focus solely on them. This model suits a lean and small team willing to build and invest in relationships. It´s a worthy model for most new TLD businesses to consider.
This is not a time to apply the traditional Registry-Registrar Relations channel management theories.
New players, you will need to carve out your niche and actively manage your sales channel strategy. No one will do this for you. And everyone, including all of your technical suppliers and partners, will be competing against you EVERY DAY. Do not compete on names, compete on niche markets by knowing yours best.
Registrars are increasingly HOSTING companies for the most part. Many of the largest players are actually resellers and not registrars. Take a break from Webhosting.info and look closer at your target market. What is your niche and who serves that niche currently? Aiming at the wedding community? Find the registrars or resellers who service that community through demographic/ psychographics. Use SEO, big data analysis, and affiliate and inbound marketing tools to find a way to support those registrars by driving the wedding buyer traffic to them. I promise you, they do not know, nor will they bother trying to learn your business.
The big players were very good choices as your technical back end. You can depend on them to provide the connectivity to the full channel. When you find the right registrars for you, your technical provider will make sure they can actually sell your names. This industry is lucky to have some excellent providers in that area. But unless you wrangled a special deal they will likely not sell or market for you beyond polite goodwill statements of support. Many of them will be doing that for their own new TLDs. They will not pick up the phone and ask a registrar to sell your names. Ask them for help and advice, but know that they are not resourced to do more than that which your contract with them states.
The landscape is very different now from the days of registrar channel wide-eyed interest in new names. Many of the new TLDs don´t know where to start. Interestingly enough many of the registrars are entering as new registries. Some are making all kinds of assumptions that they can snap their fingers and get accredited across the board because they are friends with all of the players. But know this, setting up the channel with your new names is going to be long grueling work that will be largely based on personal relationship building. Registrars are NOT ready to launch all the names. They will chose their favorites, and then consider those TLDs who are well prepared and actively support their launch process with professional marketing material and tools tied with a pretty bow.
The new marketplace will see completely disparate approaches to how names are promoted and sold. Back end registries will now be competing with their TLD clients, registrars are becoming registries, and many players won´t bother with anything but direct and affiliate marketing.
The one thing that will prove consistent: it is critical to carefully map out a new TLD´s channel path, chose the right registrars or resellers, and count on no one but yourself to establish and grow those relationships. Oh, and get cracking – it will take time.
We would be delighted to speak with you about your unique launch plans and how to apply proven TLD marketing techniques that can accelerate your success. Ask us for a brochure or contact us directly.
Please contact us directly:
Chief Executive Officer
+33 64059 1119
Chief Marketing Officer
+44 7941 522048
1331-1337 High Road
London, United Kingdom