Dear DNA Members:
I am delighted to report to you, through this third edition of the State of the Domains Report, recent DNA activities and a number of initiatives we have planned. This report is also intended to be a vehicle to enable the DNA and its partners to share the latest work being undertaken, along with recent industry developments.
This report includes innovative looks at industry statistics and how they can be employed to inform your strategies, independent views of the industry, the latest DNA committee work – with emphasis placed on Marketing – and the uptake and use of domain names. This document also includes a special report on search engine optimization: how to rebrand on a new domain name extension while maintaining search engine results.
As previously reported, the DNA Board recently revamped our strategic plan. The new plan aligns our priorities with the results derived from our recent member survey. As a result, the new strategy emphasizes the overarching objective to build and execute a successful global campaign to promote increased uptake of domain names. We have already undertaken a number of projects to create a messaging portfolio for your use and for the DNA to distribute through marketing and media channels.
For example, at this ICANN meeting we will share with our members:
- “The Ten Commandments… For Promoting Domain Name Awareness” – a DNA style guide and set of common industry themes so that we can adopt common phrases and talking points in describing domain names and the domain name industry;
- The first set of infographics describing the value in domain names; and
- Enhancements to the Trade Show Database where members can collaborate on coverage. In addition, we are identifying and pursuing media partnerships with domain industry and tech bloggers, marketing associations, PR firms, and news outlets in order to distribute our messaging.
The new DNA strategy also calls for member- focused activities such as the delivery of an industry/DNA information kit for members, and a series of roundtable discussions where members can trade experiences and those starting registry operations can learn from those who have gone before. This will be the start of a DNA University. There will be a session at this ICANN meeting where CMOs from DNA members that have successfully launched and marketed their TLDs will share their insights. The DNA will also hold a series of webinars where industry experts will share their practical experience associated with registry operations start-up: executing the registry agreement, pre-delegation testing, the Trademark Clearinghouse, premium name planning, developing relationships with registrars, getting to general availability, ICANN compliance notices, IDNs, and go-to-market strategies.
The DNA continues to make progress and deliver materials in traditional areas. The Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group has delivered its first draft common practices document. Members of our Marketing Committee are active participants in the Universal Acceptance communications planning. We also delivered policy position papers to the recent U.S. Congressional hearings on ICANN accountability, and a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative in defense of the Registry-Registrar marketplace.
I’d welcome the opportunity to meet with members in Buenos Aires or at any time so that I can better understand your goals, and how the DNA can assist in facilitating their achievement.
Thank you for your continued membership and support.
The Domain Name Association
(This editorial was originally published in the State of the Domains, Issue 3: June 2015 premiering at ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires)