DNA Committee logos marketingThe DNA’s Marketing Committee draws on the talent of many of our members, including registries, registrars and consultancies. Members of the Committee meet fortnightly, with several subcommittees regularly meeting in between. The mission of the Committee is to proactively drive improved commercial and communications outcomes for all members, resulting in increased sales and usage of domains.

Members of the Marketing Committee met for a two- day workshop May 12-13 in my offices in New York City (eight attended in person, and several participated remotely). The workshop was extremely productive, resulting in a cogent new foundation of marketing messages, upon which powerful marketing assets are being built for the benefit of DNA members.

The two-day session sprang from the DNA Board and Executive Director’s recent rewrite of the Association’s strategy, sharpening focus on marketing and communications. In alignment with those priorities, the Marketing Committee’s New York workshop has identified (and partially created) a set of marketing assets that will become the DNA’s “messaging portfolio.” Almost all of these assets will be made available for free to DNA members- the more our members align their messaging, the better our industry will meet its challenges and we will grow stronger together.

The Committee is also leveraging Committee members’ media partnerships with PR organizations, news outlets and other channels to deliver the messages.

A summary of your new marketing assets

The DNA is delivering a series of lnfographics that: (1) explain the new domain environment to newcomers – demystifying and simplifying the new namespace; and (2) provide industry statistics demonstrating the public demand for and openness to new domain name extensions, as well as their uptake and utility in the marketplace.

The first of the set can be found in this newsletter, and a high-resolution version can be sent to you. Two follow-up infographics have been outlined, and artwork and copywriting are in progress. This initial series of DNA infographics will be presented to potential media partners for publication outside the domain name industry- the committee is targeting major mainstream media as well as specialist media.

To facilitate Media Partnerships we designed a Press or Media Kit composed of: a brief description of the DNA, key members including company logos and leadership bios, links to www.inthewild.domains  and examples of our work (the Global Domain Name Preference Survey, lnfographics and State-of the Domains Reports), a brief description of current industry controversies/issues and the DNA leadership role in resolving them.

At this Buenos Aires meeting and afterwards, we will distribute elements of the Press Kit and other messaging portfolio items to industry bloggers, tech blogs (think TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Adweek, AdAge, Digiday and others), marketing professionals, business news outlets (think Bloomberg, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal) and marketing trade associations.

The DNA is also providing some new tools for our members. The Trade Show Database includes a listing of upcoming trade shows and similar events. In addition to publishing the database, some members of the Marketing Committee attend a brief fortnightly call to add events, discuss the relative value of events, and collaborate on sharing attendance. Any member is welcome to attend any of those calls, and all members have access to the current Google Doc-based database, and will enjoy member-only access to a next-generation web database once it is completed.

scheduleFinally, based on what we have heard from members, we discussed and designed a new member on-boarding kit, and a set of sessions where members who are starting registry operations can learn from experienced members.The DNA also published The Ten Commandments for Promoting Domain Name Awareness: 10 rules for describing vocabulary and style uses. Included is a set of Key Themes or messages that members can adopt when speaking to the media or to an audience.

This will be called the DNA University. One session will occur in Buenos Aires: “Marketing a New Domain Name Registry- Sharing Insights.” CMOs from DNA members that have successfully launched and marketed their TLDs will share their insights.

Other DNA University sessions will comprise a webinar series, “Learning from those who have launched registry operations.” This will be broken into chapters, with several chapters presented at each webinar:

  • Introduction to the DNA
  • Understanding the Registry Agreement
  • Pre-delegation Testing
  • TMCH/Sunrise operations
  • Premium Name planning
  • Dealing with registrars (the RRA and operating consistently with other registries)
  • Open/restricted registration options
  • Getting to general availability (whether to conduct a Landrush or Early Access Program, or go directly to GA)
  • ICANN Compliance Notices
  • IDN requirements
  • Go-to-market strategies

These marketing elements were designed by DNA members in order to provide value to themselves and the rest of our membership.

The DNA’s Marketing Committee meets every other Thursday at 11AM Eastern/8AM Pacific/5PM CET. We conduct a trade show collaboration meeting at the end of the hour-long Marketing Committee meeting.

I have found that participating in Marketing or other committees has provided me with valuable insights, new partnerships and new tools to do my “day job.” To get involved or ask for new marketing tools, write to info@www.thedna.orghttps://thedna.org.

–By Simon Cousins, CEO, Allegravita LLC

(This article was originally published in the State of the Domains, Issue 3: June 2015 premiering at ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires)

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