Aug 15, 2019 - by Phil Lodico
What is it about domain name management that makes it so challenging? For starters, much of managing a corporate domain name portfolio comes down to balancing the need for promotion against the need for protection. But every company’s tolerance for risk is different. And figuring out what to register defensively is more of an art than a science—no matter what anyone says.
Identifying domains no longer necessary has also been a challenge for most companies. Even after reviewing a domain name portfolio to uncover usage, traffic and value, getting the final sign-off to allow a $15 domain name to expire hardly seems worth it, especially when the risk of the domain being re-registered exists. And the potential savings typically pale in comparison to other IP maintenance fees for things such as patents and trademarks.
Ensuring that domains resolve to relevant content also poses challenges for domain name professionals. Where exactly should country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) point? And what about domains containing specific product names: should they point to the home page or a product page, should they take advantage of geo-location services, or should they point to a search page?
The challenges facing corporate domain name professionals are bespoke and as different from one another as the companies themselves, their respective cultures, and their perspectives on IP are.
So how can the complexity associated with managing domain name portfolios be reduced?
Those responsible for managing domain name portfolios might instead consider these five guiding principles for domain name management in light of their own corporate objectives. They are ensuring that 1) domains are secure, 2) portfolios are right-sized and growth is managed, 3) domains are optimized and pointing to relevant content, 4) technology is leveraged to identify and remediate issues and 5) policies are implemented and stakeholders are engaged. These are principles for which every company, regardless of their tolerance for risk, portfolio size, or geographic coverage, should strive to achieve.
While there is no one ‘right way’ to manage domain name portfolios, domain professionals should strive to determine what is right for their respective companies. It is not an easy task by any means and is certainly one that requires ongoing management as new issues continue to emerge. But over the next several months, we’ll be covering each of these five guiding principles and how domain professionals can begin using them to manage their domain name portfolios more effectively.
With more than 15 years of domain industry experience, Phil has long been a vocal advocate for brand owner’s rights. He was most recently Managing Partner at Fairwinds Partners, the industry’s leading domain name consultancy. While at Fairwinds Partners he advised multinational corporations on their domain name strategies to increase traffic, grow revenues, and improve online customer experiences. He has been actively involved in ICANN’s Business Constituency, was a member of ICANN’s 2009 Nominating Committee, and has served as Vice President of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA). A graduate from Hobart College, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology, receiving honors for his work in Consumer Choice Theory.