Missed renewals. Unnecessary costs. Excessive amounts of infringements. These are all potential consequences of having a poorly managed domain portfolio. Domains are often an afterthought and their role within a brand strategy is not properly understood meaning even the most digitally savvy brands can make mistakes when managing their domains.
Who manages domains? Is it IT, Marketing or Legal? What is a defensive registration and when is it necessary? If your company runs into issues with domain management, you are not alone. As a leader in the corporate domain industry, we see companies, big and small, make mistakes with their domains. Luckily, many of them have a simple solution. Here are the most common mistakes we see brands make when managing their domains.
Mistake #1: Domains scattered across multiple registrars.
It is common for companies to register domains across multiple registrars. This occurs for multiple reasons: different employees may go to different registrars, a registrar may not offer a certain extension creating the need to use a different provider, or a company may try to save money by going to whichever registrar is offering the lowest price at that time. Using multiple providers can cause many issues for a company: missed renewals, inconsistent ownership information, varying security standards, etc.
Centralize all domains with a single, global provider. Having all your domains managed in one place allows you to have an overall view of your portfolio so you can manage your domains efficiently, renew domains timeously, and identify gaps and potential infringements. Lexsynergy offers over 1100 extensions and can provide a single point for all domain registrations.
Mistake #2: Not involving the legal team.
Domains are often managed by multiple departments within a company. The IT team may handle the day-to-day technical management, while the marketing team provides input on when and what new domains need to be registered. One key team is often left out of the equation: the legal team.
The legal team should be a key component when managing domains. If a company is going to launch a new brand, the legal team would handle the filing of the appropriate trademarks. Domain names should be handled in a similar fashion.
Mistake #3: No internal process.
With multiple departments being involved in managing domains, the process (or lack thereof) can often be chaotic and inefficient. Scenario 1: Someone in the marketing department decides they need a new domain but does not inform the IT team. As a result, the domain is not set up with the proper nameservers and DNS records. Scenario 2: A new employee comes on board and is tasked with registering new domain names. He does not receive proper training and registers the domains at the registrar he used at his previous job even though his current company uses a different registrar.
Create an official Domain Name Policy and Strategy document which will include: who has day-to-day access to the domains, who needs to be informed if domain information is updated, who needs to approve the registration of any new domain, what is the process if an infringing domain is found, etc. Lexsynergy prepares a Domain Name Policy for clients that is tailored to their company’s size, corporate structure, and existing internal procedures. Once this document has been finalized, Lexsynergy will help train existing and new employees to ensure all relevant parties are privy to how domains are managed.
Mistake #4: Not securing core trademarks in relevant gTLDs and ccTLDs.
With over 1000 new extensions and over 300 country-code extensions, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Domain managers often believe that defensive registrations are never-ending and choose to ignore the issue altogether. This can lead to an increase in domain squatting and other forms of online trademark infringement.
Develop a strategic domain strategy that is both comprehensive yet targeted. As experts in the domain industry, we can advise clients on which extensions should be a priority and which are unnecessary. We help our clients create a strategy that is tailored to their company’s industry, market presence, competition, commercial objectives, and perception of risk.
Mistake #5: Deleting domains without consultation.
As a domain portfolio increases in size, there will be an inevitable cull of unwanted domains. A simple deletion of a cheap domain could have a detrimental impact on a business. The deleted domain could have been used for infrastructural services or part of an infringement matter unbeknown to the domain administrator. It has happened in the past that a business has spent thousands of dollars in recovering a domain name only to let it go a few years later. If the domain is linked to key services, such as email, it could have a direct impact on communications not to mention posing a security risk if it is re-registered by a third party.
A deletion strategy should be developed to limit the exposure of the risks associated with the deletion of a domain. Lexsynergy incorporates a domain graveyard policy that structures the deletion process to mitigate the risks described above.
Lexsynergy understands the intricacies of managing a domain portfolio and will provide solutions to your challenges. Contact us for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.