Defeating the Disconnect: Marc Trachtenberg Keynote at NamesCon 2016

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Marc Trachtenberg delivers a keynote address at NamesCon 2016

“There’s a huge disconnect between the domain name industry and its customers,” said Marc Trachtenberg, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Trachtenberg points his legal practice at domain name, Internet, e-commerce, social media, marketing, advertising, promotions, trademark, copyright and privacy matters. He spoke at NamesCon 2016 on how registries and registrars can connect with brands.

“They’re waiting for brands to become more active in gTLDs.” That’s when consumers will get more used to the new TLD environment. That’s already happening, said Trachtenberg. He pointed to sites like .mango, .suzuki, .barclays, and .bridgestone as examples of brands planting flags in the new gTLD space to win over customers and promote social issues. “Barclay’s was one of the first brands to completely migrate to the new platform,”, said Trachtenberg GM used to promote its environmental initiatives

“Expensive, logistically complicated, and risky for brands.” Can they educate their customers? Is it worthwhile to do so? What about the multiple levels of sign-off involved? Large brands in particular will have cumbersome levels of corporate management that need to get on-side for a gTLD migration to take place. “Registrars can’t just sit around and wait,” said Trachtenberg, for all that to happen.

Trachtenberg said that he’s not seen the same investment in advertising and promotion on the brand side as what you’ll find on the registry side in terms of infrastructure and service. “Brands and consumers simply don’t understand what tne gTLDs are.”The solution is an investment in time and money into education. (Education. The major emerging theme this week.) There’s a place for ICANN to step up here, too, but most people don’t even know what ICANN is. Ad agencies and in-house marketers, by and large, don’t know about new gTLDs and their value. The trick, said Trachtenberg, is to find these people where they gather: advertising organizations. “There’s huge opportunity here,” with groups like the Brand Activation Association, and at bog-name events like Global World Congress, SXSW, Cannes, AdTech, and––yes––NamesCon. Trachtenberg offered to make introductions for anyone at NamesCon who wants to establish a presence at some of these events. By all means, take him up on that offer.

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