JUMP THE CURVE: Part 1: A Brand TLD Business Case

Building a Brand Top-Level Domain Business Case

Our CEO Peter LaMantia in collaboration with the Brand Registry Group delivered an educational webinar for business, digital and IT leaders. In this webinar Peter ran through a methodology to create a Business Case to support investment decisions to JUMP THE CURVE to an authentic, secure, controlled and TRUSTED Brand Top-Level domain space.


Brand Top-Level Domain innovation is an opportunity to JUMP THE CURVE. You can build a better, more efficient, and brand trusted digital ecosystem that is owned, scalable, secure and trusted. Brand Top-Level Domain business case costs and benefits can be difficult to understand and quantify for leaders contemplating the value of applying, owning and deploying a Brand Top-Level Domain strategy.

Peter solves the complexity for you with a model to quantify the current and increasing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of managing domains, DNS, Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates and Brand Protection cost centres. He will then share how these status quo operating costs can be significantly reduced over 5 and 10-year timelines. The model also shows how innovation opportunities can be quantified to generate top line growth and contribution margin improvements.

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welcome to uh our second webinar of the 2020 dot brand vision series this is brought to you by the brand registry group or brg for short my name is martin sutton the executive director of the brg which is a trade association for brands that operate their own top level domain or intend to apply at the next opportunity for many brands those that already operate their own top level domain as well as those considering applying in the future the development of a business case can be both complex and daunting and so in our webinar today we will see how this can be approached and provide insights to modelling return on investment across digital marketing brand protection and security so i’m extremely pleased to introduce you today to peter lamantia he’s the ceo of authentic web and peter has been an active member of the brand registry group representing a doc brand operator and also leading our registry operations and best practices committee over the last year um today peter will be presenting a high-level view for you today and we will have an opportunity at the end of his presentation for questions and answers during the presentation you can populate your questions in the uh question panel uh so please do that we’ll keep an eye on those so that when we get to the end of the presentation we’ll be prepared to spend some time um to to cover off those questions so uh with that i will now hand you over to peter great thanks martin um thanks everybody for joining today today what i want to do is put some meat on the bones with a business case model to support the adoption and investment in a brand tld strategy at its foundation this is really a numbers-based business case of how your organization can reduce your total cost base and drive top line contribution margin it’s a financial rot model road map for top performing businesses to jump the curve and anchor all digital on the trust authority of a proprietary brand top level domain so if you like business model math i think you’re going to find this pretty compelling and hope you find it useful as a methodology to build communicate and gain investment approval from your c level it’s going to be a little bit of a fun with math webinar so i think i’ll just get rid of my face so you can see the full screen so when we talk about jumping the curve you probably know this concept as forbes states it’s not just about a new product it can also mean adapting to a changing environment streamlining business process or adopting new technologies in the context of domains dns and tls certificates formerly known as ssl certs and brand protection we think about the first generation starting in the with manual processes silos both systems and people ticketing systems email or telephone the second generation as many of you may have adopted or in the process of establishing more sophisticated automation systems with workflow change management controls audit policy-based provisioning role-based permissioning to deliver better security compliance and performance the second generation improved the function and total cost of ownership but at the core there was still the accumulation of more domains to manage more dns to lock down more certificates to administer and more brand protection budget and activity to fend off the bad actors and with the expansion of the domain space this is becoming increasingly difficult and costly let’s face it you own a lot of domains and you really don’t want to own them but you have to and you can’t let them go so now we’re entering a paradigm shift as the third leading pair the third third change revolution the brand top level domains they are secure controlled authentic they’re platforms for innovation and massively scalable so thinking about the status quo in the early 1990s it was easy one domain one registrar one name server probably a c level and an i.t resource at that time there was not even digital piracy life was simple then as little house on the prairie before electricity over the next 20 years it’s become increasingly complicated with hundreds and thousands of domains multiple registrars many more dns providers and everyone in the organization is a stakeholder in domain names and ever more domains are registered a handful for revenue generating activity but the lion’s share are just defensively to protect against these nefarious actors it’s complicated and has driven the adoption of new systems and on the brand protection side it has also become increasingly costly complicated with exploding counterfeiting and piracy and an entire digital vendor ecosystem that continues to eat up more and more of your budget every year expect it to double from 2018 to 2026 by this research from verified market research so it’s always good to get a sense of what you’re experiencing and sharing that with other people on the webinar so i’m going to ask martin to lob a poll out there and if you’d indulge us to conduct a couple examples do you have a poll up there martin yeah the polls are up and running on the screen for the attendees yeah okay great so think about you know what’s your status quo today what are the increasing costs more domains dns to manage them more local presence more cycles and dns security policies you know how are you managing that today and how do you think that cost might change in five years from today just give everybody a minute there we’ll just give a few more seconds to let the audience select um but most are in now so we just give three more seconds three two one and i shall share the results okay great okay so that’s interesting so 56 believe sort of 10 to 25 another 40 between 25 and 100. so i think there’s pretty um pretty much agreed that the costs are going to go up so the second poll let’s do one more here let me know when that’s up there martin all right now think about the efficacy of those added cost added domains and expenditures in five years what do you think the efficacy will be of those programs will it be better will it be worse will it be the same most people i talk to comment on how it’s a whack-a-mole game more system can simply create more work and expose more problems so we’ll just let these see some coming in here so just click on the button what you think we’ll just go a few more seconds there’s still a few more to vote okay thanks for that i shall reveal now the poll okay great well about 30 percent about the same 31 percent a little more effective so that’s a good view and about 30 somewhat or significantly less effective so okay so what we’ve established is costs are going to grow and they have grown they’ve continued to grow over the past several years from the first day you registered a domain name through the new round of tlds in 2012 2014 so we kind of look at this and say the status quo is going to continue to drive cost increases some believe more than others so the status closed this rising line and it may be a straight line but it also may accelerate over time as the bad guys continue to become more efficient and effective in how they try to compromise your brand and this view on brand tlds is saying stop do you really want to keep driving up this cost with having as the poll indicated may be marginal improvement but generally the same or worse so that’s what we want to address and that’s where we believe a brand top level domain strategy is really an elegant way to address this problem it’s a proprietary space it’s trusted you can lock it down with security you control everything it’s massively scalable and offers opportunities for innovation so this slide is really to define a strategy and then we’ll talk about some numbers so we’ve got our status quo costs they’re increasing constantly and will continue to do so if you drive no change today the strategy is to say start investing in your brand tld make the market aware that it’s your space and it’s secure and the in customers can trust it and as you do that you can begin to reduce some of your status quo costs over time so the end of these arrows is really five six years out so the question is where do you want to be would you rather be out chasing domains and trying to register stuff or would you rather have a position of trust with a lower cost structure a controlled space more effective communications and engagement and build it of the ability to improve security and compliance so what’s the business case to support that so there’s a few factors here first of all there’s an ability to reduce your total cost of ownership over your domains dns tls and brand protection you can also improve consumer trust you can launch programs that are differentiated in the market to separate yourself from your competitors and with those you should be able to drive top line revenue growth and contribution margin increases so with those views we did the math so i developed an roi calculator to look at this now you’re going to have to get your uh your glasses out and move closer to the screen here for a few but now we’re going to do the fun with math so the calculator sort of looks at a few things the first thing it’s looking at is domains dns and tls or ssl certificates what is the cost today how many domains do you own how many do you expect to register over time what are the vendor costs from registrars tls and other vendors manage dns and what are the internal human resource costs that often get missed in this domains in dns and tls it’s a pain and it takes a lot of cycles and then if you look at it on the status quo of how you’re going to increase that how many new domains you’re going to register what’s the price inflation expected in tlds we know that dot com prices have been approved to increase by seven percent i think we should expect other registries to also increment their fees so if we look at that over a period of five years and then we look at if you drove a brand tld strategy and we’re now able to start calling some of these domains and reducing some of this activity you could find some benefit so we did that for this area in domains dns and tls we did it for brand protection we looked at what are the services that you may be employed right now how many udrps you file every year how many domains that you end up acquiring and also what are the internal hr time time consumptions of brand protection specialist legal counsel and we looked at it from a status quo and a five year as well we then of course looked at the other side what are the costs to acquire your brand tld your zero is about capital it’s acquiring an asset so what are the costs to acquire what are the cost to set that up and then from year one through to year five we did it on a status quo where you apply you hold it there are still costs related to that with icann and other fees if you drove an impactful strategy what would those costs be now these are just scenarios but the biggest driver and costs here are really around the people internally and those you may contract to help you drive this forward then we combine that and we looked at five-year status quo dns brand protection and a brand tld strategy as the status quo or making a digital shift and we calculate what’s the total cost of ownership impact in years one to five it shows a difference of two two million dollars in year six to ten using the run rate from year five it’s three and a half million dollars and presumably from year six to ten you can make additional improvements as well to make that even a more favorable number so those are the cost high but what about the top line and the margins are so we looked at different types of programs you might launch out there so in marketing communications what are the response rates you typically get today in big ad spends could you improve those ad spends on channel management you know particularly suitable for for example telecommunication companies that sell their their their cell phones through wireless shops spread around the country could you improve the management of that and the digital presence that you’re displaying there social engagement we’ve seen evidence already with early adopters that social engagement can be improved fairly significantly now what are the branding value so if you’re driving that top line you’re also driving contribution margin because there’s revenue associated and gross margin associated with those with those changes so that’s sort of the overview of it i thought what i’d do is just do a quick sneak peek here and show you the calculator so this is sort of an overview page that looks at the total cost of ownership and the revenue generation the graphs that relate to that and other areas that you might be able to drive forward in the future so let’s just go into a couple of edits so you can see how this works so on domains dns and tls so this this case assumes the company has 2 000 domains so we’re going to change that number from 2000 to another number and you’ll see it reflected up here above in the in the summary so let’s change that for example to a thousand to a thousand domains you can see the changes if we change it to ten thousand domains you can see that your total cost of ownership changes accordingly and every time you own a domain you also affect the amount of time it takes for people to manage that domain if you own it you need to manage it and then we go through a number of other variables that can look at enterprise dns how many certificates you currently have what’s the make up of those certificates and the cost of those certificates all of this data these assumptions would come from your own business to build the case that is relevant to you and then we’ve got people time how much time does it take to register a domain someone who requests a domain what about an approver a second level approver a domain manager an it resource how much time do they spend internally and then managing the portfolio what percentage of your portfolio do you touch every year and every time you touch it you have human resource costs so we we look at all these different factors to generate these this uh the status quo model and a brand tld model to drive it forward and we’ve done that for brand protection we’ve done it for the brand tld and we’ve also done it for the innovation opportunity about how you could drive change for example if you spend 10 million dollars allocated to this for promo.brand.com or perhaps it’s brand.com forward slash promotion can you improve that based on trust and simplicity and clarity of messaging by using promo.brand and even if you improve that by 10 percent it can have a fairly significant change to your organization so i just wanted to share the mechanics of it and then come back and share some of the summary so a brand with 2000 domains executes the brand tld strategy and over five years based on these assumptions they’re going to be able to reduce their total cost of ownership on their domains so status quo let’s say you increased by five percent a year with a brand tld you can start to reduce or call that portfolio as you make the market aware that it’s your dot brand where they should be engaging with you and that will produce this chart so if today you’re running at 347 000 there’s a potential to reduce that to 219 or even further rather than driving it up with with 5 increases year over year similar principle on brand protection so if you do 10 ud rps a year your average cost for udrp is 13 000 you have a number of domains you acquired an average cost of 2 000 you can start to see this start to calculate and if this increases just normally even you’re going to drive more costs from brand protection over time and as we saw from the pool you know there was a let’s see so i guess it’s about 70 percent of people said this would be just as effective or less effective turning that dial the other way starting to reduce you can start to reduce some of these costs because you’re anchoring everything on the trust of your brand registry so a similar principle from 500 000 potential to reduce it to 340 in this scenario you’re never going to get rid of brand protection ever it’s always going to be a problem unfortunately but to be able to reduce it significantly can make a big difference in your organization so if you accumulate those two together you get a summary from 844 driving to one point almost 1.3 or the ability to drive it down to 564. layered into that you have the cost of brand tld ownership there’s the initial acquisition cost and if you if you sit on it and don’t do anything with it it’s still going to cost you somewhere in the range of 130 000 to 140 over time if you drive it and allocate people and resources um you know your cost goes up obviously but if you notice the the trend line is not as high because once you own it the ability to scale it becomes pretty economical so that’s the cost again so on the summary side on the top line and contribution margin here here are a few areas so can you increase the response rate conversion rates by 10 percent based on the better messaging the trust authority of that i believe you can and i think these might be even conservative channel management can you drive improvements and top line by being able to drive digital content out to your channel that you control you can measure you can find out what’s working what’s not working for some channel partners and measure that analyze and adjust it and apply those best practices across your entire channel social engagement we’ve seen cases where brands have been able to drive a 30 increase in engagement and conversion rate likewise would probably increase there’s also just straight up branding value your brand your brand people inside the organization of complex models to justify their brand campaigns that don’t generate immediate revenue but if you’re able to brand on this what kind of a value could that have to you and this is all thinking about these objectives hitting these in a in a five year goal so in year one you might get to fifteen percent of goal year three might be a sixty-five percent of growth of goal which generates these outcomes now this is just a scenario for a brand your unique condition would change this material materially so as a summary with that data and that input you reduce your total cost of ownership on current status quo by 2 million you’re going to spend about 2 million dollars to drive your brand top level domain but you reduce your cost structure so that the next six the year six to ten you reduce your cost structure by 3.5 million dollars and based on the inputs we put in inside the model it can you can start to generate or visualize what you can do in terms of top line and contribution margin so there is more there’s a lot more innovation opportunities that we see that we see some brands doing and also that are yet to be developed so if you think about what those use cases might be it’s a customer dot brand what could you deploy as a customer centered strategy and prove the value you’re delivering drive brand affinity monthly recurring revenue or efficiency and service delivery what about agents a lot of businesses market engage through agent networks how could that improve some of the performance of the business and those agents and the satisfaction of those customers in that type of a channel service dot brand we’re starting to hear about people using it to create unique identifiers on the dns to improve service delivery and security and related to security using your brand tld to anchor your entire dns network where you can control all the security settings automatically by default with policies you could drive out other types of use cases to extend that network security and trust whether it’s supply chain iot cloud edi and even considering in today’s times thinking about those remote workers so there are other opportunities to drive out that really all depends on what your business objectives are what kind of business you run every business is unique but at the same time almost every business has the same same conditions that they need to consider holistically at the strategic level so what are the business objectives what are some of the new brand tld capabilities that you could drive inside your organization to improve digital experiences and ensure trust in your market and from those two reviews now you can start to look at what are the use cases that would be most impactful for us in our business and then how do we develop an execution plan on that to deliver it and drive this paradigm shift over the next five years so that’s really about how to do a brand tld strategy so we’re going to talk about that on another webinar on july 23rd so hope you attend that as well so i hope you’ve also found that this was informative perhaps it delivers for you the missing link to help you unravel this gordian knot to better demonstrate to your executives the value my experience so far when we communicate the strategy and the math the c levels are pretty compelled they get better brand security cost savings opportunities to innovate and drive revenue and differentiate their organization it’s the third generation in digital identity on the dns i believe it’s gonna change the world over the next five to ten years and we’re seeing it happen more and more all the time so thanks very much i’d be happy to answer any questions if anybody has any uh peter it’s martin thank you so much for that i think that certainly illustrates the complexities of developing such models i think especially um you know to tend towards specific organizations um so it needs that flexibility and adaptability to to meet those kind of demands so do appreciate you running us through i know it is at a high level but um appreciate showing and illustrating that for us today um we have got a couple of questions so um if you have got any questions do put them into the question panel um the first one i’ve got here is um so peter if we would like to create our own business case roi um how can we do that yeah um well listen if you’d like to reach out to me i’d be happy to run you through it um you know we can we can look at some of the conditions inside your enterprise and generate a summary on your specific business case so you can respond to me at peter authenticweb.com or through martin whatever might be easier for you no obligation we’ll just go through it and try to figure out what works for your business thanks peter and i know we will continue to do some uh work within the brand registry group to um move this along and and raise awareness uh and details amongst the membership so i’ve also got a question um i think this refers back to um some of the indications of switching to your brand i’ve got a question here don’t you think response rates will decline initially if the url doesn’t end in dot com well i’m not sure about that i think absolutely there’s a need for the public to become aware that what brand tlds are we you know it’s a chicken and egg where you know we need to educate the public but i think as we well whether we come through all the different generations of types of engagement technologies social is a good example we humans are pretty adapt at adapting um so i don’t think it will take long for people to to pick this up the other side is it doesn’t necessarily have to be an all all in one or all or none i would be driving um test cases you know allocating a limited amount of funds and doing um you know a b testing against different campaigns and trying to understand that in the beginning before huge dollars were spent against it i think as time progresses you know you’re gonna see um and we’re seeing it already a large organization is starting to push these out so people will understand very quickly people are pretty digitally savvy especially this next generation that’s coming up okay um so there’s more so they’re coming in um you mentioned the future webinar we’ll be covering brand strategies so somebody’s asked here um will that webinar cover examples of business objectives or will that be touched upon now um so i think just to clarify that what what have you seen companies determine are their objectives that can be realized using domain names and the dot brand name space yeah the core of the uh that webinar um something that i’ve used for quite a while as a methodology inside the organization i call it the brand brand registry introduction path but we’ll look for some examples to make it real as well so if you come there you’ll see a methodology it’s just it’s a structured program um that that sort of guide you through different phases with the stage gate and we’ll try to find some examples as well to make that to make that real okay thank you make a note on that one um going back to the cost elements um somebody’s asked here is uh can you clarify what are the biggest cost drivers in domains the dns and ssl type um total cost of ownership yeah um well you know everything’s a function of the domains you own oh i have some uh construction happening next door it sounds like so it’s all about the domains the number of domains you own is really the function or the factor it’s often underestimated that people spend a lot of time managing these things if you own it you need to manage it so it’s not just the domain it’s the people it’s the dns edits the security reviews and monitoring and everything that goes along with that apologize for the noise okay i think we have one more question so um and i think i i might have touched upon this in my closing remark um does this brand tld strategy universally to all businesses uh well universal is a difficult assertion to make in anything um you know and businesses are different um but i think if you look at current operations challenges business objectives my view is really that any business objective that relates to digital identity can be improved by using a brand tld it’s about that trust consumer trust is critical and we all live in this world where we’re worried about clicking on anything so if you can remove that and create a trusted environment because you can control it you can establish security security protocols and security settings by policy um i think you can apply to almost all businesses but you know there’s uh you know there’s always a limit on everyone okay uh thank you peter i think i think that covers that we’ve got in the queue if anybody else has got a last burning question do feel free to pop that into the into the question box um otherwise i’d say that we’re we’re coming to a close on today’s webinar um please do keep a watch out for details of our upcoming webinars which take place through july and this is a last check i think we’ve covered all of the questions here so do appreciate your participation many thanks and look forward to seeing you again at our upcoming webinars thanks martin and thanks everybody for taking the time today