Cecilia Smith, Executive Director, Domains & .Fox Registry at 21st Century Fox, discusses marketing your dotBrand within your organisation.


What are the biggest challenges of marketing your brand TLD to your colleagues?

“Some colleagues have expressed interest in our dotBrand TLD, but many are still hesitant to fully commit or transition to the extension. There is a deep culture in traditional domain registration within a few core extensions such as .com, .org, .tv, and ccTLDs. We are a company of many companies with different operating and marketing departments. Although this provides greater agility at some levels, it creates additional challenges when implementing a digital dotBrand platform for both internal and consumer facing usage. This adds complexity and confusion when trying to assign second level domains where there can be crossover amongst the different businesses (ie: “digital” or “The Simpsons”).”

What advice would you give to those trying to promote their dotBrand internally?

“Definitely leverage the departments that would have first-hand exposure to potential new domain registrations related to marketing campaigns, re-branding and new products and services. The typical departments involved often include Domains, Brands, Marketing, IT and Legal. This requires coordination to “virtually” connect all of these departments so everyone is on the same page before a new initiative is launched, otherwise you will continue to fight an uphill battle to ‘undo’ and re-educate users afterwards.”

“Further, it is important to be vigilant with marketing internally through traditional employee communications such as leveraging your intranet, social channels and email. Depending on the company, there may be other mediums to promote the extension and use cases such as creating an educational website, strengthening internal policies around domain usage, and partnering with internal resources to leverage test cases.”

Are there some departments that perceive the dotBrand domain better than others?

“Yes. Internal corporate departments that already provide cross-function support and services would most likely be able to understand the potential of the dotBrand extension across an organisation. Corporate security could minimize email spoofing by using a dotBrand extension for corporate communication or unified portal access to applications. New groups maybe have better branding opportunities as they would not be competing with existing departments. Digital marketers can easily drive marketing campaigns with a new dotBrand site without disrupting their core sites.”

How has the use of dotBrand across the industry influenced how your colleagues view the use of your dotBrand?

“We were very fortunate early on to have strong supporters of our dotBrand. Rather than folding the responsibility of our dotBrand under another group, the company created a specific role to focus on the application and implementation process. Despite the many challenges we faced early on during the application and launch process, we were able to socialize .FOX to many departments throughout the company. Initially, this didn’t result in many new launches, but it provided the necessary breadcrumbs for our colleagues to recognize and consider .FOX for future implementations. We have since launched internal cross-divisional applications within our firewalls, specific department portals and a consumer facing microsite for a niche consumer base.”

“My final message to current and future dotBrand owners is to not give up. Experiment within the boundaries within your company (and go one step further). This will happen and we are at to forefront of a big wave.”


Cecilia Smith is Executive Director, Domains & .Fox Registry at Fox Entertainment