Senior Vice President and CMO at Afilias
Joined on July 26, 2010 – United States
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Roland LaPlante is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Afilias. Mr. LaPlante oversaw the marketing and launch planning for .INFO in 2001, and the transition and launch of every TLD supported by Afilias since.An accomplished marketing expert, Mr. LaPlante crafted an 18-month outreach plan for .ORG registrars that resulted in the smooth and well-communicated migration of registrars from a thin registry (VeriSign) to a thick one.
During his 30-year career in marketing, he has held senior marketing positions at McGraw Hill, Providian Corporation, Citibank and Heublein, Inc.Before joining Afilias, he was Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Xlibris, an Internet publishing company based in Philadelphia. Mr. LaPlante has extensive Internet marketing experience, having built Xlibris into the recognized brand leader in the Internet publishing space, according to Newsweek, Inside.com, the New York Times and Harper's. While at McGraw Hill, Mr. LaPlante was responsible for bringing two 100-year old construction brands, Sweets and Dodge, into the digital age, focusing marketing and product efforts on the Internet. His consumer marketing background is equally as extensive. As Vice President and Director of Marketing in Citi's upstate NY and DC banks, Mr. LaPlante launched numerous new products; he also managed global marketing for Smirnoff vodka at Heublein.
Earlier this April, the largest ICANN meeting ever -- more than 2,500 attendees -- kicked off in Beijing. Given the imminent addition of hundreds of "dot Brands" to the Internet, the topic of new gTLDs was at the top of the discussion list for all attendees. So far, well over 100 new gTLD applications have passed the Initial Evaluation stage, meaning they're on their way to becoming live domains. more»
As the countdown for the ICANN gTLD program ticks away its final 100 days, potential dot Brand applicants have to make important decisions in a short space of time: whether to apply for a new TLD, how to best leverage a new top-level domain, and which gTLD partner to choose. Most dot Brand applicants have excellent IT departments, but these resources are already over-stretched with current projects, and they likely lack the specific skills and experience needed to meet ICANN's exacting standards in the highly specialized area of top-level domain registry technology. more»
Successful companies already understand the importance and impact of brand control in domain names. No company would ever consider using hotmail.com or gmail.com email addresses for official business. A decade ago, did companies invest in Geocities or Tripod URLs, or did they promote their own domain names? Today, if a company hosts its blog with WordPress.com, do they take the default brand.wordpress.com Web address, or do they upgrade to their own branded second-level domain name? more»
If one thing has become clear from recent commentary on ICANN's new top-level domain program, it's that there's a dramatic lack of understanding about some of the benefits of owning your own TLD - especially as it relates to security. Many brand owners - especially those with luxury brands - could realize immediate benefits from reduced counterfeiting and greater brand trust with a "dot Brand." more»
npt its recent meeting in San Francisco, ICANN approved a new draft timeline for the launch of its new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) program that will let its Board of Directors approve the final Applicant Guidebook in June 2011, enabling companies to apply for gTLDs before the end of the year. more»
The first-ever .nxt conference recently concluded in San Francisco. The conference featured two days of productive, educational, and passionate discussion about the business of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). While ICANN's public meetings have recently focused on debating the policies that will go into its gTLD Applicant Guidebook, the .nxt meeting moved the discussion into the future to tackle the issue of what to do when the program has actually launched... more»
The introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to the Internet moved a step closer Friday, when the ICANN Board laid out its plan for the final stages of approving the new gTLD program. In a lengthy resolution, passed unanimously at the conclusion of a week of consultations in Cartagena, Colombia, the Board sought to draw a line under some policies where it believes the community has reached agreement, while highlighting others where further discussions are needed before the doors are opened to applications next year. more»
A very real and potentially dangerous issue for brands is the continual reliance on obscure country code domains for URL shortening services. Recent reports have emerged that the country code domain .ly will no longer allow domains with 4 or less characters to be registered by users outside of Libya. What exactly does that mean for marketers that are using popular URL shorteners like bit.ly and ow.ly today? It means more risk. As a brand owner who is spending thousands or even millions of dollars on your social media campaigns, the solution is very simple - get your own top-level domain, and control your own destiny. more»
On Saturday, you were probably enjoying a quiet morning, sipping your coffee as you consumed headlines about news from New York to New Delhi. The headlines related to Internet business were probably much different than what you would have seen 10 years ago. Then, there were just 20 million domain names in use, ten percent of what is now our domain universe. But ten years ago, many of us in the industry weren't enjoying an easy morning with our coffee; we were harried from a sleepless night of poring over hundreds of pages that would constitute the first new Top-Level Domain (TLD) bids submitted to ICANN, ever. more»
New top-level domains will quickly be upon us, and if you are ramping up to get your application ready, part of your launch plan should address what you will do with valuable keyword or generic names -- what we often refer to as "premium names." ... Choosing appropriate domains to reserve is an important first step which must be included in your application to ICANN. more»
Almost exactly nine years ago, the .INFO domain first started accepting registrations. This was an historic event as it was the first time a new generic top-level domain (TLD) was launched to an existing domain marketplace and, in fact, was the first new TLD to be added since .com. We've seen (and provided technology to power) many other TLD launches since then, with many business models. As you seek to introduce your own new TLD however, you should carefully evaluate the different launch models that have been tried before and determine which one will work best for your specific TLD. more»