BigRock Exclusive – Interview with Nancy Gofus, COO, PIR

BigRock recently caught up with Nancy Gofus, COO, PIR where we asked Nancy a few questions about PIR’s new .ORG campaign and the initiatives PIR is taking to promote .ORG in emerging markets.

Read on to know what Nancy had to say.

1. What are your thoughts on the Domain Name market in India?

It is clear that India offers one of the highest growth potential for the domain name market.  According to KPMG, the rate of growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in India India is estimated to be between 20%-30% annually.  And when it comes to the Internet, we learned from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) of India that the number of internet connections per 100 inhabitants has doubled between 2006 and 2010, going from .6 to 1.2; and notably, the number of broadband connections increased as much as seven (7) times during that same period.  All this data points to people in India getting online quickly and using broadband connections at an even faster rate, which in return bodes well for the domain name market.

2. Which are the other markets that PIR is looking at to expand the ORG namespace?

We continue to see strong growth for  .ORG in a number of areas throughout the world, even in our historically strong markets  in Europe and North America where we believe that.ORG still has plenty of opportunities to grow. However, much of our marketing focus in the next few years will be focused on our  under-served markets in Asia, Africa and South America where we believe .ORG can play a vital role in getting organizations and small businesses online with a strong, trusted, and universally recognized domain name.

3. Come 2017 – what is your prediction on the number of ORG domains?

Predicting the future is a difficult thing to do, but in the past several years, we have been experiencing a 10% annual growth for .ORG, and we fully expect this trend to continue.

4. What is the rationale behind expanding the .ORG brand to a large audience? What do you think are the key challenges in this process?

While .ORG has long been known as  the definitive home for nonprofits, it is also the domain of choice for a broad range of  organizations, including sports teams, arts and culture, health and medical, religious communities, and small businesses.  Even large corporations with messages around their social responsibility initiatives are increasingly using .ORG domains to tell their story.  We believe that the brand values of .ORG as a trusted source of valuable information can serve many different audiences, and our challenge is to  reach a broad audience with that message..  Based on good research and creativity, we have to launch an effective campaign that the general audience will remember and one that will broaden their perception of our brand.

5. What are your thoughts on the new gTLD program?

First, let me say that the expansion of the Internet domain naming system is not new, but  what is new is the scale of the expansion with the potential to see  1000 new domains introduced to the market at one time.  In the past, these expansions have been limited to 5-10 top level domain names per round, and there has only been two rounds.   The purpose of introducing new domains is to support diversity and innovation online and to give consumers choice, and we strongly support that goal.

6. How does PIR plan to participate in the new gTLD program?

PIR has formally submitted its applications to manage .NGO and .ONG domain extensions, plus four applications for internationalized domain names for the .ORG equivalent in Devanagari, Cyrillic, and Chinese.  As a non profit ourselves and the long term operator of the .ORG domain that today houses many NGOs, we believe we are in a unique position to develop and launch a domain exclusively for the global NGO community. We were thrilled to learn that we are the only applicant for those extensions and are now actively working to ensure that we are ready to go live in 2013 when we get formal ICANN approval to launch.

7. How do you think ICANN’s new gTLD program will affect the sales of established TLDs such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG?

I think we will continue to see great strength in the historic big brands such as  .ORG, as these domain names have been a part of our lives since the creation of the domain naming system.  In fact, when a market is flooded with new brands and people are  faced with a long list of new choices, sometimes the natural reaction is to go with the brand  you know and trust the best.  Of course some of the new gTLDs that specifically reach a unique community and deliver additional value will be successful; our challenge with .ORG over the next few years is to continue to remind everyone of the great value and trust that people attribute to .ORG domains and the wide range of communities and organization that reside there today.

BigRock is really grateful to Nancy Gofus for taking time to speak with us.

About Ms. Nancy Gofus:

A long-time veteran of the telecommunications industry, Ms. Gofus oversees the marketing, sales, product and strategy functions. In her role as chief operating office, she aims to expand PIR’s global presence as well as develop and execute marketing strategies that further grow the .ORG domain in existing and new markets.

You can read more about Ms. Gofus and her achievements here – http://pir.org/news/bio/nancy

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