Roland LaPlante

Roland LaPlante

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Afilias
Joined on July 26, 2010
Total Post Views: 252,020


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,, 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.

Except where otherwise noted, all postings by Roland LaPlante on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Featured Blogs

Facebook vs. Domain Names: Lessons from Cambridge Analytica

The current revelations about Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data illustrate an important drawback to using a Facebook account as your business' online presence: Facebook knows and sells your customers! Millions of companies - especially small companies and start-ups - rely on a Facebook account for their online presence. On the surface, it seems like a great idea... more

2017: The Year of dotBrand

With over 600 "dot Brands" applied for in 2012, and hundreds now launched, 2017 seems poised to be the Year of dotBrand! "dotBrands" are top level domains (TLDs) that use the brand name to the right of the dot, as in or Many large companies across nearly every industry applied, including Google, Amazon, Citibank, VISA, McDonalds, Sony, HBO, Alibaba, and Hermes. more

Another Free Registry Software Option

Google has recently announced the release of Nomulus, its free, open source registry software, triggering discussion of its impact on the industry. Afilias has over 15 years of experience in registry operations, and offers the following initial thoughts... First, free registry software is not new.CoCCA has offered this option for years, and TLDs such as .CX (Christmas Island) and .KI (Kiribati) use it. It is supported on a "best efforts" basis and appears to meet the limited needs of a few small operators. more

Can Your Brand Afford to Not Have a dotBrand?

More than six hundred brands have applied for their own dotBrand (a new top level domain associated with a trademarked brand). These represent every segment of our economy: banks, tech companies, media, food, luxury goods, etc. Quite a few dotbrands have already gone live. The current application period is closed, but the next round will likely begin in 24 months or so. more

New gTLDs Show Promising SEO Performance

With the arrival of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), many marketers are excited that they can now get a web address that best describes their business or brand. For instance, a company in the organic business can now get a web address on .ORGANIC, or a brand that's all about passion and excitement can now get on .RED, etc. At the same time, many are also asking some important SEO related questions. more

Wrap-up: ICANN 49 Singapore

Given the "going live" of New gTLDs as well as the NTIA's announcement of its intent to transition Internet domain name functions to a multi-stakeholder environment, the 49th ICANN meeting in Singapore was sure to be a busy one. Here's a breakdown of some of the key happenings during the week. more

Wrap-up: ICANN 46 in Beijing

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

dot Brands Need to Look Under the Hood Before Partnering

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

Big Brands Recognizing the Value of New gTLDs

Successful companies already understand the importance and impact of brand control in domain names. No company would ever consider using or 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, do they take the default Web address, or do they upgrade to their own branded second-level domain name? more

Brands Should Not Ignore the Security Benefits of New gTLDs

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

ICANN Sets June Target for New gTLD Program Launch

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

.nxt Conference Inspires and Informs New gTLD Debate

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

ICANN Moves Forward On New gTLDs

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

Reduce the Risk of URL Shorteners to Your Brand With Your Own TLD

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 and 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

10 Years Since the Internet Was Changed Forever

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 TLD Application Tip: Premium Domains Can Support a Sustained Revenue Stream

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

New TLD Application Tip: Launch Strategies

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

Topic Interests

New TLDsDomain NamesRegistry ServicesUDRPICANNDNSPolicy & RegulationCybersecurityDomain ManagementWebInternet GovernancePrivacy

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Popular Posts

Reduce the Risk of URL Shorteners to Your Brand With Your Own TLD

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