Who manages the domain names in your company? It always strikes me how random it is, who has been given the task. It is historically a function which is not part of any job description. Through my experience of helping companies for the last 10 years I’m 100% convinced that the ones to manage domain names should be the Marketing dept. In many companies this task has been delegated either to IT or Legal. While these teams are professional and experienced they do face the challenge of understanding the brand as fully as the Marketing dept. Over the years domain portfolios have grown in volume from the first domains to hundreds or thousands. This growth has made the portfolio expensive to manage, but at the same time has added value to the company. It is therefore time for companies, which have registered domains “as it comes” since the start of the millennium to restructure domain name management.The Legal department secures the company’s intellectual property, and it is therefore tempting to also let them handle domain names, however they will not have the full picture of the brand. A brand is much more than the trademark. It’s the slogan, appearance, campaign name, unregistered brand names etc. The focus of the Legal department is to protect the brand, and the domain portfolio will therefore be based mostly on defensive registrations. Trademarks are not necessarily the names known by the public, and you can therefore miss out on the domain names, which actively can boost your business.The IT dept. set up the first domain name on the servers, and suddenly they find themselves in charge of the total domain portfolio. While surely possessing the technical knowledge, they do not understand the brand as well as Marketing, and will not know fully which domain names to register.First and foremost Marketing knows the audience and they know the nature of their brands. Additionally they are the ones in charge of any Marketing campaign and they measure the traffic to the website. They should have the knowledge to ensure that the right mix of domain names are registered, and to check that they drive traffic to the site.In 2013 more than 200 new top level domains will see the light of day, so be ready to expand your domain portfolio. In the meantime make sure that Marketing takes over the domain portfolio, and ensure that they gain sufficient knowledge about which domain names are important. Otherwise you could face a big mess of legal battles with typosquatters and increasing domain budgets, if you have to register domain names blindfolded.