Heretofore, I’d not been all that impressed with GoDaddy.
As an occasional user over the years, whether to add, renew or cancel a domain name, I have found their site uninviting, difficult to navigate and tricked out with product offers I didn’t need – and often didn’t even understand. They assumed I had a degree of technical knowledge, which I do not. To me a computer is an appliance, a tool: turn the thing on, start working on my thing and that’s as far as I care to go. Which is pretty much what I told Adam when he called.
We had a positive discussion. As if Adam had any power to change things, I suggested that GoDaddy needed to reboot their marketing after having cranked up their visibility with the famously controversial GoDaddy Girls. It’s time to position themselves more effectively to the vast, largely unaddressed portion of their potential market: people like me, who would almost rather undergo a root canal than struggle with a tech-belabored Web site. He said they were working on that, thanks to their relatively new CEO, Blake Irving.
What actually IS GoDaddy? I wondered. And what is Blake Irving up to?
A little wandering around on GoDaddy’s pleasantly refreshed, more accessible site revealed Web site building options, email services and online bookkeeping products in addition to domain registration. There’s a new service called GetFound, which helps spread clients’ basic information across the Web and makes it easier for people to find them. And now, WordPress blog hosting and management, which especially caught my eye as a blogger thinking about a hosting change.
Comments posted to Blake’s Blog lauded GoDaddy's customer service (Adam is a terrific example, and they’re said to have 3,500 people just like him engaged in “customer care”). And Wikipedia reveals the company to be staffed by true-believers with shared values, which makes them rightfully particular about who they host.
So what would you do if given the opportunity to help elevate Go Daddy’s marketing?
My first task would be to develop and launch a more strategically differentiated message. I would answer the question, “What does GoDaddy do and how does it benefit me?” while maintaining their enviable 80% aided, 50% unaided brand awareness with ad buys during the Super Bowl, NASCAR races and other high visibility events. I’d present some grounded-in-reality customer success stories that present tangible benefits to the great bulk of prospective customers who have yet to “tune in” to GoDaddy's wavelength or who have been put off by the tone of their advertising.
Go daddy shifts its ad strategy.
And according to the blogged transcript of a GeekWire Summit discussion he participated in last year in Seattle, ( http://blakesblog.com/?p=223 ) Blake Irving is a man with a plan that rings my bell and clearly should ring the bell of tomorrow’s GoDaddy customers.
The basis of GoDaddy’s move into the future is a 32-page strategic document that includes a “bigger than life” vision of “radically shifting the global economy toward small business.” He described their target market as “1-5 people trying to turn themselves into a real business” and talked about changing the world for them. In a more recent online article, the GoDaddy leader noted that 75% of U.S. businesses are sole proprietorships. So the opportunity to add more paying customers to the 12-million-plus they already have is huge.
“Changing the world for small business” is a great example of a compelling Key Message that's extracted from a larger strategic document and used to communicate to the prospect base about -- and rally company culture around -- what now is possible.
“We’re in a deep transformation of the company,” the GoDaddy CEO said. “Who we serve, how we serve them, how we position ourselves, how our employees feel about themselves, about serving those little guys, is really different. Our mission in the company is we help small business kick ass.
“It’s a quest, not a company. Everybody’s leaning into this thing …”
Irving finished his GeekWire conversation by challenging the audience (and me) to check out the company’s Kick Ass Manifesto video online. I did. You should, too (see it below). The only thing missing is that daring but powerful potential tagline: We Help Small Business Kick Ass.
I deeply abhor edginess for edginess sake because so much of it is in-your-face tasteless, smug and self-serving, so I would pause when considering whether to include “Kick Ass” in my tagline -- and who knows how it will translate internationally. But those six words are true. “Kick Ass” will require some elaboration, but so do oft-used positioning words like “leader” and “world class.” A less dramatic way of saying the same thing might be:
GoDaddy Helps Small Businesses Build Their Dreams (incorporating their recent ad theme).
I like taglines that make a bold statement and communicate Marketable Truth© -- in any language. So, either way, I say go for it GoDaddy!
TakeAway: Develop a meaningful strategic vision that points your business toward the future. Then extract a compelling Key Message from it that charges your team with purpose and makes the customers or clients you want most want to do business with you.
Content and images © by Brian E. Faulkner unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Tags: Go Daddy, GoDaddy marketing, Blake Irving, WordPress, customer service, brand awareness, GeekWire, small business, vision, strategic vision, powerful tagline, taglines, Kick Ass Manifesto, Manifesto of Kick Ass
About brian Faulkner:
struggled to find just the right words to position their business, brands or products to competitive advantage.
Brian also is a three-time Emmy award winning Public Television writer and narrator of UNC-TV’s popular Our State magazine series, on the air since 2003.