GoDaddy's brutal honesty wins the hearts of small biz owners

Moving away from its girls in tight t-shirts and its sex-sells attitude, GoDaddy is continuing to shift its strategy to campaigns that feature strong women in small businesses who are typically outshone by the market’s top dogs.
In an effort to help small businesses across the world grow and become successful, GoDaddy rebranded itself in 2013 under the direction of CEO Blake Irving.

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving

“Our vision is to radically shift the global economy toward small businesses by making it very easy for people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their venture,” Irving said in an interview with AZ Tech Beat.
Since announcing its new corporate goal last September, GoDaddy has reinvigorated its marketing strategy and services, while still keeping its notoriously offset humor with the help of New York-based agency Barton F. Graf 9000 and stories from real small businesses.
Last week, GoDaddy launched its 2014 campaign with a new set of advertisements and social media engagements targeting small and very small businesses that have less than five employees. Its new commercials feature two businesswomen who can’t help but celebrate their success and call out the haters.
Related: Small biz owners “Stick It” to naysayers in new GoDaddy campaign
“It was time. Brands evolve. Companies grow,” GoDaddy’s Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman said. “Now, we are taking it to the next level. We are further defining the GoDaddy brand to tell people more about what we do and exactly who we do it for.”
This hyper-focused shift of attention to small businesses comes after years of growing brand awareness among the public. Since GoDaddy launched its first Super Bowl ad in 2005, the company’s brand awareness has grown to about 80 percent, Rechterman added.
GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman
GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman

“Now that we have such high-brand awareness, we’re working to be more specific about how we can help our customers grow their businesses, find new customers and run their shops so they can grow their bottom line and have more time to do the things they love,” Rechterman said.
To help businesses grow, the Scottsdale-based company made another big move earlier this week and announced its new partnership with Microsoft to get small businesses online for $1 a month.
Related: GoDaddy + Microsoft team up to help small businesses Get Online for $1
While an online presence is needed for businesses to succeed in a digital world, it also needs to be and look professional. Unfortunately for most businesses, the “Don’t judge a book by its cover rule” does not apply to websites.
“Nowadays, people expect a business to have a website, even if it’s a local pizza shop or a landscaping service,” Rechterman said. “The trick is, very few of these very small business owners have the time or money to create a professional-looking website on their own.”
To fix these issues, small businesses can use the GoDaddy Website Builder’s library of designs to customize and create a professional-looking website that will incite some consumer confidence.
In order to make the websites created by small businesses worthwhile, GoDaddy created Get Found, which helps businesses do just that — get found in the enormous space of the Internet. Get Found enables small businesses to edit critical information, such as operating hours, to increase traffic on multiple search engines, social media sites and apps.
GoDaddy’s customer-focused strategy seems to have resonated well with the audience, Rechterman said, since there has been positive buzz on social media since the first two of its four new TV ads were released.
“Our customers have responded very well to the commercials, in large part, I think, because the campaign is brutally honest about how hard it can be to run your own business,” Rechterman said. “This isn’t a ‘Hallmark’ card campaign where everything’s ‘warm and fuzzy.’ It’s hard to start your own business, but the rewards can be totally worth it.”
As GoDaddy continues to redefine itself, the company expects to continue to push its small business campaign over the long term, Rechterman added.
Check out AZ Tech Beat’s full interview with Irving below.
Graphics provided by GoDaddy