GoDaddy has seen phenomenal demand for its domain registration and web hosting services in recent months as small firms seek out ways to move their shops and services online. Fresh from launching a campaign to help keep these businesses afloat, the tech giant’s chief marketing officer Fara Howard discusses how this is a strategy that will outlive lockdown.
In May, domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy revealed that it now has 19.3 million customers around the globe, up 4.1% year-on-year. Over the past 12 months, the company has seen a revenue bump of 11.5% to reach $792m, thanks to selling domain names, hosting sites and offering booking and payment tools through various partners to small and medium-sized businesses.
Where Covid-19 has created a significant upheaval in the global economy and job markets, it has also led to an uptick in interest from many to start new ventures. In GoDaddy’s most recent earnings call, its chief financial officer Ray Winbourne said investors should expect the business to “lean in on marketing spend” and “attractive customer offers” in response to this in the coming months.
In the meantime, the firm has spotted an opportunity to use its clout and community to help small-to-medium business owners (the lifeblood of its customer base) stay afloat amid the initial shock of the public health crisis, which saw ‘open’ signs around the word flipped to ‘sorry we’re closed’ for the foreseeable future.
“Our core mission as a company and a brand is to enable everyday entrepreneurs – individuals who are so often running a one-person or two-person shop and standing on their own two feet,” explains GoDaddy chief marketing officer Fara Howard.
Historically, this has been GoDaddy’s go-to-market strategy. When Covid-19 struck, though, the business recognised it had a bigger role to play in helping customers and would-be customers navigate the fallout by turning their physical proposition into a digital one.
“In a global pandemic, what these firms might need instead is advice on where to get economic support, resources where they can learn from other small businesses that are thriving in this time.
“We know entrepreneurs lack the time, and often resources, they need to run their business and in the face of a global pandemic it’s become even harder for them.”
Building ‘Open We Stand’
After a brainstorm, these insights led to the launch of ‘Open We Stand’ – an ongoing initiative that has seen the brand offer support to small business owners navigating these challenging times via special offers on services and tools, expert advice, and a community for entrepreneurs to share insights and experiences with one another.
Anchored by an initial national ad campaign which directed companies to resources on the official site, the movement has gained backing from 50 other brands such as Salesforce, Uber, Adobe, Slack and more. All of these partners have made a corporate pledge to help small companies connect with their customers in some way throughout the pandemic.
“Yes it’s a marketing campaign, but it’s ultimately a rallying cry from us to say ‘you can stay open and we can help you’,” Howard told The Drum’s executive editor Stephen Lepitak, during a session at the ongoing virtual Share to Twitter