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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

GoDaddy makes ads people love to hate, but how’s the service?

In preparation for #BZBowl, I’m experiencing as many of the SuperBowl advertisers’ products & services as possible, comparing whether my service encounter lives up to the promises they make through marketing. Today’s #BZBowl Week post involves GoDaddy.com.

GoDaddy.com is a Super Bowl mainstay. Every year, they prominently feature a tacky ad featuring one of the GoDaddy girls that everyone claims to dislike, yet everyone will be talking about the next day.

But are the ads effective? Before you answer, quickly name 2 other web hosting sites.

I don’t question their efficacy. When I began consuming domain registry and web hosting services, I went straight to GoDaddy without considering anyone else. They were the only provider I was aware of, and so they got my business.

Purchasing top-of-mind awareness can be an effective strategy for gaining customers, but if it isn’t accompanied by quality service, it can be an ineffective one for keeping them.

The first in the Jillian Michaels series of commercials gives some insight into the promises GoDaddy makes through advertising, placing emphasis around the purchase process, describing it as fast, easy and low priced. Only after these purchase benefit promises are made do they mention quality of their hosting services.

If the ads are a tacky way to gain eyeballs, the website is a tacky way to convert them.

Yet the promises made in the ads are consistently reinforced through the interactive marketing. The site is a mess of deals, claims, exclamation marks and asterisks, mostly messaged around the purchase process being fast, easy and inexpensive. The only departure in their interactive marketing is the promotion of a variety of GoDaddy services, which may be more by accident of trying to sell every service on the home page.

Godaddy makes few promises through their ads, and those they make are consistent with their interactive marketing and paid off in the experience. But while they make purchasing easy, my own post-purchase service experience has been less than ideal due to a confusing interface, made more confusing by near-constant up-selling of additional services. Godaddy never made any promises in that regard, so I can’t criticize the advertising for making promises the experience didn’t fulfill.

But due to the ongoing service experience I’ve, chosen an alternative provider for domain registry & hosting. Improvements in the Go Daddy service experience might increase customer retention to the point where all of that expensive customer acquisition isn’t necessary.

But then again, they may be too having fun acquiring customers to care.

1 comment:

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