In an email interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, CEO Blake Irving said the company’s goal is to help small business owners across Asia create a strong digital presence by finding the perfect domain name, building a website, attracting new customers and improving productivity.
GoDaddy is a publicly traded Internet domain registrar and web hosting company that also offers e-business related software and services. In its Q3 2015 earnings report, the company recorded US $411.1 million in revenue, up 15.2 percent year over year.
International revenue was also up 17.4 percent over last year with revenues of US$105.3 million. The company doubled its total international customer base over the last four years, reaching 4 million international customers during Q3.
When asked about how much the company will invest in marketing to grow its customer base in the region, Irving said, “there isn’t a specific dollar amount.”
“But I can say that we’ll continue to grow GoDaddy’s business in Asia, including employees, customer support, products and technology infrastructure,” he added. “Asia is a long-term commitment for GoDaddy, and we’ll be investing accordingly.”
Irving added that Asia Pacific represents one of the fastest growing regions in the world for the company, which can be attributed to accelerated Internet adoption across the region and small businesses realising they need to compete online if they are to be successful in the long-term.
GoDaddy has 14 million customers globally, and following the launch in new markets, is now in 10 languages and 14 markets across Asia. The full list of markets includes:
- Hong Kong (English and Traditional Chinese)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Japan (Japanese)
- Malaysia (English and Malay)
- Philippines (English and Filipino)
- Singapore (English and Simplified Chinese)
- South Korea (Korean)
- Taiwan (Traditional Chinese)
- Thailand (Thai)
- Vietnam (Vietnamese)
The marketing mix
GoDaddy’s marketing agency of record is TBWA New York, while its advertising agency of record is MEC, with its Asia headquarters based in Singapore. The brand has a history of running bawdy Super Bowl ads, but did not buy a spot during this year's big game and has reportedly turned over a new leaf in its strategy.
Irving described the company’s marketing approach as “thoughtfully tailored” to the local markets it serves and leveraging a combination of platforms and channels, such as TV, search, display and social media, to connect with small businesses—its core demographic.
“Our goal is to develop meaningful relationships with customers so that we can assist them along their small business journey,” he said. “Regardless of the stage of maturity, we aim to provide the specific help they need, at the time they need it.”
To achieve this, the company is focused on personalised, data-driven marketing, and Irving said the company lays claim to “one of the largest networks in the world dedicated to small business” which offers insights about SMB challenges, successes, goals and obstacles to growth.
“We’re harnessing these insights to develop marketing strategies that enable us to better serve customers at every stage of their lifecycle,” he added.
Asked how the company intends to stand out amongst the competition, Irving said marketing efforts would also highlight GoDaddy’s customer care.
“We differentiate ourselves by providing expert customer care from representatives who understand the challenges of small business owners,” he added. “We offer much more than technical assistance. We are problem solvers and go out of our way to help every customer we serve.”
The customer care aspect becomes increasingly crucial, given its core clientele of SMBs, are known to be cautious spenders.
“They have to be cautious spenders because they run their operations on thin margins and don’t have the luxury of large marketing or IT budgets,” Irving said.
He added that one key lesson learnt by the company over the years, is the role it plays as the “IT department” for many SMB customers, who contact customer support to ask general technical questions, inquire about what-if scenarios and discuss the pros of using new products.
Irving added that there are also certain truths among small businesses, whether it’s a restaurant in Hong Kong or a jewellery designer in London: the vast majority are looking to expose their business to more people and acquire more customers.
“We try to talk to our customers in these terms. That is, how can we help them achieve their growth goals by enabling them to build powerful online identities, that has proven successful for other similar small businesses all over the world,” he said.