GoDaddy Tells Small Business Truths

Running a small business -- even a very small business of one or two employees -- is difficult work, with long hours, self-doubt and nearly daily concerns. Web-hosting and technology provider GoDaddy looks to tell the real truth about the world of small business in a new marketing campaign. 

The campaign humorously shows the unadulterated picture from a small business owners point of view. In one television commercial, a woman sets up her accounting business using GoDaddy’s domain and Web site services. After crediting those elements with helping her business take off, the woman proceeds to tell everyone who didn’t believe in her — including her husband, friends, neighbors and dead relatives — to “Stick It.” In another commercial, a woman (and the relatives in her store) celebrate when she has the first customer “that isn’t related to me.”



“What we noticed is there is a lot of soft, ‘Hallmark-y’ moments in [competitors’] commercials, where the small-business owner gets successful with the company that worked with them,” Barb Rechterman, GoDaddy’s chief marketing officer, tells Marketing Daily. “Running your own company is hard. We wanted to embrace the honesty of their days of wearing many hats and long hours.”

While the effort (from New York agency Barton F. Graf 9000) depicts the situations of so-called “very small businesses” (those with fewer than five employees), its strategy is intended to appeal to everyone who has ever been in startup mode and knows the difficulty of building a business, Rechterman says.

The television campaign will begin airing during Monday Night Football on Sept. 15, and will run on network programming (such as "Shark Tank"), as well as on many cable networks, Rechterman says. A supporting online and social campaign will continue the theme of small business support, with digital ads contextualized to the content that a consumer might be viewing at a given time (an ad featuring a plumber while viewing plumbing sites, for instance). 

The company is also adjusting its design and language to express more of the “brutal truths” of running a very small business, such as an e-mail effort that might read, “You have 1,000 things to do today. We can help you with three of them.”

GoDaddy has previously been known for its attention-grabbing, suggestive ads on television, which helped the brand achieve a high-name recognition among Web-hosting services. Over the past year, the company has been adjusting its strategy to be more tactical, Rechterman says. 

“We need to focus on what it is we do, and the customers we do it for,” she says.

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