What Go Daddy’s Outage Taught Me About Marketing
September 13, 2012 1 Comment
If your website was down on Tuesday you probably have heard why. GoDaddy, the internet’s largest domain registrar, was down for 6 hours.
Did a Hacker take down Go Daddy?
For much of the day the world speculated on whether it was the hacktivist collective Anonymous or some other hacking community that was responsible for the attack. Now, GoDaddy’s CEO Scott Wagner has denied that the outage was due a hacker, saying instead it was due to internal failures. This despite the Twitter post from the leader of Anonymous claiming to have broken into a Go Daddy database. These claims are not verified. After admitting to their own server issues, Go Daddy has issued one month credit to customers for the outage in an attempt to make up for the down time.
Full disclosure: I host my sites and domains with Go Daddy. None of my sites experienced an outage and I did not receive the email regarding the credit.
Go Daddy Marketing
I’ve written before in blog posts about my disdain for Go Daddy’s marketing and corporate image. I don’t like their advertising, their use of scantily clothed women or the actions and attitude of their CEO. Forbes questions their image here in a CSR article on gender and ethics. Their corporate image smacks of an “I don’t care what people think” attitude. Until this week, I wonder if Scott Wagner thought they were too big to fail. Yet they did. And yet, I’m still a customer. Why?
Every time I’ve called Go Daddy they’ve been respectful, helpful and gone above and beyond my expectations. They’ve helped me troubleshoot problems that have nothing to do with their own products, including third party applications that they aren’t, technically, responsible for providing any service whatsoever. And yet, they have. Every time I’ve reached out to them via Twitter I’ve received a timely, and entertaining response. Their customer service is why I’m still a customer.
Here’s the lesson I take away. Customer service trumps marketing
Yes you should try to create a brand image that reflects your business values. Yes you should keep your audience in mind, create content that they’ll share and enjoy and align your brand and voice with your product and mission. Yes you should entertain (edutain) your audience. But if you don’t have a product that fills a need and if you can’t back up that product with excellent customer service, it won’t matter how clever your branding or how entertaining your Facebook posts. People will go elsewhere.
It’s still undetermined how much business GoDaddy will lose because of the outage. The larger question is how many will stay despite the outage (and despite their ridiculous and arrogant marketing) because of their customer service.
Time will tell.
What decisions have you made because of the outage? Was your site affected? Let me know here in the comments.