Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fast Pitch! & Go Daddy Have Something In Common?

It's not what you think. As much as we would like to announce that we're planning to run a controversial $2 million ad during the Super Bowl, we're not. Instead, we're taking a page out of what I feel has been Go Daddy's most effective marketing tactic to date.

Welcoming Everyone
With a Personal Phone Call

In case you haven't noticed, we've been doing this for about 4 months now. Every person who creates a profile with Fast Pitch! is greeted by our support team within 48 hours. In addition to saying, 'Thank You' for taking the time to create a profile, we do our best to answer any questions people might have about how to use the website as well as take the time to learn about their business. It's another way Fast Pitch! is differentiating ourselves from the competition... and one of our most effective things we've done as a company to date.

The idea to call all of our members came after I listened to an interview with Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons. When asked the question about how he was able to gain market share from Network Solutions his answer was pretty simple. 1) Beat them on price. 2). Talk to the customer.

Cheaper pricing usually means thinner margins per transaction. The only way for Go Daddy to compete with Network Solutions was to create brand loyalty and thereby increase the number of transactions per customer. One of the best ways to create brand loyalty is to create multiple 'touch points' with the customer. The most effective 'touch point' usually being a phone call...something Network Solutions and 99.999% of Internet companies refuse to do. Consequently, Bob Parsons' plan worked and GoDaddy is now one of the most successful Internet companies in the world valued at more than $1 billion with plans to go IPO.

Some comparisons can be drawn between the early days of Go Daddy and Fast Pitch! Much like Go Daddy in the early days, we're trying to carve out our niche in a crowded field of online social networks. Similar to how Bob Parsons probably felt, I feel we offer a far superior service to our competitors at a fraction of the cost. Needless to say, with so many similarities it makes perfect sense to take a page out of Bob's book and use one of the tactics that has made Go Daddy such a success... We needed to start calling all of our members!

To get the ball rolling, we hired two new employees (Angie and Tamara) to begin calling members past and present. I was adamant about NOT outsourcing the job to a call center even though it may have been more cost-effective. I felt doing so would go against the idea of 'business networking' which is built on the foundation of interpersonal communication. Afterall, if we're going to be in this business, we had better practice what we preach.

During the first few weeks it became apparent that the calls were having a positive impact on our business. Not only were people becoming more active on the website as a result of the advice we were giving, but we also saw a significant increase in the number of new people coming to the website and creating profiles (i.e. word-of-mouth). I had to laugh everytime I overheard a customer say, "I've never had an Internet company welcome me to their site... much less ask me how they could help me with my business. Thank You!"

Now ask yourself...

How many other social networks
welcome you to their website?

Up Next... A Fast Pitch! Super Bowl Ad. :)



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