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They Just Don't Get it; Words to Web by

I received an email of exasperation from a client the other day… an office administrator. We'll call her Jamie. She administers the email, web and domain accounts (hosting, webmail, dns) for a medium sized business through COOLCOM. It seems the local "IT" for her office was busy again... playing bounce the domain and "I found a number."

Jamie has been a long time happy client with COOLCOM... she loves the stability, the fact that problems get solved rather than discussed, the personal attention, the knowledge and the security... that fact that someone takes responsibility on her behalf rather than assigning blame and offering excuses when something goes "oops."

However now she had this "IT expert" advising her boss to start bouncing domain records around (to begin with). Seems he was watching TV, saw a GoDaddy ad and thought "Yah... tiny statues from basketball players... those guys know all about the net."

Wrong net...

... but that didn't seem to matter to the "IT". He was an expert in all things internet now and needed to start advising on domain registry matters.

Jamie was frustrated... wanted to keep her boss happy... but flummoxed at the prospect of now having to spend time convincing her that tipping an apple cart that was perfectly sound, was not in the company’s best interest. She didn't want to risk a positive relationship while politely telling her this IT had no sound basis for this sudden advice to fix what was working.

However, IT had a powerful smack face tool... li’l numbers. Not big numbers like "how to increase Return on Investment by 50% or how to increase page views by 25%... Nope. What the advisor was fascinated with was "This is a 5... that is a four... did you know four was smaller?"

Jamie saw through the lack of reason and substance... but now she had to accept new risk and spend time just trying to maintain what was solid... because... well... they just didn't get it.

So, this is what I told her...

Hi Jamie,

You've been with us a long time and I think I can sense when an administrator is running out of ammunition.

First, I agree with you fully... you are absolutely right... they don't get it.

They really don't know why they are on the net... they don't really know what their website should be doing... and they have little to no idea of what they should be trying to accomplish or worse yet... how to measure and tell how they are doing. There's limited reward... no measurement... minimal gratification.

Saving $10 is certainly a quick convenient way to forget about the real job ahead... to get a quick fix. GoDaddy has made millions of dollars off this strategy and will continue to do so... because they are masters of playing this need for quick gratification against the harder climb.

It's human nature to take what seems like the easy road... and some make a living off of pushing that.... a much better living than their customers.

$9.95...

GoDaddy knows that a one year loss leader lure is all it takes to make a customer forget all about next year's renewal price (well hidden), increasing traffic, search engine placement, return on investment, sales... all the things that make a business actually succeed.

They also know how to break out all the other good parts from that price and add them on later. It's just so much easier to feel better NOW about saving $10.

So we understand... GoDaddy will continue to collect customers who like magic tricks.... love to follow the shiny object... and still don't accept that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class.

(... wait for it....)

COOLCOM has a higher goal... a loftier purpose if I may say. When we get thrilled responses after a client's web traffic increase by 80%, they get to the first page search results in Google, their newsletter open rate goes up by 30% or sales double due to a well written landing page... THAT's exciting.

Some have to settle for $9.95.... because... well...

...they just don't get it.