3 common obstacles between brands and data maturity – and how GoDaddy came out on top

Popular website hosting company GoDaddy is on a tech and data transformation journey to broaden access, move faster, and enable the business. 

The GoDaddy team is particularly focused on an area common to enterprise brands: empowering stakeholders to create more value with their data. That value can take many forms – from building marketing audiences, to better understanding customer demographics, to creating unique data insights.

Tim Roush, Senior Technical Product Manager at GoDaddy, sat down with MessageGears’ VP of Marketing Will Devlin, to explain what they’ve done and the impact to his team and the business. 

“Now we’re really experiencing what I would call a data renaissance,” Tim said as he told the story about GoDaddy’s journey. 

As GoDaddy teams are now able to create cohesive campaign audiences in minutes, they’ve enabled a more rapid time-to-market and empowered team members with code-free solutions, plus they’re executing more experimentation than ever before. 

Chatting with Will, Tim broke down the journey of data transformation into the three major obstacles. He shared how they’ve approached those obstacles and come out the other side with a team that’s more empowered to use the valuable customer data they’ve invested in. 

Obstacle 1: Data access 

It’s not uncommon for brands to have data spread all over the place. This is often a result of different data origin systems, or what GoDaddy refers to as “producers,” creating unique authoritative data sets across the ecosystem.

Getting all that data into one place is quite a journey on its own, but the process is even more difficult when marketing teams don’t have direct access to query the database themselves. Managing individual permissions for anywhere from a dozen to several hundred marketing users can be a headache that most data teams just don’t have the bandwidth to manage. 

“[Now] we can give users a tool instead of managing individual database access,” Tim explained. “We can give them a tool that sits right next to our database, and now they can start exploring the data and understanding it without that barrier.”

For GoDaddy, the idea of direct data access with MessageGears was especially attractive because it eliminated the need for replication. As data moves from origination to consumption, where it’s used by the team to interact with customers, Tim explained that it forms a data supply chain.

“The longer that supply chain is – the more hops, the more replications, the more transformations – each point of touch represents a potential point of loss, or failure, or error,” Tim explained. “The more you can reduce that data supply chain, the more likely you are to have really high-quality data for your partners to work with.”

Obstacle 2: Understanding your data

Once marketers can access the data, they need to be able to understand it and know how to use it.

Many brands rely on team members with the ability to write SQL queries, as that’s often the only way they can access and interact with customer data. For these brands, the ability to understand and benefit from the data hinges on your SQL skills. 

At GoDaddy, Tim said the team is working on creating a system where marketers don’t need to know how to write SQL queries to access and utilize the data effectively. 

A few folks on the team are proficient in SQL and can help build base audiences, which are different shaped funnels made up of GoDaddy customers. Then marketers with no SQL knowledge can narrow those funnels to find their target audience for specific campaigns. 

“We can actually give people the ability to break down and understand the data without writing SQL, and that is such a major advantage,” Tim said, explaining that this new access has everyone diving into the data, trying to understand it better, and asking questions. 

As an organization, GoDaddy is working on creating clear definitions for terms like “lifetime value” that everyone can agree on. In the past, if a marketer wanted to send an email to a specific audience, they’d have to submit a request to the business analyst (BA) team to analyze the data and then to the email operations team to actually send the email. Often, there were discrepancies between what the BA team analyzed and what the email team had to work with, causing delays and confusion.

Using MessageGears, GoDaddy’s teams can now quickly and confidently define target audiences using standardized metrics like lifetime value. Marketers can do this on their own without waiting for multiple teams to process a request, saving weeks of time. 

They can also analyze the audience using tools like Tableau to understand customer behaviors. Then, they can seamlessly hand off this audience to the email operations team, ensuring consistency and eliminating the gap between analysis and action. This streamlined process is faster, more consistent, and allows GoDaddy’s teams to speak the same language across departments when it comes to data. 

Overall, it empowers them to use data more effectively and consistently across the board.

Obstacle 3: Data portability

Now that GoDaddy’s teams have better access to their customer data and they know what to do with it, the company is able to use it in more advanced analytics systems, including some native integrations offered by MessageGears.

This empowers the team to send data directly where they need it without having to build custom pipelines. For instance, instead of building a data pipeline to connect with an ad platform, the team can simply set up external campaigns via the many activations that MessageGears offers and the SFTP/API delivery will handle the rest. 

This efficiency allows marketers to focus more on engaging with customers rather than dealing with technical complexities. Teams can control frequency, schedule, data/attributes to be included, and more.

As for other advantages beyond marketing, having a connected data warehouse is proving invaluable for GoDaddy across the business. It’s not just about speeding up campaign efforts; it’s also about understanding customers better. Previously, marketers had to rely on the BA team to gather data sets. Now, other teams across the company, even those not directly involved in marketing, can safely and securely access tools like MessageGears to understand customer demographics and behaviors. 

This holistic view enables teams to communicate more effectively with customers, regardless of their specific role within the company. Overall, it’s providing GoDaddy with better insights into customers and how to engage with them.

Embarking on your own data transformation

It shouldn’t feel like you have to jump through endless hoops and battle against your martech to achieve sophisticated segmentation. 

If you’re looking to turn data insights into smarter marketing decisions at your brand, MessageGears can help.

We’d love to show you how a direct connection to your data can help your team deliver compelling customer experiences at a massive scale, faster and more flexibly than ever before.


About the Author

Elsbeth Russell

Elsbeth has nearly two decades of experience helping brands attract and engage audiences through content. For the past six years, she’s been dedicated to helping B2B companies in the email marketing space connect with audiences through community building and social media marketing.