GoDaddy, the #1 domain registrar in the United States, needed continued growth. Tremendous opportunities existed beyond their borders in markets with high quantities of SMEs. Criterion Global developed the international expansion advertising framework, enabling GoDaddy to enter the markets that matter.
International Expansion: Launching GoDaddy, The World’s #1 Domain Registrar Globally
Advertising Strategy For GoDaddy.com's International Expansion
International Expansion Advertising:
Executing international expansion campaigns takes smart planning, expert advice, and nimble thinking. For GoDaddy, success meant introducing their domain services to casual consumers and SMEs at the same time.  This would required a media strategy that had broad appeal across customer segments.
Customers only buy domain registration and hosting services when the need arises. It’s imperative that customer prospects know about our offering before that moment. This required a concerted branding effort in the markets that were most important for GoDaddy’s expansion.
The client first engaged Criterion Global to assemble a Market Assessment to analyze their global media strategy as they sought international expansion, first in the UK and then to South Asia. After a comprehensive competitive landscape study and market analysis of their most target consumer, we began the task of building our our campaigns and programs.
Although the natural inclination for a domain registration company might have been to have a digitally centered campaign, contrary to convention, it was determined that to introduce this new product at scale would require the reach of TV.
International Expansion – United Kingdom:
Godaddy determined the United Kingdom was a perfect launching point for international expansion. The country shares a common language and has a large number of SMEs (99.2% of all businesses are SMEs).
While domain registration competitors like Ionos (formerly 1×1) existed, their marketing was lackluster. GoDaddy’s aim was a strong marketing presence before prospective customers knew they required a website. Because of the focus on brand recognition, GoDaddy’s ad efforts focused on TV and OOH. 
GoDaddy achieved strong campaign reach with buys on cable networks. They also had targeted placements with direct buys with channels like ITV and Channel 5. These cable buys were punctuated by select sports content on English Premier League matches on Sky Sports. Geo-targeting was applied, with a focus on the M4 tech Corridor to help limit campaign costs.
Criterion Global helped GoDaddy navigate the complexities of Ad Copy approval in the UK. The ad approval process is cumbersome to those who are unfamiliar. Navigating the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Codes) + Clearcast can be daunting.
Beating entrenched brands for marketshare and awareness, GoDaddy became the prominent domain registrar in the country.
Continued International Expansion – India:
After the UK, Criterion Global extended GoDaddy’s international expansion into India and its population of 1.3 billion people. A comprehensive market analysis of their target consumer in India was first assembled. Afterward, we began the task of constructing their campaigns and programs in the subcontinent.
Criterion Global’s India campaigns for GoDaddy sought an equilibrium between scale and targetability. Contrary to convention, introducing them at scale in India would again need the reach of TV. Mirroring our strategy in the UK, the campaigns in India used a strategy of Cable News and Entertainment Programming. We tapped large networks like Zee and STAR to achieve this. Additional support with ads on select sports content was also required. Cricket sponsorships with India Premier League and National Teams were perfect. Ads ran adjacent to both T20 and ODI matches throughout the country. Select spots placements generated viewership equal to 4 American NFL Superbowls. The launch was a runaway success:
By 2021, GoDaddy had over 1 Million customers in India and 85% brand awareness.
Offline to Online Measurement:
Measuring multinational campaigns across domestic and international efforts required a common data standard. In both the UK and India, international TV metrics (TVRs) required conversion to a common GRP (Gross Rating Point) basis . This universal accounting standard was a mandatory to our analytics team, firstly for consistent fulfillment practices. Secondly, it was needed to establish consistent offline to online measurement terms.
Ultimately, the campaigns’ impact was measurable through site traffic + conversion rates across markets and currencies.
International Expansion Advertising: The Payoff Longterm
GoDaddy’s international expansion attracted the attention of private equity firms. This included storied firm Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts (KKR) who later acquired the company.
KKR took GoDaddy public on the New York Stock Exchange. Many Wall Street analysts point to their international expansion as the primary force driving their growth.
GoDaddy’s share price has increased more than 3X in value since going public, and as the company matures in established markets, international expansion continues to fuel the company’s growth.