GoDaddy.com CEO Bob Parsons is no stranger to controversy, but one thing’s for sure: he’s not afraid of your feedback.
On his Hot Points blog, Parsons has anchored himself in a stream of apple-polishing praise, tepid commentary, thoughtful suggestions, and downright nasty personal attacks–all because of GoDaddy’s Super Bowl ads.
Recently, he blogged about their all “GoDaddy Girl” page. After one particularly scathing comment, Parsons countered with genuine diplomacy, thanked the guy for his input, and asked a follow-up question. Rather than answering Bob, the lambaste got even more personal (and stupid). What did Bob do? He responded in the armchair critic’s own language. Well tended, sir.
Why’s this remarkable? Because Bob finds value where others might find only noise. He cares.
Last week, GrokDotCom critiqued GoDaddy’s Super Bowl ad. Although it wasn’t an attack, it was personal – as was the comment I left on his blog. Hot Points is moderated, but Bob kept my contentious post. He thought about it.
Here’s what Parsons has me pondering:
“Everybody wants to work in marketing.” That’s what the spokesman said after he closed the door to our fictional, out-of-control marketing department. It was a double entendre. In one sense he meant that the marketing department certainly is a fun place to work. But in another sense, he was talking to all those self-appointed “marketing experts” who year-after-year go out of their way to tell Go Daddy how to sell its products.
That’s reassuring. I hoped it was a double meaning for exactly that reason. But now it turns out I’m their target twice over: male, self-appointed marketing expert.
Bob knows I hate the commercial, even if I do love-to-hate it. But what works is what matters, and this is the second time I’ve blogged it in a week. See how transparency can disarm critics and yield profitable insights? Bob does.
With all the talk of ‘radical transparency,’ it’s good to see at least one CEO who isn’t afraid of it. (Nor does he fear bison, apparently.)