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GoDaddy’s CMO Fara Howard on why ‘repetition is reputation’

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By Kenneth Hein | Editor

February 3, 2022 | 5 min read

The Drum’s 3 Actionable Insights series asks top industry leaders to share their thoughts about the actions our readers should take immediately. Today, GoDaddy chief marketer Fara Howard shares the importance of repetition, trusting your customers with your brand story and toggling between work and life modes.

Fara Howard, CMO, GoDaddy

GoDaddy chief marketing officer Fara Howard says to ‘let your fans tell your story’

1. Repetition is reputation. Make certain that you’re clear, concise and continue to articulate what your message is to your audience. We all know that our attention spans are shorter than that of a goldfish. Thank you Ted Lasso for reminding us of that. And with that incredibly short attention span, it’s imperative that brands know what they stand for, and that they say it often and are willing to repeat it.

I find that for marketers, and particularly creatives, their job is to create (and constantly want to create) new, different things. That creates dissonance for your audience when it comes to them really understanding who you are and what matters for them. Internally, marketers become fatigued with their message before customers even hear it. Your audience will tell you once they’ve heard it because you’ll hear it echoed back to you from them as your fans. So, I’ll often say repetition is reputation. Be simple. Be clear. Say it often, over and over.

2. Trust your customers to tell their story. The hardest thing for many marketers is to have the trust to put their brand in someone else’s hands. But that’s where the real stories are. Tell your story and then trust enough to give it to someone else to tell that story. That creates a much deeper connection with your audience.

I learned that early in my career. When I worked at Vans, that’s a brand that does it so well, we literally gave our audience everything from the product to a very concise brief saying, ‘build me a story about this shoe.’ GoDaddy does the same thing every day on social media. There are stories of entrepreneurs sharing their experiences in the world using GoDaddy products. Those stories are so much more relatable than us telling the story. What we’re trying to do is help entrepreneurs bring their ideas in the world. Who better to tell that story than them?

But it takes a lot of confidence as a marketer to hand the keys to the castle to someone else to tell your story. Right? And it also takes a lot of discipline from a brand strategy standpoint, to be able to clearly articulate who you are, to whom and why you do what you do. Because you’ve got to give that context to your audience to make certain that they know who you are.

3. Toggle for focus. I used to get really frustrated at work when I would hear people talk about work-life balance. Work-life balance isn’t about really being focused on work and then really being focused on life. It’s not necessarily a teeter-totter. In the past two years work and life converged in ways we could have never expected. You have to be able to say I’m going to toggle to work right now, and make certain that your family, your friends, understand the focus that is required for you to be successful there. This also enables you to have that same conversation at work, right, which is, ‘hey, I need to go toggle to my family right now.’

The premise of toggling [is about] giving yourself the permission to shift and then be wholly present. For me that creates more wholeness. It’s been really important in the past few years during a global pandemic to be able to toggle. My family knows in Technicolor what my workday looks. They see it, hear it and appreciate it. The people that I work with know what my family like as well. Being able to bring your whole self to work and being able to seamlessly toggle back and forth between your work and life makes you a better leader, makes you more relatable and helps you actually produce better work.

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