Yes, you read that right. Affiliate Summit and Hulk Hogan. This week, a few of the members of Solar VPS are in attendance at Affiliate Summit West in fabulous Las Vegas (to follow the action check out the Solar VPS Twitter Feed). Now, originally we had plans to use this space to talk about the show, what is happening in the affiliate space and why it’s important for a Cloud hosting provider, like ourselves, to be part of the affiliate space. And then, we met Hulk Hogan.
Marketing is Truth in Lies
Hulk Hogan, the original real American, is currently signing autographs for fans and affiliates. Does everyone know who he is? Certainly. Does everyone know why the Hulk is in attendance at Affiliate Summit West? Probably not. In a recent move, we are guessing motivated by financial need, the Hulk entered into an agreement with Tech Assets, Inc. to form the shared hosting platform, Hostamania. As you would imagine, the shared hosting and website builder platform will be handled by the fellas of Tech Assets, Inc. and the marketing will be handled by Hogan. It’s a simple play: Use Hogan’s face, body, mustache and trademark “brotha!” to lure affiliates and customers to their booth. Hostamania isn’t the first company to use celebrity endorsement to their benefit. They won’t be the last.
This said, a question: does using a celebrity endorsement to bring attention to your brand attract the right type of attention or is it used to hide the core offerings of that service? Because we are a web hosting provider, the last thing we are going to do here is rehash the Hostamania platform however we will ask the question: is the Hulk good for your brand?
Now You See Me…
How a brand shows itself to the world is how the world defines that brand. The face a brand selects carries it through the public marketplace. That face, be it Cosmo, a Gator or Hulk Hogan, comes to be the public persona consumers associate with that brand. It can also be said, depending on the face and the bluster with which that face/logo is wielded, that face could be used to hide the core offerings of that brand from the public. Being that we are in Sin City, it behooves us to share the first rule of magic: misdirection. Marketing, in some cases, is no different than magic. Misdirection.
Now, when it comes to marketing web hosting solutions, everyone in this industry understands what the consumer wants: more resources at a small cost. Essentially, the customer wants the most bang for their buck. It also has to be mentioned, not all web hosting providers market their products honestly. A clear sign of this is the use of the word “unlimited”. Typically web hosting and Cloud providers use that word in front of “disk space” and/or “bandwidth”. To the consumer the word means exactly that – unlimited. Unlimited, as in unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space for just $6 per month. To the hosting company, unlimited means read the fine print. Make no mistake about it, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth or disk space within the Cloud. No web hosting provider has the capabilities to fully provide unlimited resources for a single low monthly fee because those resources cost that company money to provide. There is only so much bandwidth and disk space a hosting provider can supply for a low monthly cost until that provider has to raise the price. Unlimited, in web hosting terms, means anything but.
With this in mind, we want to use the rest of this blog to make a statement to the web hosting industry: Marketing is everything. There are a ton of web hosting brands and truth be told, most consumers can’t tell one from the other. Adding to this confusion is self imposed marketing blunders of trying to mislead consumers with words like “unlimited” and faces like Hulk Hogan. The point here being, please, from now on, market your Cloud service in a straight forward manner. There is no need for tricks. There is no need for gimmicks. There is no need for fancy language or misleading services begging for you to read the fine print.
So please, say what you mean and mean what you say. Anything else is a disservice to the web hosting marketplace, brotha!
And now, to ask Hulk if he will ever fight The Rock again.