Archive for the ‘Widgets’ Category

Widget – Make sure there is good content

February 25, 2008

I have been interested in widgets and how marketers will use them in the future. After seeing this Kimberly Clark widget, I am a little concerned that marketers don’t know what to do with them so that they are maximized. Just putting some random things in a widget and hoping for adoption rate is not enough. It is most likely that brand ambassadors will be the only ones who adopt the widget and post it on their personal pages, not the average Joe. Therefore, there must be a payoff for them and their network that visits their page.

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Widgets great for communication, not just fun and ease

January 30, 2008

Widgets have been getting a lot of pub lately. There are those that love them, and those that think they are just another fad like some early naysayers said about search. The more and more times reports come out and list another way a company or individual has used a widget to solve a problem keeps adding to the credibility of their existence. As a “marketing society” we should probably do a better job of answering the question, “what exactly is a widget?”, but overall it appears as if we are accepting them.

A recent report from Marketing Sherpa reported that Royal Caribbean created a branded widget and began sending out to travel agents. This was to reduce the amount of email and faxes they had to send to all of these individuals when promotions changed, boats were full, etc. The widget created a single contact point between Royal Carribbean and their agents. Royal Caribbean can update the content in one central place and the data is then sent out to all the agents through the widget (and I thought email contact lists were convenient).

The number of users and engagement are encouraging for Royal Caribbean. The report lists that over 7,000 agents use the widget an average of over 4 times a day. I don’t know what other cruise brands are doing, but that is some significant engagement by the agent. My guess is that if it’s easy for them to get the latest deals and promotions, that is what the push the most, thus a win-win.

I am sure there are several other ways that widgets will be used to solve business solutions, and the early adopters will have the most to win. Imagine widgets in MLM companies, distributors can push the latest products, specials, and packages through a widget and remove the need for “parties”. They can take a video of themselves selling the product and push through a widget.

Imagine a software company enabling customer support through a widget. Rather than having to login to the company site, a widget can reside on the desktop and be instantly available for the end user to contact support, search forums, or see new product developments.

With all of this, I think widgets are more than just calendars and calculators on a Mac. I think widgets are here to stay and will only become better and better as we move in the digital marketing world. 

Widgets all the buzz

January 22, 2008

I have read a lot about the use of widgets and how great they are. I am glad to see them becoming socially acceptable in the marketing world. For a long time now, I have been an advocate for the use of widgets in online marketing. They may not appeal to everyone, but brand loyalists live for such cool things. Widgets have come along way, and are still not 100% defined as any conversation with someone about them will tell you, but they are on the marketing map and will stay. A recent Marketingsherpa case talked about how a non-profit increased donations by 20% through widgets. Once again, maybe not a mass marketing tactic, but loyalists adopt and spread.

Other companies such as MediaForge and Interpolls have the technology to serve ads through ad networks. Not only does this increase user engagement with the ad, it allows them to scrape and place the widget on their MySpace page, blog, Friendster page or desktop. This effectively drives down the CPM for the display campaign as the widgets live on after the campaign has been finished.

I am waiting for the first grocery store (hint hint to Kroger’s, Albertson’s, Wal-Mart) to deploy a widget campaign where I can see the weekly specials on my computer and not have to go through the damn weekly specials. My mom would even love this technology and she is not the savviest in online marketing. Not only would this allow customers to get information in their preferred medium, it cuts down on printing costs, and has that buzz word “green” effect on saving paper.