Does Thinking About Widgets Make You Fidget?

My first experience with the word “widget” was in high school economics class:

Company A has developed a new widget and wants to begin selling their new product. As they begin developing a marketing plan for this new widget, Company A should consider the 4 P’s of marketing to ensure they are properly marketing their new product.

Oh, it’s been awhile since I listened to a lecture about the 4 P’s and I’m not saying how long. And while the 4 P’s are the basis to initiating a new marketing campaign, new outlets have been introduced and the complexity to which companies can participate has increased.

Widgets are no longer a catch-all term for advertising and marketing examples. Widgets are now a powerful tool to brand and market your company and organizations are becoming more interested in how this type of initiative can work for them.

Can a widget work for you?

One of the most important considerations when deciding if a widget (also known as a web application or web app) is right for your marketing campaign is a simple one: will it help you achieve overall business goals?

A widget is just like any other initiative – you need to determine if it fits into your overall marketing mix. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Identify what the goal of the widget is and what you hope to achieve by including it.
  • Determine how it will help your users/audience interact with your brand.
  • Identify the message you intend it to deliver.

Of course, we all learn a little as we go, but it’s important to approach it as you would any type of marketing campaign.

Depending on the type of organization you’re marketing for, choosing the type of widget is important as well. Will your widget work on the user’s desktop to help them with some type of daily task? Will your widget work within a social network and be shared amongst various social networking sites? Choosing the best type of widget, or the best widget function for your target audience is also an important choice to make early in the strategy development process.

For example, if your company sells printed t-shirts online and allows users to download and share design ideas, an audience appropriate widget may allow users to view the “design of the day”, or photos of prints entered into a t-shirt design contest. Or, if your primary audience is IT/Systems Administration professionals, a helpful utility widget may provide consistent security updates for their IPS.

Really, there’s no end to the possibilities for cool and practical widgets. It’s just most important that you create something your users will interact with and find fun or useful.

Measuring your widget’s ROI

Finally, depending on how you promote your widget, it’s important to accurately track the activity your widget receives. Activity may refer to a variety of items from initial downloads, to sharing frequency, to how often the widget was updated, etc.

By tracking your widget, you will be able to make decisions about the look/design of your widget icon, make changes to the media campaign to better promote your widget, change the wording of the widget’s description to better speak to audiences, etc. Analytics are important for your other online marketing campaigns (off-line too, of course); widgets are no different.

As always, for all of your online marketing questions, you can always contact Oneupweb. We’re ready to strategize.