Categorized | Widget Advertising

Promotions: Marketing and Sales 8.10. Widget Advertising

Widgets are desktop, browser, or software interface displays that dynamically serve news, information, media, and advertising. Widgets evolved from desktop software that served some function (like play mp3 files) and was available for free, but the user had to endure advertising every time the software was used! When users ran the free software, ads would appear on a preloading screen, directly on the software interface, or pop-up after the user quit the program.

Today, however, you find widgets all over the place: on the desktop, embedded in Web pages, even TV! Also called “flakes,” “modules,” “gadgets,” “badges,” and all number of other geeky freaky names, Web and desktop widgets allow users to separate the content from a Web site and implant it all over creation, including personalized portal home pages, blogs, or MySpace or Facebook pages. Many advertisers believe that Web and desktop widgets are the wave of the future, so you should start considering widgets in your advertising scheme of things.

A desktop widget, The Weather Channel’s Desktop Max. All the content on the widget is dynamically served including the ad which displays in a standard banner-sized display area near the bottom.

The Cognicity SpinScape music player (2001). The player loads in the center of the user’s desktop, but the application also opens two ad widgets at the bottom of the desktop. Ads are served based on user profiles garnered by their use of the player and by spyware installed on the user’s computer.

Some widgets are downloadable software programs, but all widgets are programs. This enables less reputable widget distributors to include two other program types: spyware, which gathers information about the computer user’s habits, and Trojan horses, which typically take over some function of the computer. The spyware monitors users’ Web browsing, media playing, and e-commerce activities while the Trojan horse pushes Web sites at them. Because the spyware collects important data about the user and the types of pages they visit, it allows widget services to target users with incredible precision. With the right product delivered to the right market, widget advertising can be phenomenally successful because of its precise targeting.

Widget advertising does have serious limitations. Some widgets, like Desktop Max, are branded by two very trustworthy brands, The Weather Channel and Real. You will find Desktop Max even on computers crouching behind some pretty impenetrable corporate firewalls. Most widgets, however, are untrustworthy and so find their way into the hands of a very limited number of consumers.

As more and more content is delivered through widgets, gadgets, and flakes as opposed to Web pages, the more central widget advertising will become to businesses across the entire spectrum.

8.10.1. Intelligent Web Marketing

Intelligent Web Marketing distributes a large variety of free applications―almost all of which are media players of some stripe or another. These applications are used by over 60 million people worldwide. Rather than deliver ads as banners or other format, the technology uses exits. When the user closes the software interface, your entire Web site is loaded. In this sense, the technology does not deliver impressions but actual site visits―however, the quality of those visits can be pretty low. Your site, after all, is being “forced” on the user. To determine if you’re getting quality visits, you have to measure the conversions these site visits are generating.

Intelligent Web Marketing does guarantee that your page will not load on the same user’s computer more than once every seven days, so you can be sure that all the traffic within a seven day period are unique visitors.

Since there are no ads, just full Web page loads, you pay per “visitor.” In reality, you’re paying for each full-page load of your site. The “visitor” may close the browser window without so much as a how-d’you-do. As of the publication date of this book, 30,000 “visitors” will cost you $89 and 200,000 “visitors” will cost you $379.

If you have the right product and are targeting a tight demographic that is likely to use this software, your advertising can produce incredible results. Since both widget and exit advertising require a very careful fit with your product or service, you should do your homework first.

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