Gidget goes ... on the desktop Get close to customers with a desktop widget

Posted by tom klein May 25, 2007 at 2:30 am

The web isn’t just a place for your site. It carries information that can change the way people think about your brand.

A widget is a small desktop application that’s fed with information from the web. The VW Rabbit Widget displays free events in the major U.S. city of your choice. VW speaks to its targeted consumer on many levels when they implore you to “download and stay up to date on what’s cool and affordable in your city.”

Are you using the readily available information on the web to keep your customers engaged and interested in you?

The idea of a desktop application that is "fed" with information on the web has many names. Google calls them Gadgets, Microsoft calls them Gadgets, Apple and Yahoo! call them widgets. These applications are fed with information using RSS as we described in Bring it On. In most cases, they can be developed for a minor investment.

Widgets provide access to immediately relevant information. Even if you're not in the information business, you can always integrate valuable, relevant information with your brand (sports scores with beer, pollen count with allergy medicine). Think about what might appeal to your target while also syncing with your brands value proposition.

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Bring it on Develop an RSS feed to keep customers up to date

Posted by tom klein May 16, 2007 at 2:30 am

Your customers are just too busy to come to your site to see what’s new, and, gulp, they don’t usually want to receive too many emails. Does this mean it’s time to give up and stick with a never- changing brochure for a website? No.

You can let your customers subscribe to whatever is new on your site – new promotions or new services or even the arrival of new products- using the power of syndication. American Express lets its cardholders subscribe by RSS to get account updates, travel offers, and even invitations to special Gold Card events.

Syndication lets you keep your customers’ mailboxes clutter-free, but creates a link of communication that they can control and access whenever they need. Why not try it out, by choosing a feed reader in Resources below and then signing up for the feed growth! RSS feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's really just a file format that makes it easy to send information from one place on the web to another. Before your customers get started with subscriptions, they will need to choose and set up a Feed Reader. Once they're set up, they can subscribe wherever they see this RSS symbol:

Think of RSS subscriptions as another indicator or metric of how engaged your users or prospects are. You can track subscriptions to your feed just as easily as you track email subscriptions. Focus on driving customer subscriptions as a way to create a pipeline for delivering compelling product or selling information.

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