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In the B2B market, an efficient PPC campaign needs to capture and motivate prospects throughout the decision-making and sales cycles; while always understanding that intent and CTR are not always uniquely matched with either the research or buying phase.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Widgets for B2B

What is a Widget?

Widgets are applications that can be downloaded onto users' desktops, or inserted into their personal web pages, blogs or social-network profiles.

Users can pull content from a variety of sources - eliminating their need to visit multiple websites to gather information.

Widgets can serve as highly targeted branding and direct marketing tools, even though most programs range from games and jokes to utilities such as search tools, calculators and maps. Moreover, these personalized tools are helping marketers reach an ever growing community of users who want updated information on goods and services they are interested in. But B2B is slow to take up the opportunities, of building brand awareness through indirect "sponsorship" of useful tools that their target market would be interested in having.

Traditional B2B marketing has always involved branded gifts - pens, calculators, calendars; anything to get the business name in the office and periphery of influencers or purchasers. However, online B2B marketers have not readily adopted the inherent opportunities in widgets.

Look to the Consumer Market

Companies are using adverwidgets to enhance users' daily lives. For example, the Acura RDX Traffic Widget on Yahoo! Widgets shows traffic incidents and road construction that can be customized to a users' area. I have my Google homepage set-up with a widget to give me a video feed of last night's Daily Show - not necessarily enhancing my life, but making the daily grind a little more bearable. offers widgets that turn users' websites into mini-shopping portals, providing shoppers with a more convenient way to comparison shop without having to visit multiple sites.

B2B Opportunities

Why can't widgets be used as a mutant way to linkbait, leveraging shared markets with clients to build brand awareness? Imagine an EDI news ticker on the bottom of your client's website, or something more creative: "EDI Warrior," a game built around the premise of one masked marauder working to create a fail safe world where everybody could communicate, regardless of language and position in the supply chain. (I don't think the game actually exists, but such creativity drove Livevault to hire John Cleese and build leads by 300%.)

Start looking at the brand association and building opportunities of widgets - they may not be a good fit for every company, but a little lateral thinking could make them right for your company and build you a very strong competitive advantage.

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