Widgets and Gadgets at SES NY 08

I would love to be able to show you some of the widget and gadgets (wadgets?!) that were showcased in this session but I don’t have the links just yet. I’m going to do some searching and I’ll add another post with visuals if I’m successful!

The main message of the session was that organisations should be using widgets and gadgets to give people content wherever and whenever they want it. They should not be using them to drive people back to the main site, or if they are then it should be to deep relevant content.

Christian Oestlien (PM at Google) asked if anyone in the audience went to the Post Office to pick up their mail. The answer was no. The mail is delivered to your house. And that’s the way it should be with widgets and gadgets.

Overall themes included:

  • Ideas not technology should be the driver.
  • Marketing departments and not IT departments should be creating gadgets and gadget ads.
  • Promote a widget or gadget once you have created it, don’t expect it just to be picked up.

There seems to be a real drive for all companies to create widgets, but the message from the team was that a lot of these companies are not clear why they want the widget and what they want it for. A widget or gadget should be part of a strategic marketing plan – you need to be very clear what you are hoping to achieve by creating it. (Direct response or branding, not both).

Examples of widgets or gadgets:

  • Nissan – a widget that uses Google maps and includes a search box. A user types in their post code and it shows current traffic holdups in that area and enables drag and drop functionality. There is also the option for a user to view the Nissan dashboard in the same drag and drop way.
  • National Geographic photo of the day widget.
  • Kraft – recipe sharing widget that pulls in data from the Kraft site.
  • A job search widget that enables users to conduct a search within the widget, sign up for job alerts and view related blog posts.
  • A review widget that allows a user to write a review directly into the widget and submit it to the review site. (Can be put alongside poor reviews to dilute negative messages).

Gadget Ad Checklist

  • Keep ads under 40k
  • Animations should be under 15 seconds
  • No downloads within ad
  • Keep outgoing links underlined
  • No audio on-load
  • Conform to IAB standards
  • Do not mislead users with content

External related link: Widgets are the new ad kid on the block

Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch

James Welch, Head of Research and Development, GetUpdated
Christian Oestlien, Product Manager, Google AdSense
Jeff Williams, Associate Director, Creative, DIGITAS
Marc Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer, Hitwise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *