I admit it. I love widget advertising. It adds a social media element to rich media, and on a larger scale, it helps social media become better entrenched in the consumer’s online journey, versus existing only at destination points. With each jump in ad format quality, richness and interconnectedness to other systems are enhancing the consumer experience by making it more relevant, while in lock-step also improving marketing effectiveness.
I reported last September that Google Gadget Ads added the additional dimension of rich media and interoperability to a well distributed existing ad sense network. Following that, in October I reported that EyeWonder had launched a social media / embeddable rich media unit, and the trend will continue with all other rich media platforms and even large publishers and agency holding companies following suit. AOL’s Platform A just made their foray into the mix by acquiring Goowy Media last week – soon widget ads will be everywhere. Consumers will one day soon become accustomed to accessing and embedding information from their favorite brands through their online marketing.
“Reach out and touch someone? Screw that – reach out and embed someone!” (quote – Jason Heller 2008)
It’s a formidable battle ground in the widigetizing, sharing, bookmarking, tagging or otherwise socially integrating everything into everything else game. Incorporating social media attributes into rich media opens up a new dimension that taps into the social fabric of the changing web itself – the same social fabric responsible for the spurts of exponential and organic growth of some of today’s social media darlings like YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, Digg, or Flickr, as examples. Marketers will learn how to distribute marketing assets of various formats, thus increasing consumer (market) engagement, extending the life of marketing campaigns, and leveraging brand advocates and ambassadors in new ways and more extensively than ever before.
Question for my fellow media geeks out there – did technology drive consumer adoption, or did adoption drive technology? Or – did technology first drive consumer adoption, which drove more technology, which in turn drove more adoption, and so on? Do the iterations of each shift happen at an increasing pace? Are technological progress and consumer adoption becoming one? Then why do my laptop and mobile device keep crashing all the time? (Ok I took that one too far …. does chicken or egg really matter anyway?)
It’s a lot of fun to be a marketer and a consumer these days!
DIGITAL BLUR WIDGET AND FACEBOOK APPLICATION
In the spirit of having fun marketing, I have just launched a widget and Facebook application for The Digital Blur . It’s actually a Blidget – part blog part
midget, err – widget. You can grab it here for any social media site or blog. Enjoy!