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BizReport : Research archives : August 14, 2008

Why marketers shouldn't ignore the widget craze

Once thought of as a cool way to share online content with friends, the widget is quickly coming into its own and advertisers are taking note. However, advertiser adoption is still behind the adoption rate of consumers, which makes widgets even more important for marketers. Because so many consumers are using widgets, it makes sense to place ads or sponsor content in widgets.

by Kristina Knight

According to a recent Forrester Research report, widgets are currently being used by about one-third of young people in the US. Although this number is small, it is still interesting when joined with other factors. Researchers also found that adults using widgets are more likely to have high household income levels. This makes widgets a draw for two segments: youth and wealthy adults, two demographic segments which are key to advertisers.

Because widgets are created from content specifically chosen by the users, consumers look at them differently that RSS feeds or forwarded content. Especially with the younger generation, consumers want to know what their peers find interesting and like to share their opinions on different subjects. The same is true, if to a different extent, with adults. Adults also are more likely to turn to friends for product information and advice.

Placing an ad in a widget - with content chosen by an influential peer - could increase the favorability of that brand for a consumer. The consumer might see the ad as an endorsement of sorts from the owner of the widget.

Tags: forrester research, social marketing, widget advertising, widgets

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