Thursday, March 26, 2009

Widgetbox Update

On Jan 22nd, Widgetbox launched its first subscription service, Blidget Pro.

Since launch, CBS, eBay/Kijji, the Golden State Warriors, LA Lakers, the Michigan Times, Lockheed Martin, Steve Spangler Science, and hundreds of other content providers and marketers have become Widgetbox customers.

While the widgets are all unique, some important commonalities exist. Content providers, e-commerce companies, and brands all recognize that widgets represent a powerful medium for reaching new users, driving traffic, syndicating content, and improving natural search performance. While the recognized need is universal, the implementation details continue to be a major friction limiting adoption.

Prior to the Blidget Pro, a widget strategy required material expesnive custom development, one-off anlytics and tracking, custom creative, questions regarding distribution, and a host of complications that frustrated the ability to levearge the opportunity.

The Blidget Pro is based on several important concepts that help explain its success:
  1. configuration vs customization - no coding required
  2. leverages existing content - syndicates existing video, image, post, and twitter content
  3. custom branding and linkouts - maintains brand promise and drive traffic
  4. leverages Widgetbox's platform - syndication, installation, and analytics included
Importantly, Blidget Pro is another example of a freemium model in action. Every month, thousands of content owners use Widgetbox's free servcies to widgetize and distribute their content. By providing value-added features to paying subscribers, Widgetbox is building important customer relationships with companies looking for a set of premium features that help them better meet their widget goals.

Another important element of our strategy is self-service. In a challenged economy and in an emerging technology category, it is vital that prospects are able to self-discover, self-qualify, self-provision, and self-deploy. All day long, customers discover Widgetbox, purchase a subscription, and deploy their widget without ever talking to one of our employees. As with all new markets, expensive technology that requires a push-based selling model will limit adoption.

All of us at Widgetbox are excited by the uptake in customers and in the success of the self-serve model. We are busy working on even better features and premium offerings and will keep our focus on simple, self-service tools that differentiate based on ease of use, ease of adoption, and rapid time-to-value.