Move off the Web and Onto the Desktop – Part 1

These days people are so obsessed with adding Web 2.0 elements to their website, and rightly so, that they forget about developing a well-rounded interactive marketing strategy.  Since I’m just as guilty of that as the next person, I thought I’d talk today about some lesser explore interactive options.  I’m actually hoping we can stop talking “Web 2.0” soon and just get back to talking about interactive — since that’s what Web 2.0 really is.  It’s really about making the Web truly inter-active and not just a one-way messaging service.

So let’s explore an incredibly simple thing that can increase your visitors and customers interactive with your brand: Desktop & Mobile Wallpaper.

Desktop wallpaper has been around since the beginning of the PC revolution.  Microsoft took early advantage of this with branded desktops, but as users became more sophisticated and personalization became key — they branched out in search of more appealing options.  With the advent of graphic interface mobile phones, mobile wallpaper has expanded the opportunities for this simple marketing technique.

There are many websites simply dedicated to providing fantastic desktop and mobile wallpaper, so creating wallpapers that draw attention and providing a way for visitors to comment on the wallpapers and rank them is vital.  Brands both big and small are already taking advantage of this valuable marketing opportunity.  In some cases, the wallpaper provides the opportunity for a company to directly showcase its services, such as Veer, a stock image house.  Veer’s desktop wallpapers provide a fun window into the depth of their catalog.  It’s clearly aimed at the designers who make use of Veer’s services, but anyone can download their wallpapers, which increases their overall name recognition as a creative resource.  Veer does require visitors to create an account to download wallpaper, but again — it’s really aimed at people who probably already have an account.

It’s easy to see how a designer resource like Veer might make use of desktop wallpapers, but how about a convention visitors bureau (CVB), hotel, resort or restaurant?  Desktop wallpapers provide the opportunity to have potential customers dive into your hotel and dream about visiting it on a daily basis.  Tourism and hospitality companies have a unique opportunity attract visitors to their websites with unique features like desktop and mobile wallpaper.   Just imagine having gorgeous photograph of your resort on someone’s desktop every day to serve as a reminder to them and everyone who walks by.  You can even take it a step further, like Westin did, and create a lush experiential screensaver to promote your resorts.

Desktop wallpaper can be as simple as gorgeous photograph with a small logo in the corner, or a custom illustration that displays the style and tone of your company.  Imagine a monthly desktop wallpaper for a restaurant that includes a recipe that you promote through your in-house newsletter?  And don’t forget the mobile set.  While the market for customized mobile wallpapers may be young, it’s probably not as young as you think — and it’s growing every day.  Mobile wallpapers are a great way to begin experimenting with mobile marketing, and you can even be as clever as Emeril and include iPods in your mobile strategy.  Hmmm…10,000 mobile recipes right on my iPod.  Nice.

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