Monday, January 22, 2007

Two New Web Marketing Concepts

Going beyond search ads, pop-ups, banners, email marketing, white paper postings, podcasts, webcasts, video, even social networking, web marketing innovations -- of sorts -- continue to be developed.

One new offering is browser branding from Brand Thunder. The company offers web browser customization services that enable clients to customize the look, feel and functionality of the Firefox web browser by adding their logo, content, custom functions (such as a news ticker and custom link buttons) to the user experience.

Beyond the limitation to Firefox, one has to ask the question: do users really want a "branded" web browser? CEO Patrick Murphy is betting they will, if there is enough value-add in the form of enhanced browser functionality. Time will tell. Other than this dialog between Mr. Murphy and a few early users on StartupNation, I haven't seen much about Brand Thunder yet.


An offering with a different sort of potential is ShowMeLocal. In the words of founder Eugene Belenky, "ShowMeLocal makes it easy for business owners to put their content online with simple tools...Business owners can use ShowMeLocal to publicize coupons and promotions, put up photos, general business info, job listings, and contact information. Users of the site can also utilize blogs to keep in touch with their customers and solicit feedback directly from customers through their ShowMeLocal listing. The site also allows business owners to form networks with one another." His idea is to bring a tight-knit neighborhood feel to the Internet by allowing local merchants to easily put all of their business information, promotions, coupons, job listings online for easy consumption by customers.

The keys to success for that model will be high-quality content and effective marketing. Mr. Belenky will face tough competition from newspapers and other local media sites for those local eyeballs, not to mention Citysearch, Local.com, the inexplicably successful craigslist, and even MySpace, but if he can differentiate his offering in the minds of consumers, this concept has a shot.

*****

Terms: Web marketing innovations, Brand Thunder, Patrick Murphy, ShowMeLocal, Eugene Belenky, Citysearch, Local.com, Craigslist, MySpace

The website marketing business portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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