The Service and Marketing Edge: Customization is Key

I’ve been watching the trends online lately, the sites that are, conceptually, “hot” and those that are getting hotter, and why.

It’s pretty easy to discern — people want to make the digital world their own. If they can customize their own experience online and off with the newest technology gizmos and gadgets, they are happy. My own Treo habit is an example, but it’s only ONE example.

Websites like Flickr and Wikipedia, for example. PalmGear, Audible and Amazon — with their user/buyer ratings and “my lists” options. It’s becoming a closer-knit online world where we can all be heard, solo or in choir. Blogs have overrun the idea of an “expert” opinion being the one that the masses trust on products, services and even daily news.

And even bloggers are getting more demanding about the layout and functionality of their wired canvas or digital sheaf. The GeekLog system that I use for my own websites, gives me fantastic control over my online business and hobby environments and those who write the plugins and the extras do so because the find a need and decide to fill it. It’s a reactive environment — and often a proactive one.

Think about the importance of customization to you on your own laptop or desktop system.

Whenever I get a new computer, the first thing I do (after loading up the essential programs) is make it my own — with my “Wicked Theme” wallpaper and logo with flashes of lightening and stars. (It’s an older version of the current logo, but looks cool on my desktop). I make sure that the custom icons that I use for my desktop are loaded up along with the folder of complete custom “wicked computer” stuff that I backup whenever I back up my computer.

Ditto (and moreso) for my Treo. The stuff that I use every day, the things I depend on — they need to not look like everyone else’s.

They do, however need to be technically flexible and offer plugins, custom scripts, my own “flavor” of graphics and visuals.

Online, I’m getting just as picky about how things are presented by others. I no longer believe the advertisements. I want the full product descriptions — I mean TELL ME EVERYTHING — when I’m buying online for download or shipping and then give me 25-100 other people who have purchased it telling me what they thought of it — the honest “good, bad and ugly” review. I want instant information.

Then I’ll know if it’s worth my hard earned cash — or my limited time.

So, as we look at the future-scape, the issues that we face today are quickly morphing into something that we never even imagined yesterday and won’t be willing to live without tomorrow.

If you are building a new website, launching a new business, a new product or even offering a new service or entertainment experience — this is an important tidbit on the fickle public — and how to better serve them.