Friday, May 30, 2008

Have You Been Pingged?

I’ve been evited, but I’ve never been pingged. Presumably the name of this new site is a play on the technical term ping—clever!

Pingg came to my attention as the result of a story from DM News’ Sara Holoubek. It’s a good story that has an important marketing point. I was initially intrigued by the complete “party management” service she described, so I looked at the two sites and found a lot going on.

Evite has been around for awhile and according to the site has 18 million registered users. Evite has recently added the ability to send and receive invitations from your cell phone (assuming that you want to. . .). It also has a photo page to which you can upload pics of your parties, so they are clearly adding social networking apps.

Pingg is new, having been launched in March of this year. It is obviously designed with social networking in mind. It’s surroundSend functionality lets you get your invitation to the recipient, wherever he or she may be. The event management function provides all the basics and some cool Internet apps. The gift and charity registry allows you to embed your Amazon Wish List or to ask your guests to contribute to a charity instead. If you’re selling tickets to your event like Sara was, invitees can purchase their tickets with PayPal. If you are doing this for a worthy cause, you can show the fund-raising target on your personalized event page. Not only cool, but useful!

Back to Sara’s point. If your goal is to draw an audience, just putting something out there, even to your handpicked guest list may not be enough. “Searches and online transactions all originate within the physical world.” Right! And with all the clutter in both physical and cyber worlds, it usually takes more than one communications channel to get your marketing message to its target audience!

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