Currywurst Campaigning Night: Doodle in Business / Branded Doodle

Yesterday we had another Currywurst Campaigning Night at my place. As usual we spent an hour working on or learning something and then we had a relaxed night with Currywurst, beer und SIR MOUNT H. Yesterday we had a presentation given by Tilman Eberle, VP of Communications at doodle. I had asked him to explain Branded Doodle to us, something I had never understood, even though someone had set it up for me once.

Here a few details of his presentation:

  • They had  made a poll and found out that some people need 5 hours a week just to find dates for meetings. These people would definitely welcome a solution making it easier to arrange meetings.
  • But the original idea had come from Michael Naef, who was looking for an easier way to arrange dinners for several people, found nothing and decided to develop his own solution
  • He found a partner in Paul E. Sevinç and together they and toghether they founded the company
  • By then doodle had already begun to spread like a virus
  • Each invitation brings 5 new users
  • doodle offers time zones support,  hidden polls, reservations, an iPhone App, addressbook support and calendar integration.
  • When integrating my calendar I can start and answer meeting invitations directly in a calendar view. I can also share availabilities with selected contacts via Doodle – independent what calendar they use.
  • All this works on every platform.
  • Free services are ad financed.
  • There are two Premium Products: for individuals (“Premium”) and for business (“Branded Doodle”)
  • Branded Doodle offers your own branding, efficiency and SSL-connection
  • So far most users are conultants, project managers, secretaries/assistants
  • They work in small and medium businesses, agencies, universities and government agencies.  Their main interest is security.
  • Big companies use doodle because it is so simple and it offers the feature that you can see easily when most invitees are able to attend a meeting, not only, when everybody can, which is sometimes impossible anyway.
  • They use it for internal meetings, meetings with custimers, TelCos, returning meetings, reservations, meetings with a huge number o participants
  • “I use Doodle, because every invitee knows what to do” said one person. Doodle is totally easy to set up and to use.

So far the presentation. What struck me was the SSL-option. I didn’t know that before, although I have used doodle so often in my business. That is something that makes it worth paying 240 Swiss Francs every year. Not that it makes doodle safer. It’s safe anyway. But it sends a signal to my clients that I care about data safety. And that is worth a lot. My own branding is nice to have, but SSL is a killer argument.

It was also interesting to see, that among all participants nobody had been aware of these options, although we all had used doodle already, some of us heavily. It seems like they had relied too much in people reading their blog. We discussed a few options to “improve” their communication to users and then went on to eat our Currywursts,

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