Small firms are smart to find new ways to market to clients – but how to do it in a fresh innovative way?
One tack for a small business is to look to newer technologies like smart phones, which can make a small business look as big as its larger rivals.
The iPhone is a good place to start because of its popularity. It has also spawned cottage industries of both application creators and firms created to help others build a presence on the iPhone.
Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones around the world in the third quarter, which pales in comparison to Nokia's 16.4 million, says a Gartner research report. But it makes more money from the iPhone than Nokia does from its handsets worldwide. Profits from the iPhone were $1.6 billion in the quarter while similar sales at Nokia were $1.1 billion, and Apple shows no sign of slowing.
So, how do you get a piece of Apple’s pie?
Look to companies like Sweb Apps, a small, eight-employee startup that’s been growing like gangbusters thanks to the popularity of its simple templates for non-techy folk to create their own iPhone app.Magaly Chocano, CEO of the San Antonio, Texas-based firm had worked in marketing for many years at traditional ad agencies, fell in love with the iPhone and saw an opportunity in using it as a marketing tool.
Her firm, which went from concept in May to launch in August, offers clients 50 different functions and a customer can build an app with four, six or eight functions. Each function costs $50 with a maximum cost of $400. The firm charges a $25 monthly hosting fee and allows a client the ability to control and change content in real-time. It also charges $10 per month if a client wants an analytics report of its app usage.
“I think it’s anybody and everybody who can benefit from an iPhone app,” says Chocano, adding that her clients range from an eyebrow threader to restaurant owners and wedding videographers.
The firm has about 800 unique users and has recorded about 3,000 downloads of about 27 apps from the iTunes store since Apple began approving Sweb Apps products in September.