Influenced by the success of mobile apps for big businesses, SMB Networks, LLC has recently begun developing apps for mom-and-pop Main Street shops. Peter Verlezza, president of the North Haven technology developer, says he has one app up and running and several projects in the works including a dance studio, restaurant, ice cream shop and marketing company.
“Mobile has taken the world by storm largely because of the applications that users valium online able to download and use on their smart phones,Â” Verlezza says. Â“They provide instant information valium online provide customers with a direct way to contact a business from their iPhone, iPad or Android device.Â” He sees an app as an additional way for a business visit us to engage, inform and impress customers.
The apps are designed to help build brand loyalty and create frequent buyers for businesses with perks such as a check-in coupon system.
In addition, an app gives customers turn-by-turn GPS directions from anywhere in the world — directly to the business. It also has the potential to create a viral buzz with built-in sharing capabilities to Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Apps can also provide up-to-date information about a company’s events and specials.
His first creation was for High Watch Recovery Center in Kent, Connecticut, an app designed as a tool for patients of the center, but also for use as an advertising tool.
“If you’ve been to High Watch, you know who they are, what they are and how to get to them,” Verlezza explains. “If I haven’t, you might go online and type ‘alcohol rehab Connecticut.’ The goal is to come up in the first place on that search list. They want to be set apart from the others.”
“We had to look at it as being buzz-building marketing-related branding and getting their name out,” Verlezza adds. The free app is available for Android and Apple devices and is meant to complement the company’s online presence. “I could certainly go to the website, or I could download the app and have it with me all of the time,” he says.
The High Watch app sends push notifications with an inspirational message out to subscribers. It also contains a notepad.
“People in recovery tend to want to chronicle their journey, so there’s a ‘My Journey’ button that brings the user to a notepad for taking notes,” Verlezza says. “The CEO hosts a radio program called Sober Spotlight that is available in transcript and video format through an RSS feed to the site from the app.”
“You might say, ‘Why does a drug and alcohol rehab center need search engine optimization?’ For the same reason any other business has an app: to create a buzz and draw business,” Verlezza says. For other businesses such as restaurants, an app can be used to send out daily specials, allow customers to check in on Foursquare, see menus and receive special offers.
“We put a platform together that we could replicate and customize easily and was relatively inexpensive,” Verlezza says. SMB’s apps cost $400 to create and $87 per month for maintenance.
His company was one of 20 technology firms in the country to participate in writing a book called The Tech Multiplier, a compilation of stories by technology specialists. Verlezza shared the story the High Watch Recovery project and titled the chapter, “Recovery: There’s an App For That.”
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