Goomzee shifts sales strategy to leverage patent-pending Mobile Virtual Tours
MISSOULA—Despite the hit the real estate market has taken in the past year, Mike Sparr has no plans to drop that industry as his company’s primary market for its mobile marketing technology.
“A lot of start-ups get too scared when they go a year without a revenue increase, so they go chase sales instead of listen to the market. That oftentimes is the difference between a successful small business and a very large company, which we’re working to build. It just takes time,” said Sparr, Goomzee’s CEO and founder.
Rather than panicking, Goomzee has taken the last year to refine its newest technology and shift its sales model.
Initially, the company targeted individual realtors and real estate companies. But a multi-year contract with the Billings Association of Realtors combined with the economic downturn convinced the company to focus on larger enterprises.
“We decided that we should work with associations and multiple listing services, so this past year we focused on building our database, learning the industry and fostering relationships,” Sparr said.
Goomzee first targeted the real estate industry in 2006, when it started R&D of what would become its flagship product, Realty Connect. The technology allows potential home buyers to send a text message and receive information about a listing on their cell phones.
Its newest, patent-pending technology, Mobile Virtual Tours, takes that technology even further by delivering a slide show with several photos and captions to a cell phone in a single message.
Goomzee launched in 2003 to help small businesses set up online storefronts. However, Sparr’s previous experience building technology solutions and managing projects for Nokia, British Telecom, AT&T Wireless and other global technology leaders convinced him that mobile technology was the place to focus.
“By 2005, we’d decided to stop marketing our e-commerce business and focus on R&D to build out a mobile technology framework that would allow applications to be accessed over any device,” he said.
After establishing its leadership position in the real estate industry, Goomzee will begin marketing its technology to other industries in need of a platform for connecting buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.
“Our technology would be great for promotion of pretty much any product or service,” Sparr said.
Thanks to its blend of traditional and high-tech marketing practices, Goomzee is featured along with global brands such as Apple, Cisco Systems and Skype in the newest edition of the college textbook, Marketing of High-Technology Products and Innovations.
Goomzee has four staff members in its Missoula office as well as engineers in India, Switzerland and California.