Speak Creative shifts its business to Internet and mobile marketing.
Jacob Savage and Matt Ervin of Speak Creative
photograph by Alan Peeler
In the past three years, the marketplace for mobile applications and web design has exploded. For a market that barely existed just a few years ago, mobile marketing has made a huge impact on the way businesses operate and interact with their customers.
Online Marketing research firm International Data Corporation predicts that the number of mobile app downloads will grow from an already impressive 11 billion in 2010 to a jaw-dropping 80 billion by 2014. The firm also expects that the money in the mobile space will pass $35 billion by 2014.
For businesses, though, a function of the newness and quantity of mobile-app options is that a company may not know where to start when addressing their and their customers’ needs.
Locally, the company Speak Creative has a decade-long track record working in Internet and mobile marketing.
Speak Creative was founded in 1999 by Memphis native Jacob Savage. In its early days, it was a small operation with the aim of being a full-service creative and marketing agency. Since that time the Internet marketplace has changed dramatically.
“In the last seven years, the web has really dominated the type of work that we do.” Savage says.
Since then Savage’s staff has grown to 14 employees and spans a varied client base ranging from the Memphis Zoo to local investment firm Vining Sparks. Speak Creative works with many nonprofits, religious organizations, and local businesses.
“Our strengths fall within a mixture of creative work and technology work” Savage says. “Often there are folks with a lot of technical capabilities, but if the end product isn’t slick and packaged, its not going to be that effective.”
The balance of technical expertise and creative acumen has served Speak Creative well. The firm recently won an award for web design from the International Festivals and Events Association for its Memphis in May festival website.
Balancing the needs of the mobile user is difficult. Take Speak Creative’s work on the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament website last summer, for example. Along with a beautiful panoramic desktop website with up-to-date tee times, maps, and vendor information, the team at Speak also created a separate mobile version of the site spectators could use to check the tournament’s leaderboard.
“We produce mobile-optimized websites for almost all the projects we do,” says president of Speak Creative, Matt Ervin, “and we have lots of app projects right now.”
The mobile user is a much different customer than one in front of a desktop screen. Mobile users are less willing to wait for their information, often more motivated to buy, and more motivated to visit a retail location. Being able to take advantage of that trend has made a huge difference in how businesses look at marketing their products.
When a customer downloads an app, they actually install an interactive piece of the company on their phone. Making that app fluid and well-designed increases the chances that the user will become a regular customer.
Mobile apps are not limited to consumer products. Businesses have begun using internal apps as business tools.
“A [salesperson can] fill out an estimate on his or her iPad in the field, have the customer sign, and approve it on-site and email a copy of the contract without ever having to return to the home office.” Ervin says.
All the information can be synced together in the main office’s database and stored. It saves businesses money and increases their efficiency.