Jan 22nd – 24th and even through today, what a week! There was a wide variety of topics discussed and some great ideas brought to the table by our Members. Being an AMS Member is special and by invitation only. Advanced Marketing Solutions (AMS) sums it up. This is a forward moving and forward thinking group of retail florists that have been invited to use and share technology developed by Sarasota based web solutions developers, GravityFree. Started back in 2001 when Beneva Flowers was the first retail florist website developed together by Art Conforti and Scott Heaps of GravityFree, it has grown to over 50 users today using industry leading technology called FlowerManager.
The week started off with a sunset welcome cruise, followed by a gathering at Café Epicure to watch the Giants advance to the Super Bowl. Monday we had an overview of the week ahead and discussed the industry, and Tuesday we were joined by the GravityFree team to discuss all the new enhancements to the web technology as users shared individual uses of their websites. All users have exclusivity in their local area. The form is very open and, since there are no competing markets, the discussions were wide open.
The GravityFree team shared information about maximizing email campaigns, SEO tips, and so much more, while they also reviewed all the new features being added to the website and future enhancements.
Art also shared reports from his phone system that validated his marketing efforts with the use of telephone reporting on every sale (as Art sees it, every retailer that does any marketing needs this phone system). The system is developed by another local company called IPitomy, owned by Nick Branica. This too is an exclusive offering from Conforti for retailers. Tracking the phone numbers takes all the guesswork out of sales and marketing efforts. As Art says, “How can you spend money on marketing and not track your results?” While many do it the old fashioned way with coupons, most companies use tracking URL’s. The technology used on these GravityFree websites allow you to use tracking phone numbers along with URL’s to register every phone call and order placed.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Art. Having local relationships with GravityFree for web technology, IPitomy for telephony solutions, and another local company who developed floralapp® for the floral industry, Sarasota may become “Silicon Sarasota” before too long for the floral industry. Voted #1 beaches in the world, it looks like technology development has also found a home in Sarasota.