Brandi Gosse, a photographer from Bay Roberts, has developed a smartphone app called Shop the Rock to allow shoppers in the province to search for deals at local retailers.

As a photographer, she has first-hand experience about how expensive advertising could be, so she came up with an idea to help local merchants get their company names out to consumers.


Brandi Gosse developed Shop the Rock to help local retailers advertise to potential clients. (CBC)

"I was just finding that some of the ways that are out there now were outside my budget," Gosse said.

"I was trying to think of a way to get my ad in people's hands all the time, basically they wouldn't have to be passing by a sign or whatever to know about me."

Gosse said that while the app has only been on the market for a couple of weeks, business have already started signing up.

Leo Vanulden, the owner of Wallnuts Climbing Centre in St. John's, said it is a great way to get the company name out to people.

"Everything is going electronic nowadays - everybody has a smartphone - so these kinds of marketing opportunities make a lot of sense," Vanulden said.

Searching for new marketing methods

According to Vanulden, Wallnuts has a fairly large marketing budget, but finding new advertising methods is key to growing business.

"People could be on Shop the Rock for other reasons and see our logo, so we're hitting a demographic there that are people that aren't normally searching for us," he said.

Gosse said that the next step is to get the word out about the app itself.

"Of course advertising is important - you want to get the word out there, you want your business to succeed - and by having your ad in front of people at anytime, anywhere, they can view it at any time, so it's just kind of a way to get the word out without kind of breaking the budget for advertising," she said.

Gosse said the app has already been downloaded approximately 500 times.