Melbourne, Australia-based Nitro PDF Software initially began by creating third party plug-ins for Adobe. Eventually, with revenues and employee numbers steadily increasing, its CEO Sam Chandler decided it was time to compete against their biggest client by unveiling Nitro PDF. The challenge was tough - obviously, potential sales leads would prefer an established brand such as Adobe. But the 30-employee business had a plan to generate sales leads by offering their products at a much cheaper price ($99 for a full version software and a $49 express version, compared to Adobe’s $299) and undertaking risky lead generation marketing campaigns such as giving away free products and features to gain the attention of their target market. The economical pricing and risk-taking paid off: they were able to generate enough sales leads to keep the business alive (without the help of the Adobe plug-ins) and their existing clients kept returning to them, turning their PDF software company into a $13 million business in 2011.
The company also makes use of online marketing such as social media channels to continue generating sales leads and improving their customers’ user experience. Nitro PDF cites Facebook, Twitter, and their PDF blog as successful lead generation mediums.
Nitro PDF already has big name leads, but still develops plug-ins for Adobe. When asked how small businesses can similarly thrive against such high profile competition, Sam Chandler offers the following words of advice: “If you look back to the first dot-com boom, there were a lot of businesses built on flimsy metrics and if we’ve learned anything in building this business through the economic situation now, it would be that you need to rely on creativity and be scrappy.”