Paul Putman
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Bdaily talks UK technology sector health with Dynmark

Bdaily asked cloud marketeers, Dynmark, for their take on the UK technology sector. CEO Paul Putman answers our questions.

Can you share your view of the technology sector landscape in the UK, and where you believe your organisation sits within it?

To be honest we are not the market leader in our traditional space which is mobile marketing (SMS) in terms of size and volume and revenue. However I would not want to be the market leader in that space as its highly commoditised and apart from being a delivery platform for Application to Person SMS companies provide little additional value.

Dynmark made the shift early this year to move to a global cloud platform which has enabled us to concrete our capabilities. This has created an incredibly robust 2 way messaging architecture which is already solving many Enterprise companies’ problems. (There are very few true 2 way global providers in the market).

This was the first step we needed to take to achieve our aim of providing greater value to clients. We also have a fantastic range of SaaS based applications which I would also say are market-leading.

We provide customers the choice, if you want something simple to send out broadcast messages use our entry level application. If you want a highly scalable robust application to deliver any kind of SMS marketing program we provide our enterprise class application.

Our applications have the capability to automate and integrate with third party applications. We know this is an area of increasing importance as the marketing world moves to a multichannel execution methodology with triggered interactive programs.

What do you think are the greatest strengths of the UK sector?

I think the UK sector is extremely strong; the perception may be that the US market is more advanced but this is dependent on what are of marketing technology you are addressing.

Clearly they have a huge industry focussed in and around Social marketing technology which is logical based on the US being the homeland of Facebook and Twitter.

However marketing technology is about creating and driving sales opportunities and should be based on the ROI of its capabilities in achieving that objective.

It’s also about what channel you use whether this be, social, email, or mobile. In our experience mobile is the most significant area of marketing technology investment and this is the area the UK has a march on the other regions.

This is based on smartphone adoption and also our heritage in understanding how to communicate to the Mobile audience. We take a deeper dive into mobile and understanding the most effective marketing channel to reach mobile; SMS for example.

The UK has a far greater understating of how to use targeted SMS messaging and has a mature market in terms of offerings which the US and other regions are lagging in. Casting the net wider in mobile to in app advertising, notifications, mobile web etc the UK has a thriving and growing expertise in this area.

Driving the backend from an analytical perspective we have 2 of the best companies in the world on our doorstep Alterian (SDL) and Fast Stats. So in summary although the market is moving incredibly fast I believe the UK should have an extremely bright future.

…And the greatest weaknesses?

The greatest weakness has to be access to funding for new technology start-ups and growing companies needing re-financing. I don’t think the UK has any lack in amazing ideas how to deliver and design marketing technology, but getting investment to see these technologies through to fruition is a challenge.

The other problem is that even when funding can be received the money usually comes from abroad (again the US) so although the technology is instigated here it’s so often controlled by overseas investors.

I guess this is not just a problem for our sector, with this in mind the only real way to overcome our weakness is to embrace overseas investment and maximise the ability to use those connections to gain access and partnerships with the main US tech giants to ensure the UK market can continue evolve and thrive.

What most excites you currently in the sector?

This has to be mobile, the rate of change; the ability to gain access to consumers mobile is incredibly exciting. We call it accessing the most exclusive club in the world, the consumers’ pocket! You can’t market to a wallet, you can’t market to a set of keys but you can market to a mobile that’s with the consumer every moment of the day.

It is a far more immediate than other channels for communicating marketing offers and promotions and ROI stats prove that marketing to a mobile has far higher click through rates, read rates and propensity to interact than delivering into any other medium than I can remember.

Who do you see as pioneering in your space?

I’d like to put Dynmark at the top of this list however our new technology portfolio has not yet been fully realised. Our sector is highly commoditised and has a wealth of competitors who all deliver good robust marketing solutions.

However they all struggle with one major challenge. They have a single channel offering and however you position and sell the benefits of SMS marketing as a standalone solution the time is running out.

SMS marketing can still be an area of nervousness with many companies fearful to try. SMS can be seen as intrusive. So to be pioneering in the mobile messaging marketing space you not only need to provide the tools and the platform you also need to provide a significant amount of guidance to organisations how to maximise the value out of the SMS medium without overusing it!

Make no mistake it is a hugely powerful way of communicating to consumers and if companies do not leverage SMS they are missing a significant trick.

The future pioneers of the SMS space will not be those who continue to rely on pushing the “SMS marketing is great mantra” it will be those who enable companies to leverage SMS in the right way, for the right message, for the right audience and those that provide options for multichannel execution.

Is the app space competitive?

I think companies need to think very wisely when looking to develop apps. The app space is dominated by simple tools that help the consumer with day to day tasks, apps to relive boredom and I am a fan of these.

I have far greater levels of reservation of the value of creating apps to sell to consumers. The fact is that users are simply not going to download an app from all the shops they visit, all the companies they buy from as it’s just not manageable nor does it provide them any real additional value.

Research has shown that although users may browse within apps or mobile sites, they generally buy through full online channels. With the introduction of push channels for notifications the temptation is to use this as a way to send info to your consumers. It’s very tempting from a marketing perspective.

I have an iPhone, I use apps and I am already fed up with notifications, in-fact as soon as I download one I tend to turn notifications off.

Is the space competitive, yes of course it is but do apps provide real value to businesses? I am not sure. I think it’s far better to concentrate on Mobile web usability than native apps.

Apps can be very expensive to build, require specialist work, and ultimately have to work on all operating systems to ensure all bases are covered. The ROI they will eventually deliver for me is questionable.

What are Dynmarks plans for the year ahead?

We will continue to work closely with our clients, to understand how they need to leverage our services, how best to help them communicate to their customers, and how to ensure their customer lifecycle is maximised.

It’s rather difficult to detail out our full plans, as much of our new technology is still in development. We will be focussing on the delivery our new technology in the knowledge that is completely new and does not exist in the market today.

I’d love to tell you more but the really good stuff is still under wraps but you can be assured that when the technology is ready it will revolutionise how companies leverage mobile and their understating of how to market to the consumers in a targeted and intelligent way across all mobile channels.

Our new completely automated URL shortening and tracking service for SMS should give you a sneak peak in where we are going.

So keep watching….

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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