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Exclusive Interview with Donky CEO Paul Putman Article

This week Thomas Campbell from IPTV News had a chance to talk to Paul Putman, CEO at Donky, to find all about what’s hot in Mobile Development.

1. First and foremost, please tell us about Donky and its new announcement?

Donky is a unique network for developers and technical marketing teams, combining messaging communication and real-time data interactions with marketing automation, in one platform. Donky allows developers to instantly access its network functionality via a range of collaboration and development tools to build communications into any native or web-enabled device. Meanwhile marketers can leverage the power of the platform through marketing automation, providing them with a choice around how they interact with their customers while ensuring existing marketing systems are easily integrated across mobile and other connected channels.

Donky recently announced the launch of new user analytics tools to enable deeper segmentation and analysis of mobile app and web users for enhanced granular targeting. Donky enables brands to determine and engage with existing customers based on their level of activity, behaviour and past interactions; for example, whether or not they have become inactive or whether they are a recognised user, to reduce the costs associated with acquiring new users by re-engaging dormant users. Additional information on activity levels will prove invaluable for marketers and consumers alike, as marketers can be more specific, and consumers will benefit from special reengagement offers which give greater discounts and are more suited to their needs.  Determining whether the user is known or anonymous also provides additional benefits; known users can be targeted with hyper-personalised campaigns and anonymous users can be encouraged to become known. This is also useful as it can track it when the user switches from anonymous to known, thereby showing what campaigns are likely to have influenced this.

This new technology is part of Donky’s drive to provide solutions that are “human first” by focusing on the needs of the user and  treating them as a whole individual on whatever device they choose to use, rather than prioritising mobile or web interactions.

2. What area is Donky looking to open up in the mobile ecosystem? It clearly seems to espy significant future opportunity and I wonder if you could go into this a bit?

The main trend that Donky is trying to harness is the demand from consumers for a hyper-personal experience online. It is no longer enough to build a website that works, i.e. no lag, intuitive user experience and layout. Consumers have grown used to having that as a base line, so the goal posts have moved even further. Now consumers want brands to understand them and their individual needs better by suggesting deals that relate to their interests and recommending relevant offers for their consideration.

Donky is enabling this through a series of software development kits and a connected OTT/IoT network that is allowing developers and marketers to expand the capabilities of their solutions without huge investments in development.

Such things as rich app inboxes, rich media messing, and automated targeted campaigns coupled with more detailed user intelligence gathering tools and partnerships with third party tracking solutions are on offer to companies that need it in a componentised fashion.

Using its innovative technology Donky is opening up the mobile ecosystem to allow retailers and marketers to properly harness the growing demand for personalised user experiences and pull ahead of their competition by building and maintaining a loyal consumer base.

3. How significant do you think mobile developments in areas such as data analytics and push notifications will shape and affect the future of advertising?

Often new analytics about consumer activity may make marketing/advertising teams feel like they need to prioritise one channel over another. However, rather than focusing on one channel advertising should always aim to be human first, not mobile first, or email or even digital first. This means focusing on the human interaction with your brand as a whole, and learning what channels they want to use. Marketers must therefore look for ways to learn more about their customers and use this information from the many touch points now available, to meet their individual requirements. Since there are so many touch points available, it is possible for any brand to meet consumer demand for multichannel, multiplatform experiences, but the content will need to be delivered at a convenient time for the user, whether in store, on the high street, in the home or on the move. Brands must focus on the customer and that starts with looking at how they behave when given these choices.

The amount we can learn via analytics is increasing; this data is enabling much more than the acquisition of new customers but also allowing for targeted re-engagement with those that have lapsed. This additional consumer insight gives marketers even more opportunities to communicate to their customers in an effective, targeted way. Even a basic communication tool such as push messaging has evolved to meet user requirements by giving multiple options such as more intelligent, automated and targeted campaigns. Whilst it is good to see this ongoing development of channels and communications options, brands must be aware of why these were created and not use them in a way that is impractical. Take email for example; it is now being used for far more that it was designed to. Now that mobile has become the end point for many communications, email has had to adapt. However, email was not designed to serve a mobile device and is not the most suited option for mobile. Therefore marketers should always consider what they want to achieve, and choose the most appropriate channel based on consumer use patterns and how the ‘human’ on the other side of the screen lives their life.

4. What impact do you expect IoT to have on the mobile industry over the coming years?

The IoT could put the mobile device at the centre of an operations hub for the home, the commute and the business, although there are risks associated with becoming so dependent on one device. The IoT also offers businesses a tool to learn a huge amount about consumers and create new avenues for brand interaction.  For example, energy companies can have first-hand information about usage from smart meters and automotive manufacturers can learn more about performance in their cars during actual usage rather than testing. All of these things will lead to a larger and better informed logistics and analytics for the mobile industry which will be able to provide a better service to consumers and design products to match actual usage patterns.

IoT also offers the opportunity to bring people closer, imagine the Skype or facetime experience amplified by complimentary IoT operations in the background. Whilst away from home parents could communicate with the smarthome, send messages via the TV to the kids, or set the heating to turn on at a different time if the day is colder. This could supplement the feeling of being present and in control of the house which lends itself to more peace of mind.

5. Who are you looking forward to talking to at this year’s Apps World Europe?

Apart from the Giant Android (as always) we are looking forward to seeing new app innovations, as well as progress in the gaming, betting and retail markets, alongside any new ideas from IoT device providers. It is always interesting to see how analysts are predicting future trends as we feel apps have a big role to play in engagement and connectivity. It’s also interesting to hear predictions about when and how digital devices will fully start to dominate traditional retail, social activity and even the home!

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