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Mobile phone marketing can pay dividends

The way that Vince Doherty sees it, adaptation is the basis of survival in business.

As managing director of Adikat Mobile Marketing, Doherty said that new tech based ventures would only work long term if they were prepared to update products continually.

New technology business

‘‘It is important to innovate and continue to develop new products, especially when you are in a new technology business. That is what brings value to a company, but that is not to say you do not remain focused on your existing technology and customer service.’’

In June, Adikat partnered with Hypertag, a British based firm specialising in mobile phone marketing, to make the latest Bluetooth marketing technologies available to its clients in Ireland. ‘‘Adikat will leverage Hypertag’s experience and technology platforms to deliver a Bluetooth service to top Irish firms. Their clients include Coca-Cola, Nike, Unilever, BP, O2 and CNN. The relationship also gives us an up-to-date database of each different phone being released, so we know the screen size and resolution, and can ensure the end user has a good experience,’’ said Doherty.

Adikat has developed two new products of its own this year. ‘‘We have just launched www.mobilefaith.ie, which sends a free uplifting Bible verse to subscribers’ mobile phones every day. Business owners can advertise to subcribers by adding a small text to each message. ‘‘We also have a new Bluetooth mobile guide for Dublin Zoo, which can be delivered free of charge to visitors. It increases the level of visitor engagement and includes a one click easy donation feature,’’ said Doherty.

After returning from the US in 2006, Doherty started up a web development company in Dublin, before he hit upon the idea to offer a mobile marketing service using group text messages. ‘‘A client wanted his sales team to text in a product barcode and receive back information about that product, such as availability and specification,’’ he said.

Standing out against its competitors

Doherty realised that a specialised offering would help Adikat to stand out against its competitors. ‘‘My niche was to be a website widget that clients put on their website to build their database of mobile phone number,’’ he said. ‘‘For example, if a travel agent wants to keep their clients informed of special offers via text messages, their customers can select which type of packages or holidays they are interested in and only receive information about these.’’

Marketing the business can prove challenging for start-ups who are new to the market. ‘‘Just getting the company name out there, letting people know that the service was available, was one of our biggest early hurdles,’’ said Doherty. ‘‘Upon researching and developing the application, I discovered that a lot of innovative products could be developed from incoming texts and outgoing texts. This was the beginning of Adikat.’’ ‘‘I did a lot of search engine optimisation, and then used Google Adwords to get traffic to the website. I also went to as many free networking events as I could find. They can be time consuming, but are worth it if approached correctly.’’

Now that the company is firmly established, Doherty plans to add new services and move into new markets. ‘‘We plan to hire more sales representatives for other regions around Ireland,’’ he said. ‘‘We will shortly be providing SMS texting, mobile mini-sites and short codes to the British and French markets.

‘‘We are also currently in talks with an outdoor advertising agency to provide them with Bluetooth technology. Our focus will remain getting interactive, rich, branded con- tent on to consumers’ mobile phones.’’

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