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Social Media Portal interview with Tim Duncalf from Oxygen8

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 12 May 2012

Social Media Portal interview with Tim Duncalf from Oxygen8


Profiled - Tim Duncalf, Sales Director from Oxygen8 guest speaker and sponsors at the Connected Summit

Oxygen8 logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do at Oxygen8?

Tim Duncalf (TD): Tim Duncalf, Sales Director at Oxygen8.  I manage a high performance sales team and I’m responsible for the UK sales strategy in line with the company’s overall business strategy.

SMP: Tell us about Oxygen8, what is it and what does it do?

TD: Oxygen8 is an interactive communications company, specialising in voice and mobile payment services, internationally spread, integrating global reach with local knowledge.

SMP: Tell us what your doing at the the Connected Summit next week?

TD: I will be speaking at the Connected Summit on the 15th May 2012; the event is on for two days (15th and 16th May) at the Kings Fund in London. The seminar is entitled In Venue Commerce and looks at how venues can maximise interaction and revenues through mobile to the fans in stadia.

SMP: You’re a sponsor, have you done this before; what love are you giving and receiving?

Photograph of Tim Duncalf, Sales Director at Oxygen8TD: Yes, we have done all of these events before, even before the re-brand to the Connected Summit. The event holds a very special place in my heart and I always use the event as an opportunity to show hospitality to all of the attendees including our customers. It also gives us time to speak with people about the new and exciting projects we have outside of the usual day-to-day office environment in a much more relaxed atmosphere with minimal distractions.

We always receive great feedback from the people we have met and what really amazes me is how positive everyone is at the events, for both today and the future. Even looking at this year’s agenda shows how fast things change in the industry and that keeps everyone excited and keen to learn…just like the good old days.

SMP: Who are your ideal target audience for the session and what can they hope to take away from your presentation?

TD: Sports organisations, music venues and any venue with a captive audience including companies that also work with these organisations, although one thing I have learnt over the years is that everyone who attends will take something from it.

If you want to learn about the future of mobile then you should definitely attend, where else can you be looking at augmented reality and the reality of a cashless society with payments via the mobile phone.

SMP: There has been the threat that it’s the year of mobile forever, what evidence that it may have arrived?

How about some facts and stats!

  • 38% of the smartphone population has completed a purchase from their device
  • KPMG predict global mobile payments are set to reach £591 billion by 2015
  • 87% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone
  • 77% of smartphone users use their device in store
  • I have plenty more where they came from!

SMP: Payment is much talked about, but how important is it and how close are we to a solution?

TD: It’s not just important it’s essential; we cannot ignore it as it’s happening all around the globe and the mobile is the one thing that people do not leave the house without where as before it was the purse or wallet.

In the UK we have used the mobile for many years to pay for content services, but have never really embraced the pay for product element. This is largely due to the commercial set-up with the mobile network operators, but this is changing and the mobile networks themselves know that if they don’t provide a commercially attractive business model then they too could have been left behind. Fortunately with Direct Operator billing and NFC (Near Field Communications) the mobile will become a mainstream payment solution for both content and products.

If we look at emerging markets like Africa, for example, then they are already one step ahead and utilise the mobile for money transfers, wages to be paid to and purchases from that. Money transfers from mobile to mobile is huge as is airtime top-ups not just in country but internationally.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you’ve been doing so far in the eight years in the mobile the industry?

TD: Fortunately very few low moments, but one has to be knee jerk regulatory changes the phrase ‘use a sledge hammer to crack a nut’ comes to mind, but fortunately the industry and regulatory bodies now have a close working relationship which can only benefit the consumer from a trust point of view and also allow innovation back to the industry.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you’ve been doing so far in the mobile industry?

TD: There have been many, but if I had to pick one it would have to be seeing mobile payments being used to raise money for charity. Seeing and hearing it across all the media touch points and hearing the totals go up on an hourly basis shows how the mobile industry has changed the lives of some many people in need and also how mobile can be used in a good way.

SMP: What the most captivating mobile campaign you’ve seen so far?

TD: Starbucks - the brand that put a coffee shop on nearly every corner seems to have saturated the market. Their focus moved from mass marketing to personalised customer centric, led by a mobile marketing strategy that is now an integral part of the overall marketing mix.
Starbucks mobile successfully combines loyalty, coupons, and m-commerce better than anyone else seems to have done on such a large scale. I particularly like the Starbucks store locator app, but they have also developed mobile services that allow consumers to shop, search, and purchase through their mobile and they have demonstrated a great understanding of consumer habits and behaviours. But it goes further with the media integration of web, app, text messaging, out-of-home, display, location-based services, in-store, and direct mail - all leveraged to ensure the consumer has a personal experience with the brand that ultimately drives them to a Starbucks outlet.

It’s a great example of how mobile should become part of your overall marketing and CRM strategy, not a standalone activity.

SMP: And, the worst?

TD: It would be unfair of me to comment as someone could have spent a lot of time and energy into developing it. All I will say is that you should never forget the consumer and what drives them it’s not all about you.

SMP: What do you feel the next big step for social media / networks are and what may be the impact upon mobile?

TD: Geo location and geo targeting are the next big step, engaging people in a particular location whether it’s a different country, county, town or even venue, sending them something that is relevant to them now where they are. The mobile is the best tool as it has mobile network and Wi-Fi coverage, you can take a call, receive a text, pick up email, browse the internet and receive social network messages, wherever you are. The art is combining all these technologies and offering the consumer choice without bombarding them and turning them off.

SMP: What makes a great mobile app or campaign?

TD: Simplicity is the key, the simplest apps and campaigns also seem to be the most viral and talked about…which leaves me scratching my head mumbling, “why didn’t I think of that”.

SMP: What are your top five predictions for mobile throughout 2012 and heading into 2013?

TD replies with:

  • A rise in cashless venues going into the 2012/2013 season (and by that I mean stadiums not taking cash payments I am in no way referring to the financial position of UK football clubs).
  • International money transfer via the mobile phone will take off in a big way.
  • NFC will start to be more welcomed in the consumer arena, not just for payments but as a way to trigger interaction between brands and consumers.
  • Mobile web (HTML5) will start to be seen as more important than standalone apps, but Android will become the primary app development platform.
  • Wider acceptance of mobile as a tool for businesses to exploit beyond marketing and consumer interaction, improving business efficiency and communication.

SMP: What are your top five mobile tips?

TD replies with:

  • Simplicity
  • Informative
  • Relevant
  • Timely
  • Engaging

Oxygen8 Connected Summit banner

SMP: Best way to contact you and Oxygen8?

TD: Oxygen8 through the website and myself through LinkedIn or the Oxygen8 website.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

TD: Breakfast!!! What’s that? I had a glass of apple juice and for lunch a mam sandwich on Tiger bread with a bowl of pea and ham soup to warm me up as it’s cold up North.

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

TD: Answer these questions for you, and I brought the washing in after receiving a frantic phone call that it had started spitting and I needed to save kids bed linen from certain death.

SMP: If you weren’t working at Oxygen8 what would you be doing?

TD: Seeing as McDonalds turned me down for a job as a teenager then I suppose the other alternatives are to be a politician or restart my accountancy career.

SMP: What is it that you’re most looking forward to do in London, apart from guest speaking at the Connected Summit?

TD: Obviously speaking and meeting new people, but in fairness I think the warmer climate and a hotel with a sea view will ensure I have a great time.

Also meeting up with Jarvis, Annika and Laura the host organisers, we only tend to meet up at these events but they always do a professional job, with a smile on their faces and are great company to be around.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

Centre Parcs in Cumbria with the family back in October last year, had a great time but the mobile signal was shockingly bad in the accommodation which made work slightly problematic.  How they haven’t thought to disguise a mobile phone mast as a tree I’ll never know…

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

TD: Check my hair in the office mirror to see if I have any new grey ones and then straight to e-mails before tackling my to-do list

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

TD: Always a good question but I’ll ignore the obvious ones and go for premonitions touch, the ability to glance into the future, past or present at random, but it only occurs when you touch something, so if you touched something in a museum you would see a scene about it from the past.

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