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Mobile Marketing, Bulk Text, Mobile Websites, Shortcodes, HLR Lookup

December 4, 2012


Prior to participating on the CÉIM programme Bundoran native John Mc Namara had gained substantial business experience in a range of roles and indeed countries.  Having obtained a 1st class Honours degree from DCU in 1996 John was headhunted by a Canadian company and spent a number of years working in North America, before returning to Ireland to take up a post in Galway.

In 2003 John and his wife to be Trish embarked on what was to become a life changing work placement in Ghana working for The international Executive Services Corporation.

According to John: ‘It was during my time in Ghana that I gained the self belief to work for myself and made the decision to pursue my entrepreneurial dream’.

Upon returning to Ireland John set up Datatree Ltd and after three years developing the company from a base at Tallaght IT he eventually sold the company to a US medical diagnostics company.

CÉIM Participation

John had always been interested in the internet’s low cost and ‘freemium’ business models and related  the story of how his now booming company began in a bar in Donegal where Barry Murphy and he sat  watching the All-Ireland Hurling semi final between Cork and Kilkenny in August 2008.

After speaking to the bar owner and learning of his frustration at all kinds of advertising falling short, they began to research mobile marketing. Six months later with the assistance and guidance of the CÉIM programme, they had created a technology that could deliver worldwide bulk text messaging at the best  value in the marketplace and they had launched John’s decision to participate in the CÉIM programme was driven by a number of key factors which helped him decide to embrace this programme as an appropriate vehicle for developing Sendmode.

‘I was very taken with the idea of working alongside other companies and individuals at the same start-up stage. They were sharing the same hopes, fears and aspirations as I was so I never felt isolated – there was always someone to bounce ideas off’.  It was whilst he was on the CÉIM programme that John also had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco and this proved to be a hugely beneficial  learning experience for him. ‘It was a real eye opening experience for me in seeing first hand the ambition and drive that made companies in Silicon Valley succeed. I also learned that the customer needed to be central to all my business thinking.

Previously I’d worked on developing the product only. We also became much leaner and market focused as a result of that trip, all of which came about only because of my involvement with CÉIM’.  When quizzed as to why he decided to stay and locate his then fledgling company at a campus incubation space (CoLab) John has no hesitation in  enthusiastically defending his decision. ‘We love it here for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s a hugely conducive business environment, all of the owner managers here in the facility meet on a regular formal basis and this promotes fantastic peer to peer learning opportunities and a very healthy competitive spirit. Secondly, the facilities at the CoLab, particularly for an IT company, are second to none with excellent broadband and office space at a highly attractive rate.

Finally, the proximity to LYIT also has a range of benefits as we have the ability to access their academic expertise should the need arise and our staff are now backboned by recent graduates of the college’.

What Next for John and Sendmode:

John states that SendMode are committed to 3 main objectives: 

• To offer the lowest cost and best value service in the industry
• To have totally open and transparent reporting to all our customers
• To back up the technology with the best customer support service in the mobile marketing industry

‘Since its release in March 2009, SendMode has grown to provide Mobile Marketing Services to over 2,500 clients across many countries, we have won awards for Business Development and now send over 5 million messages per month through our service. We’ve now grown to eight employees and I’d hope to see the company continue to grow and prosper at our Letterkenny base over the course of the next five years. After that who knows…’

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