Ad industry veterans and Jagtag co-founders Dudley Allen Fitzpatrick and Jason Alan Snyder have launched Duomentis, a firm promising to create utility-driven marketing properties for brands and agencies.
Bringing together their backgrounds in advertising and digital technology, the pair plans to develop mobile and other digital tools, products and services to be owned and exploited by brands and marketers, therefore reducing their reliance on channels such as paid advertising.
“Marketers’ greatest opportunity today is to invent and introduce proprietary, intellectual property and properties that replace their reliance on paid media,” Snyder told ClickZ. “Why give your media dollars to another company when you can take the same dollars and build your own channel to run for the next few years,” Fitzpatrick added.
According to Duomentis, brands are better off investing in the development of their own digital products and platforms, placing themselves in direct contact with consumers as opposed to paying a third party for access to an audience. Of course, the concept of branded digital content is by no means a new one, but the solutions being created by most digital agencies are marketing assets rather than standalone tools, Fitzpatrick suggested.
The opportunity lies, therefore, in the provision of utility, empowering consumers to solve life problems while fostering equity and affinity for a brand. As Fitzpatrick points out, the volume of user insights and data gleaned from such properties is of immense value to marketers, but also opens up opportunities in the ecommerce space. “If a brand creates a baby-related tool, for example, the amount of knowledge you can learn about the user is huge. You’ll learn everything from how old the child is to what type of diapers [the baby] wears,” he explained.
In terms of its role in the market, Duomentis hopes to plug a gap by straddling technology and marketing in a manner not currently being achieved by agencies or technology providers. “In this space clients currently have two choices, they have the ability to go after marketing consultants – who don’t understand the technology – or option B is to go after digital heads which have never really trained in marketing or business strategy.”
The company says it hopes to work directly with brands in the majority of cases. “Our story isn’t about what’s going on in the ad space, it’s about the brands,” Fitzpatrick said. However, it already has a partnership in place with Publicis, through which it will offer its services to Publicis clients. It also counts search giant Google amongst its first wave of customers.
To date many attempts at branded utility have been largely platform specific, such as branded iPhone apps, for example. Duomentis, however, aims to be entirely platform agnostic, although the vast majority of its creations will include a mobile element or be optimized for mobile devices, Snyder said.
Added Fitzpatrick, “We look for utility first and foremost, and then adopt the platforms that make the most sense…. It’s about reach and penetration; when you build a mobile app you’re only talking to a portion of the market,” added Fitzpatrick. The pair also emphasized the importance of social media and tools.
There are no Duomentis creations currently in-market, but the company aims to have three live by the summer, including a social media platform and a travel entertainment product for two undisclosed clients.
Before Duomentis, Snyder and Fitzpatrick founded 2D mobile barcode service Jagtag. Prior to that Snyder served as director of product design at AOL and Yahoo Music, as well as holding roles at advertising and marketing agencies as a technology strategist, chief innovation officer and creative director. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, was the founder, CEO and chief innovation officer of full service agency SFGT, which he led for nearly two decades.
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