The Viability of Mobile Applications as a Marketing Tool
Introduction and Definition
Mobile applications are software that run on Smartphones with the purpose of adding value to consumers smartphones, by increasing their phones functionality. Traditionally mobile applications were distributed with the intensions of acquiring direct revenue from either incorporating advertisements on the applications through the use of banners, or charging a download fee. In recent years the viability for apps to be created solely for marketing purposes has emerged, which varies from the traditional direct R.O.I. models. Due to the fact that mobile apps are generated by independent third parties, and that creativity is not limited by strict predetermined development guidelines, the potential for application functionality is virtually limitless. Some possible usages of an application as a marketing tool are; allowing consumers to utilize an online service such as product customization with only their smartphone available to them, allowing consumers to access inventory levels and bundle packages at real time indicating changing pricing options, allowing consumers to order products from wherever they are, and countless others. The previous examples outline an applications ability to respectively affect and communicate an organizations Product or Service, Pricing and Promotions, and Placement to their consumers who also own smartphones. After outlining vague examples of how mobile applications can affect an organizations Price, Placement, Promotion, and Product it is undeniable that mobile applications have the ability to manipulate an organizations marketing function. ROGERS FROM CUSTOMER AND BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE
Roger’s relative advantage refers to the degree to which the innovation is observed to be better than what it replaces. In the case of mobile apps, this innovation is a fairly new and original innovation, however if you were to argue which technology it did supersede a great argument could be put forth towards company websites that are usually viewed on computers. Due to the adaption of mobile apps, smart phones now allow companies to provide interactive software that can provide company information to users from their phones. Mobile apps have now become an essential part of every company’s marketing efforts. Customers are able to pick and choose which company websites their phone will and will not carry. Mobile devices now act mostly as powerful processors that allow consumers to download and run different software that companies provide for little or no cost. Shoppers can now stay updated with their favorite brands and shopping locations all from their mobile device. For consumers this progression has been very beneficial to their lives. Consumers are able to use the storage built into their phones towards their own specific purposes and needs. Marketers are also benefiting from this technological push. Advertisements and marketing campaigns used to be difficult to place on mobile devices, however now with the mobile apps being downloaded from multiple different sources many companies are able to advertise through and/or create their own mobile apps. Mobile apps have given marketers a new branch in which to expand their marketing efforts to a large number of consumers. Companies are now able to reach out to consumers using value adding, interactive software which consumers can access at anytime during the day using their mobile devices. Compatibility
The use of mobile applications has become very popular and shows no sign of going away. The success of mobile application marketing depends on what percentage of the intended target market owns a Smartphone. In Canada, there is huge potential for marketing within an application as Mobile phones recorded retail volume growth of 18% in 2010, with sales reaching 12.3 million units. Of the 12.3 million units sold there was 6.8 million Smartphone’s sold. Smartphone...
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