January 14, 2014

Forget Profit – Adding Mobile Apps into the Marketing Mix

Written By Martin Sandhu

Research from Gartner has found that less than 0.01% of mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers for the next four years, which will no doubt make businesses reluctant to invest in mobile applications.

The analyst firm believes that by 2017, 94.5% of all downloads will be free apps. Their research found that paid-for apps are currently downloaded less than 500 times per day, generating a maximum revenue of $1,250 (£760) per day. This figure will only decrease as more competition enters the market and users favour free apps.

It’s interesting research and it’s easy to take it at face value and simply think that mobile apps are just not worth the investment, however this is not necessarily the case. Most mobile applications aren’t actually designed to make a profit on their own; with the exception of things like games, apps are more often than not part of a wider, brand, business or marketing plan which means they don’t need to drive revenue by themselves.

Whilst ROI is difficult to determine prior to the development of an app, there is now a wide range of studies and figures that can support the investment and it’s more than likely that a competitor has already taken steps down the mobile route too. Having this weaponry is key to getting board-level buy-in for mobile applications, particularly in light of such negative-appearing research as Gartner’s.

Brand recognition and product awareness are two key marketing targets for any business, both of which can be aided by mobile apps. What’s important for organisations now, is for them to start considering apps as part of a wider marketing strategy. It is rare that they are a revenue stream independently, but they can have huge impact on bottom line when used strategically – this is true of both online and offline businesses.