Usually I just gloss by RIM’s monthly connection email newsletters as marketing fluff but this month one article in particular caught my eye. An unnamed author did a great write up on why and how companies should consider and create BlackBerry apps. They brought in some great examples and received some insight from Kunal Gupta, the CEO of Polar Mobile, which is a large developer of some slick third party apps. The article is directed at companies who are considering creating a mobile app for their customers to interact with their services or products. For example, they point out the UPS BlackBerry app which added a new way for customers to use UPS’s provided services.
The main line I thought was interesting was:
The first thing to realize is that ROI will not likely be measured in revenue gained directly from the app. Rather, look to ROI from customer retention, brand reach, and engagement frequency.
This is where most companies miss the boat. They measure its success with a frantic need to quantify exactly how much the BlackBerry app contributed to the bottom line. The problem is that the benefits of a mobile app are not always as another channel for sales. Instead they are a driver of brand loyalty and customer retention. For example, I am a loyal American Express user but their mobile website just gives me another way to interact with their service. If they had a mobile app I would be able to access my account with greater ease.
If you are considering creating a mobile app or work at a company considering one I highly recommend reading this article in RIM’s newsletter. You can find it at this link with the title “Why and How to Create BlackBerry Apps for Your Customers.”