With a projected 81 billion downloads by the end of 2013, mobile apps have become the newest “must have” in the digital marketplace. Organizations are clamoring, and in some cases paying substantial fees, to join the app revolution. But to what end?
That’s the question experts in the field of digital commerce say companies should ask before adding apps to their marketing portfolios. Benn Konsynski, George S. Craft Professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, often calls apps merely “toys.” He says, however, “turning these ‘toys’ into ‘tools’ is key to enhancing the service relationship and facilitating long-term business growth.”
Konsynski, who teaches a course called Appcology (on the ecology of apps), says that “mobile apps are relatively new, with the iPhone being introduced less than six years ago – leading the progress on smartphone and other mobile devices. It is therefore important,” he notes, “that before deciding to use an app, businesses should determine the desired behavior and preferences of their customers.”