I am often asked this question – Do mobile apps have an ROI? (return on investment). Coming from a background of large scale consultancy and project management – ROI is a familiar concept to me – but I have rarely seen it been used in the mobile data industry
here is my view on why that’s the case ..
Firstly, ROI is a concept much more applicable to the corporate sector than to the consumer sector. In other words, you can quantify ROI by measuring against an existing cost or some other metric(ideally a ‘hard’ metric based on a numerical value).Even measures like ‘customer satisfaction’ can be quantified
However, the mobile data industry is predominantly(at least currently) based around consumer entertainment. And consumer entertainment has no ROI
In other words, in most cases, the model is ‘product based’ as opposed to ‘project based’. A project based model lends itself much more easily to ROI.
Of course, the notable exception is corporate rollout of a technology(for example RIM Blackberry devices). In that case, we can speak of ROI in terms of increased productivity for the user.
Thus, in general, the mobile data industry has no ROI. IMHO.
Image source: http://www.foundation.uconn.edu