Future Trends: Offering apps as competitive advantage – a marketing challenge for the banking industry

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GRIN Verlag, Feb 5, 2013 - Business & Economics - 22 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 2,3, University of applied sciences Frankfurt a. M., language: English, abstract: The changing environment, the massive increase in competition and performance pressures force banks to find new ways to differentiate from competitors. At the same time the utilization of smartphones and mobile internet increased in the last few years. Would a bank get a competitive advantage, if it would offer applications (apps) for its services and products? Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 the mobile phone market has been undergoing a change and a new market segment of smartphones has been created. The market share of smartphones e.g. has increased up to 37.6% in Spain. The numbers of mobile internet users has been strongly rising at the same time. The growth rate reminds of the growth rates in the early days of the internet. Compared to the ‘for free’ culture in the internet, smartphone users are willing more likely to pay a fee for content or service. Smartphones not only provide traditional telecommunication services, but also short message services, browser and application based services and near-field communication. In order to survive in the competition, banks either have to focus on a strong differentiation or cost leadership. Established banks are unlikely to compete against low-cost banks, so they need to be clearly different from their competitors. They have to consider that their services are oriented on the customer needs. Therefore all banking services have to be aligned with the customer processes. A customer process is characterized as the entire end-to-end process a customer passes through to meet a desired need or to solve a problem until satisfaction is met. During each step of this process, the customer needs support from different suppliers to fulfil all needs of this process. A single process owner does not exist. Instead of this the customer has to get in touch with many different suppliers. Here the bank can act as service integrator to bundle the different interactions. The bank can demonstrate itself as primary contact to the customer via its multiple distribution channels. An app would act as primary communication channel as it becomes the constant companion of the client.

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