Thursday, October 29, 2009

iPhone App for Car Payments

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Mercedes-Benz launched an iPhone application that allows customers to make a car payment, calculate the amount needed to pay off the loan, locate dealers and find customer service numbers. The Mercedes-Benz website describes it as the "coolest way to make a payment."

Some people might hear this news and think "we better do something with mobile", but Forrester Research recommends that companies use the POST (People Objective Strategy Technology) method to determine which technologies they deploy. The POST method starts with the P, understanding the People that the company serves and how they use their mobile devices. People fall into six major categories in terms of mobile phone usage. Nineteen percent (Inactives) do not own a mobile phone, 35 percent (Talkers) only use the voice features of their mobile phone and 13 percent (Communicators) use no data service other than text messaging. The next three categories use more features of their mobile phones; categories do overlap. 19 percent (Connectors) send or receive email on their mobile phones but use the mobile Internet less than weekly. Twenty percent (Entertainers) stream music or video and purchase music over their mobile phones. Twelve percent (SuperConnecteds) use the mobile Internet and log onto social networking sites from their mobile phones at least once a week.

Forrester Research says that after they understand the people they are serving, companies can then set their Objectives and determine what Strategy will accomplish their objectives. The final step is then to choose the technology that will enable the company to meet their strategy. The technology decision comes last in the process, not first, warns Forrester.

What do you think?

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