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By Celeste Giaimo

Columnist for Women’s Voices Magazine

Tue August 19, 2014

LIGHTNING RELEASES- Many major brands have been busy creating and publishing their own apps, and some consider it as important today as having a website since mobile has become the dominant force in marketing.

But, how does a small business include mobile as part of their marketing program?  

And perhaps the bigger question is how many apps will the average consumer keep on their phone?

Personally, I have no intention of purchasing a 50GB phone to accommodate hundreds of apps. I maintain a select group of apps that I use regularly.

In the retail world there are hundreds of major brand apps such as Walmart, Sears, Target, Toys “R” Us, Kohl’s, and Best Buy to name just a few. Do I keep them all on my phone?  There’s simply no way. It’s far too much clutter.

I recently became aware of an app called pinnum. The pinnum app allows the consumer to have a single app that connects with multiple retailers like their favorite restaurant, clothing store, car wash, drycleaners or service company. With the pinnum app, each business receives a unique pinnum number, and when entered, the consumer sees their latest special offer. The app also displays dollar signs ($) on the pinnum map, which displays the special offers that are near the user’s current location. Now that’s really cool.

As an example, I frequent a local pizzeria. One day while eating there, the cashier pointed out a  pinnum sign and offered me a 10% discount right on the spot if I downloaded the pinnum app and entered their pinnum number. The app size is so small it downloaded quickly. I created a simple login with my email address and password. After the initial set-up screen, the app displays a “deals page.” All I had to do was enter their pinnum number and a special offer appeared instantly. The cashier explained that they would send me special pinnum offers from time to time.  Since then, I have taken advantage of a “Buy one large pizza and get one free” offer during their slow hours. They even have a merchant account setup on the pinnum app so I was able to “Buy Now” and pick up my pizza on my way home from work.

But pinnum is more than a deals app. In looking closer, I found that the pinnum app is also a “Geo Social” app. It allowed me to create a private family group. I had my family download the app and added them to my group. So now I’m able to see where they are at a moment’s notice, which gives me real peace of mind.

From what I’ve learned, pinnum spent about 2 years putting the app together and they have just started reaching out to businesses. I’m definitely looking forward to more of my favorite businesses getting on the pinnum app.