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Mobile Apps - Essential Marketing Mix Ingredient

The goal of introducing a mobile application for your business is to enhance the customer experience. As long as customers know it's there. Communicating the existence and value of your mobile app is critical to its success. Twitter and Facebook promotions announcing your app are very effective, as well as QR (quick response) codes, which take the consumer to the online location where they can download the app. Consumers can also be enticed to download your app if there are secret items of exclusive offers that are not available in your store, but only through the mobile app.

Keys to smooth operation include a seamless back-end integration. Robust functionality and easy usability are vital. You can determine how many people download your app, how often they use it, and how much they spend, making ROI very measurable.

Mobile apps can extend your reach to a wider customer base, while allowing each store to offer customized promotions. Put the power of the mobile application in the hands of the customer. Encourage your customers to share your app with their friends through their social networks. This is how social media facilitates the expansion of WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing, as people see recommendations from friends and family more valid than those from people they don't know, or company advertisements.

Technological changes, from smartphones and tablets, to the rise of social media, are driving marketing communications initiatives like never before. Businesses need to reach their customers where they are. And where they are is social, local, and mobile.