Pokémon Go and the lessons for Online Digital marketer

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Pokémon Go and the lessons for Online Digital marketer

If you have not heard of the ‘new’ phenomenon of Pokémon Go, then you have probably been locked up in the house for too long, and without access to Television or any source of media.  Well, if you have been out lately you have probably seen people walking with their heads buried in their phones, not texting but hunting for ‘animated creatures.’

An easy explanation of what Pokémon Go is, is that it is a game based on augmented reality. The game challenges players to find and catch animated creatures (Pokémon) in their real world surroundings. So, while playing users will move around with their smartphones (hence, the “buried heads”) hunting Pokémon creatures. Once they find the creatures they will attempt to capture them.  The game is quite entertaining and popular, evidenced by the fact that Nintendo’s (developer) valuation is currently estimated to be $7.5 billion, thanks to the popularity of the game.

Pokémon Go has become a cultural phenomenon “overnight.” With very little advertising done to promote the game, any marketer would be curious about how this huge following/popularity was achieved. Here is a look at the lessons marketers can learn from this incredible game:

A good Reward System can increase customer engagement
A keen analysis of this game would reveal that in addition to the thrill of the hunt, this game is also a “fitness app.” Players are encouraged to explore the outdoors and become physically active. They are rewarded in the form of bonuses and incentives for going to the gym, walking and even catching new Pokémon.  In addition, the thrill of winning a battle and finding a new Pokémon keeps users engaged, and they “keep coming back for more.”  Just like Pokémon, marketers should aim to build reward systems that build loyalty among their customers, and ones that will keep them engaged.

Build a sense of Identity in your existing customer base
The original Pokémon game was a hit in the UK back in 1999. The people that played the game then are probably in their 20s now, and this is the generation that is still playing the game today. Pokémon Go’s developers made a point of keeping some of the first thrills of the game, such as the 151 Pokémon characters, so as to create a sense of identity and build nostalgia among their original customers. Of course, Pokémon Go is also banking on building a new customer base, but this is while retaining their existing one.

Marketers should, therefore, aim to take a similar position by building new leads but, also regularly touching base with their existing customers. Also, marketers should find ways of building trust among their customers by offering them continued value.

Do not underestimate Social Proof
The world today is a highly integrated one; one that is immediately connected and highly communicative; therefore, making social proof an important part of this modern society.  People will not buy products until they have been reviewed by someone else. A business will not be noticed until someone talks about it in social media platform. Social proof is clearly evidenced by the Pokémon Go phenomenon, whereby its popularity has been built by other people seeing others having fun on their smartphones and wanting to experience the same thrill.

Marketers can learn a great deal about strategies and brand building from Pokémon Go, but the ultimate lesson is that the product must be good for it to succeed; if Pokémon Go was not a captivating and thrilling game no one would be interested in it.