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How Web Developers & Marketers Can Leverage the Pokémon Go Craze

Posted on 7.27.2016

:: By Margie Kupfer, 3Cinteractive ::


In the few short weeks since its launch, Pokémon Go, an augmented reality (AR) location-based smartphone game, has taken the nation by storm. Streets, parks and backyards are flooded with people of all ages using their smartphone as a window into the virtual world of Pokémon. 

The app, which allows user to hunt, capture and train virtual Pokémon creatures, has about 21 million active daily users as of July 2016. What’s more, the average iPhone user spends roughly 33.5 minutes a day playing Pokémon Go. That’s more than Facebook (22 minutes), Snapchat (18 minutes), Twitter (18 minutes) and Instagram (15 minutes), according to Sensor Tower. The game also rakes in a whopping $1.6 million dollars in daily revenue.

The popularity of Pokémon Go indicates the public is potentially ready for large-scale, user-based location engagement, which Web developers and marketers can use as another important tool to reach their target audience.

With all of the buzz surrounding Pokémon Go, it only makes sense that brands harness some of this momentum and use it for their own benefit. 

Mobile Marketing Customization A Must

Regardless of how long Pokémon Go lasts, it is clear that consumer engagement is the strategy being embraced here. There are plenty of well-designed websites and mobile apps today, but the most effective sites and apps cater to specific needs of their targeted users. In today’s mobile-driven world, these needs go beyond information to include an engaging experience that not only keeps them coming back for more, but it empowers them to share those experiences with friends and family. 

In the case of Pokémon Go, users are willingly spending money on in-app purchases to enhance their experience. The takeaway for Web developers is that consumers are clearly willing to pay extra for goods and services if they receive content or experiences that meet their expectations.

Location, Location, Location 

One of the most popular ways brands are using Pokémon Go to drive foot traffic to their brick-and-mortar locations is by paying to be a sponsored location or “PokéStop”. To players, these physical locations are recognizable sites where they can visit to collect supplies needed for the game and gain points to move up through levels. But more importantly, players may find that they need some “supplies” in the real world too and make a purchase for themselves during their stop. 

Use the Power of Social Media

Pokémon Go is a social experience. People all over various social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are sharing screenshots of their Pokémon Go experience. Showing off their valuable Pokémon and where they found them is half the fun for some players.

For brands and Web developers who want to leverage Pokémon Go but don’t want to pay for a sponsored location, social media is key. By posting images of Pokémon at your business on social media you will be able to draw more players to the location without making an in-game purchase. 

The Reality of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds and making advertising and marketing an experience rather than just a sales pitch. For Web developers, leveraging AR and including it in the interactive experience is becoming more natural for consumers. 

AR technology offers new ways for brands to interact with customers—a one-on-one personalized interaction between the shopper and the marketer. The data gathered from apps like Pokémon Go can fuel this customization. Brands that are implementing AR technology to their current mobile marketing strategies will be able to provide shoppers with loyalty rewards, offers and incentives that apply to their specific interests based on what they have already viewed or searched for. 

Although Pokémon Go is one the most prevalent examples of AR success at the moment, Web developers and brands can expect to see more opportunities for mobile marketing within this platform in the near future. 


About The Author 

Margie Kupfer is vice president, marketing at 3Cinteractive (3C). Through mobile marketing services, 3C deepens and extends the connection between customers and brands, driving increased loyalty, brand awareness, and results. Leveraging 3C’s expertise connecting mobile to business results and its Switchblade™ platform’s multichannel capabilities—including mobile messaging, mobile coupons, mobile wallet, mobile web, location based services and more—marketers can deliver timely, relevant engagement at the customers’ moment of need.

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