Yesterday, a friend pulled into my parking lot to drop me off and asked to ‘sit for a while’. I thought he had to tell me something personal, as that’s what most ‘parking lot chats’ entail. He pulled the break and points his phone out the window, “DAMN”.
He did not catch the (common) Rattata he was looking for.
That’s a Pokémon that looks like raging mouse.
Without a big budget marketing campaign, Pokémon Go gained more users than Twitter in just a matter of days. Advertisers should take cues from this app that lets you ‘catch’ a variety of monsters (both cute and hideous) in real world mobile GPS locations. The success of the simple game is proof that some classic marketing rules still apply no matter how much tech and user habits evolve.
Here’s what you can do to mimic the success of Pokémon Go :
1. Solve a problem before selling
The thing about good marketing, is that it’s indirect, and passively helps the consumer. The Go campaign wasn’t ‘Hey here is an app where you can see Pokémon through your phone with x, y, z using augmented reality, and GPS’, it was ‘Use your phone to find Pokémon in the real world.’ The app turned into a free tool, not a product.
2. Evolve with your consumer
Pokémon used to be just cards, then it became a show, now it’s a mobile game. In the mobile market, gaming is king.
Global data and consumer insights firm, NewZoo predicts that gamers worldwide will generate a total of $99.6 billion in revenues in 2016, up 8.5% compared to 2015. Pokémon Go took off because it targets the most powerful group of mobile users in the world: Gamers. The most watched person on YouTube is PewDiePie, a video game reviewer with over 46 million subscribers. And Kim Kardashian is currently on the cover of Forbes for making $45 Million of her mobile video game, Hollywood.
As a result of resurrecting the brand onto mobile, the social discussions of the game have penetrated into mainstream social media causing a worldwide takeover.
3. Make it free and social
Nowadays people are sold on a product the second they see a positive review first, or hear a discussion about it. So make your product or service as free and as accessible as possible for the launch to build an audience base, and ensure that every single step of your marketing plan is easy to communicate online.
Sticking up a product next to a model on Instagram might get it likes, but seeing people truly engage with your product will get real conversions. The internet is bubbling over with Pokémon memes and reports, one of the main reasons is how easy it is to share an experience. You don’t need a fancy explainer video, you just need to connect with your audience.
Pokemon Go is living proof that no matter how much digital trends have changed the marketing game, traditional marketing still works and should still be a part of your brand’s overall strategy. In Singapore the game was only turned on momentarily before going back on the long wait list of countries yet to have it in their app stores. This explains my friend’s disappointment for not seeing a virtual rodent in my parking lot.
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