You have probably seen the direct effects of Pokemon Go without even realizing it. Maybe you often see people walking around, not looking up from their phones, swiping furiously, pointing in different directions – they’re looking for a nearby Pokemon they’ve located on their map. Or perhaps you see a bunch of people crowded around a random fountain, sitting down on their phones – it’s probably a Pokestop. Maybe you’re driving with a friend and they suddenly yell at you to slow down in the middle of an intersection so they can catch a Charizard (or maybe that’s just my friends).
You’ve probably seen the articles about how the app has taken the world by storm. And, just like the rest of us, you’re probably wondering how all of this happened quite literally overnight. The immense success of Pokemon Go provides us with an opportunity to look at the unique factors at play in the game’s marketing, and how it can even serve as a new marketing medium for other businesses.
Utilizing a cross-generational audience
One important overarching factor which may have contributed to Pokemon Go’s success is the fact that the franchise was able to appeal to multiple generations. While current fans of Pokemon were the typical target audience, the app also had another fan base backing them up: the previous generation of Pokemon fans who grew up with the franchise and felt nostalgic about it upon the app’s release. Because of this, the app was able to attract downloads from people who fell outside of the usual gamer audience and thus generated more momentum. By playing on nostalgia and fan loyalty, Pokemon Go took advantage of two unique factors that are not always available in this particular market.
A second component of this overnight phenomenon is the fact that Pokemon Go is available as a mobile app, and because smartphones have become the norm, this made the game readily accessible to a large majority of the world’s population. People who normally wouldn’t partake in gaming now have the option to simply download the app and take it with them wherever they go–it does not require any extra equipment or lengthy instructions to follow and learn. Our mobile-friendly society quickly accepted Pokemon Go into their collection of apps and mobile games.
The influence of social media
Social media has played a huge role in further promoting Pokemon Go after its release. The app has since garnered a significant amount of press, both good and bad, and created a name for itself as an overall family friendly game that encourages people to get outside–albeit still with their faces glued to a phone screen–and explore their surroundings. The app can attribute a significant portion of its success to simply word of mouth and peer influence: when people who normally would not download the game see their friends playing it, they feel more inclined to do the same, at least to see what the hype is all about.
So how has Pokemon Go managed to also transform local and even global marketing? Because the game relies on real life locations, small businesses, retail stores, and public spaces can take advantage of the increased number of customers they may receive each day simply because there might be a Pokemon in the store, or by taking matters into their own hands and placing “lures” in their store. Yelp has developed their own filter to show where the closest Pokestops are, and T-Mobile has offered free data to customers who use the app.
Pokemon Go has truly surpassed our expectations and became the newest sensation sweeping across every single nation. What do you think the next nostalgic revival will be? Here at Digital Operative, we’re always looking into the latest trends. Make sure to contact us today for a quote!