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Pokémon Go: Just Another Game App, or Powerful Marketing Tool?

Since last TIMG_5812hursday, Pokémon Go has quickly become the largest mobile game in the history of the United States. With over 7.5M estimated users, Pokémon Go has captured the imaginations of more than just your average gamers.

If you’ve spent time in any public place within the last six days, you’ve probably noticed groups of people walking around, staring at their smartphones held in outstretched arms. It may seem odd initially, but Pokémon Go, the latest augmented reality mobile app, has gained huge popularity across the world. In just under a week, Pokémon Go has not only had an incredible impact on the society we live in, but also on the future of businesses’ marketing strategies.

What is Pokémon Go? Pokémon go is a mobile app that synchronizes to a smart phone’s GPS and alerts the user whenever a Pokémon or a “Pokéstop” appears in their area using augmented reality. The game allows users to catch different types of Pokémon, increase their “Combat Power,” and use them to take over certain locations.

According to an article in AdWeek, since Pokémon Go’s inception, over $7 Billion was added to Nintendo’s market value. Additionally, the app has already surpassed Twitter and Tinder for daily active users (and that’s just on Android devices)! With the massive usage of the new gaming app, it is no wonder that small businesses have begun incorporating its features into their every-day business practices. Whether it be offering discounts to Pokémon Go users, or creating “Lure Modules” to attract Pokémon, small businesses across thFullSizeRendere country have been using the app to boost business!

To site one example, in New York, a local pizzeria called L’inizio Pizza Bar experienced a 75% increase in sales last weekend. The owner of the restaurant credited the dramatic boost in sales to the $10 he spent on “Lure Modules” for the game. Lure Modules are tools that can either be earned or purchased in the game to attract Pokémon to a specific location for a set time interval. Countless small businesses across the country have conducted similar experiments that also have resulted in increased sales.

So what does this mean for the future of marketing? Well, Niantic (the producer of the Pokémon Go app) has already stated that sponsored Pokémon Go locations for businesses are most likely going to be a part of the game’s near future (source). Ari Brandt, the CEO of MediaBrix mentioned that “through [augmented reality], marketers can use location data to offer exclusive content to drive foot traffic, not to mention hyper-targeted deals and offers.” In just a few days, it has become clear that augmented reality is taking off, and businesses across the country have decided to jump on board and explore this new found opportunity.

Pokémon Go essentially breaks down the wall between technology and real-world experience, so as brands drive people into new locations, there’s a real opportunity for them to do more ambient marketing that isn’t exclusively digital. – Jamie Gallo, President at Wunderman New York

 

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By: Emily Dietz, Business Development Strategist

 

*Image Source: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/insertcoin/files/2016/07/pokemon-go-new3-1200×675.jpg