July 26, 2016

What can Marketers learn from Pokémon-GO?

The meteoric rise of Pokémon-GO struck me when my 3 year old daughter began pestering me to download the game to my iPhone. There is something ingenious here for a game born out of one simple idea: To get the kids out of the house and play.

pokemon go

Pokémon-GO is the embodiment of marketers’ ideal dreamscape – a perfect convergence between augmented reality (animated Pokémon) and reality (real world through the eye of phone camera), where players freely seek out others to achieve a “win” in a close proximity virtual cyber environment. As their levels progress, players need to be expertly aware of each Pokémon’s inherent strengths and weakness in order to capture, train, and breed the Pokémon to the fullest potential. Some Pokémons are complementary to each other to further amplify the strengths during combat, and owners need to be cognizant of the Pokémons’ physical conditions to maximize their power.

So, what does all this game talk mean to Marketers? Let me see if I can make this simple for you.

Know your customers well: Your customers behave like Pokémons. The reality remains that your customers will have attained primary and secondary (or even tertiary) profiles at different segmentations (i.e. power levels). Marketers need to be keenly aware, at all times, to foster their customers in order to maximize the level of engagement.

Understand interaction contexts: Pending different timing and geographical considerations, one or more of your customers’ characteristics will stand out more than the others in determining their needs (i.e. strengths) and consequently, interactions.

  • Right Time: A tired Pokémon will not respond/fight well. Leverage historical geolocation data to make inferences of the following: Is your customer on a mission to shop, or just stressed out and hungry? Engage your customers at the right moment. Let’s not push your customers too much and have the messaging backfire on you.
  • Right Environment – Pokémon excels in a properly matched environment. It’d be foolish pitting Pikachu (electric) against Onix (rock) without the help of water to produce a shocking effect. To maximize benefits of interaction, marketers need to have intimate understanding of their products, stores, store layouts and especially sales staff to personalize the best suited augmented reality for each customer.
  • Right People – Complementary Pokémons and players greatly amplify the strengths of each other. Your customers’ friends and their friends are now an extension to your Marketing and Brands. Pokémon-GO further enhances the augmented reality through Google Map integrated Pokémon locator broadcasting nearby Pokémons. This allows players to choose who they want to congregate and which Pokémons they want to capture.

It’s not surprising that interaction contexts play a key role in putting together the Best Message for your customer. Nintendo and Google spin-off Niantic really outdid themselves hitting the ball out of the park and deep into the galaxy.