Over the past week, our social media feeds have been flooded with mentions about Pokemon Go, the new augmented reality version of the classic late 90’s video game. The game allows you to stroll around your neighborhood, catching wild pokemon.
This morning, I caught a Charmander on my subway commute.It’s a fun and ridiculous idea that has taken over, every time I go outside I catch a few people strolling around catching Pokemon (the distraction it causes is an issue in itself).
Why should Pokemon Go matter to marketers? Well, in the five days since it’s debut in the US and Australia alone, it already has an install base larger than that of Tinder, and 60% of it’s users are active at least once a day. According to Similar Web, the new app’s daily user count is slated to exceed Twitters!
The level of engagement taking place on Pokemon Go is greater than engagement levels on Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp!Some businesses around the country have found that they are home to PokeStops. PokeStops are little pitstops every block or so that players can stop at to get more Pokemon catching supplies, like PokeBalls. A store in Utah, realized this and decided to use it to encourage Pokemon players to pick up a few things during their stop. There currently isn’t an option to purchase a Pokestop in your location, but it’s a pretty safe bet it’s coming if businesses are able to capitalize on it.
There is an option to buy “lures” or “incense” though. These attract more Pokemon to your location, which can guide more foot traffic to your business.Augmented Reality is being used as a marketing tool for products such as CoverGirl makeup. Holition, an Augmented Reality Retail company has created applications like a “Magic Mirror” that allows customers to try on makeup virtually in store. The key to using augmented reality is to integrate it into the shopping experience. An augmented reality app you can download on the App Store to your phone isn’t as powerful unless motivated customers are using it to make a purchase decision. Integrating the application into physical brick and mortar stores, or onto your e-commerce site is more powerful, because users made a point of coming to the store with intent to buy. Augmented Reality is by no means applicable to every product, but has clear benefits when used strategically. Due to Pokemon Go’s success, it’s likely they’ll start presenting media opportunities to businesses. Even though it’s a silly concept, the positive reaction consumers have had to the app in such a short time is reason enough to take note.