Simply because you’re reading this; it’s safe to assume you don’t spend the entirety of your days in a cave in the middle of nowhere (with no contact from the outside world). This assumption made, one could now also assume you’ve heard of ‘Pokemon Go’.
An augmented reality game that encourages users to walk out and about their local area (or further afield if they so wish) and catch little virtual monsters. It’s creating a lot of buzz. The game released officially in the UK this week and like it or loathe it, it’s everywhere! Our advice… embrace the madness, because it’s only the start.
US stats have Pokemon Go as having more downloads and revenue than any other iphone app, within two days of its release. It already has more Android device downloads than dating app Tinder which – when you consider how successful and long running Tinder is, is incredible!
The potential for this app to make money is huge. Not only because of in game purchases but it’s a fairly safe bet to assume that with its huge audience, the potential to sell ad space and use Pokemon Go as a marketing format, there’s a lot of money to be made from businesses trying to coat tail its success.
How you can use Pokemon Go for marketing
A lot is already being made about the ability some businesses have to use the app for marketing. A few blogs have popped up online about how business owners can use things called ‘lure modules’ to attract Pokemon to their business and of course, where there are Pokemon, there follows people (potential customers) smart phone in hand.
Other advice given includes offering free phone charging on your business premises or free wifi, such is the app’s thirst for battery and data, the theory being that customers will flock in to be able to play Pokemon Go for longer.
Whilst the above tips are valid, questions remain over the limited amount of businesses that are able to utilize the app for their own gain and whether or not the average Pokemon Go player is likely to be your target demographic.
As ecommerce businesses go, it’s difficult to see any ways in which online retailers can utilize the craze – Pokemon Go is about getting users outside and away from their laptop and armchair, perhaps the exact place your ecommerce business wants them to be.
So how can ecommerce businesses benefit?
As with anything successful, the tendency is for other brands to ‘jump on the bandwagon’. Years ago, it was getting an interactive website (seriously), recently it’s video and it’s hard not to feel like Pokemon Go is paving the way for a new future of augmented reality marketing. With things like the Oculus Rift coming out next year, the opportunities for AR marketing are only going to grow.
Just like the existing marketing channels, augmented reality can be used to sell anything to anyone – it all comes down to creativity and optimizing the channel – it’s fairly limitless. Whilst seemingly complicated and inaccessible at time of writing, augmented reality is something that you can expect to see become relatively everyday within a couple of years. After all it wasn’t that long ago that HD 1080p video was exclusively the realm of high end production companies, you can now shoot 4k on a phone.
Some of the larger e-commerce brands are already using augmented reality to great effect. Swedish furniture giants Ikea have released this incredible app that allows you to place furniture in your home (via your smartphone camera). It’s not hard to see how this adds value to a potential customer. Not only this, the app looks genuinely fun to use and users may be tempted to download it even without the existing desire to buy furniture. Meaning the app could be actively generating potential customers – something which very few other channels can do quite so effectively. After all is said and done, the point of marketing any ecommerce business is to increase sales, this means augmented reality certainly could have a place in any well-rounded marketing strategy.
So, what can we learn from the Pokemon Go craze?
If you’re one of those lucky business owners that can utilize Pokemon Go for marketing, then what are you waiting for? Get your creative hat on and start attracting potential customers to your bricks and mortar premises.
If not, don’t worry! Pokemon Go can simply act as an indicator as to where marketing is heading, and all the indicators are pointing towards augmented reality apps.
So the question still remains, How will this technology affect your online business marketing? Let us know in the comments below.
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