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What Pokemon Go can teach us about ‘how to catch em all’ (customers that is!)

Have you noticed an increase in people walking around town lately, staring with dedicated concentration at their smart phones? Maybe yelling with excitement, or screaming with disappointment? You’d be forgiven for thinking that perhaps they’ve just received a really great (or disappointing) email. But the reality? They’re probably just looking for Pokemon.

Welcome to ‘Pokemon Go’, the newest craze to hit the app world in the last week. But what is all the fuss about?

Essentially, the app allows users to look at the world through their phone (as they would a camera), using the phone’s GPS to search for ever elusive Pokemon to capture and battle. The app combines augmented reality with the real world, encouraging users to travel around looking for Pokemon. So far they’ve been seen just about everywhere!

But it’s not just teenagers who are using it. Considering that Pokemon is over 20 years old, there are a whole lot of adults who are rediscovering their love of the game, thanks to Pokemon Go. In fact, just last night a friend of mine mentioned how she’d downloaded the app to her phone (much to the horror of her 13 year old daughter).

But beyond the obvious fun that comes from spotting a ‘Krabby’ in your local Woolworths, or a ‘Charizard’ blowing up a firestorm on public transport, there’s another surprising element.

Namely, that the app went viral despite hardly any marketing. According to App Annie, the analytics firm, Pokemon Go is the highest-grossing app in both the U.S and Australia (something which was achieved within a day of its U.S release).  

So what can marketers learn from the success of Pokemon Go? Perhaps one of the biggest, is learning how to harness the power of viral campaigns to attract new customers. For example, in the case of Pokemon Go, lure those customers in – don’t turn them away!

Companies around the US and Australia have been quick to use the success of Pokemon Go to ‘lure’ in potential customers. From KFC and Woolworths, to Australian Bananas and many more, savvy marketers know that ‘if you can’t beat em, it’s best to join em’.

WW Pokemon

WW Pokemon Go

KFC pokemon

Whether it be fun social media posts with tips about where to spot Pokemon in their store, or a clever product placement, it makes sense to use the viral power of Pokemon Go to attract new customers. And while some may see it as a shameless plug – if it’s working, who really cares?

Source: Facebook

And it’s not just big organisations that can cash in! Even small businesses, like local cafes or vintage shops, have been drawing customers.

pokemon go clothing store
Image source

So where could apps and technology such as augmented or virtual reality take us?

SponsoredLinX’ Senior Social Media Manager Lachlan Dann believes that what we’ve seen through Pokemon Go is ‘only the beginning’.

“Not only does this tech give small businesses something to piggyback off (as you’ll see with the hugely successful Pokemon Go ‘soft launch’ as explained above), but it gives FMCG companies something big to look forward to.

“In the not too distant future, Augmented reality could give us the ability to walk through a clothing store, check out a particular item of clothing and have all kinds of things like sizes and prices projected to us – maybe even a virtual sales clerk!

“Virtual reality could give us the ability to visit a virtual mall, walk around, buy items and much more. Both applications have an almost limitless potential.”  

Only time will tell if we’ll see a rise in Augmented Reality technology for everyday businesses. But one thing is sure: with every advancement in technology, there’s always a new possibility for marketing to your audience.

As our favourite cartoon would say: ‘You gotta catch them all’.

Want to know how to harness the power of social media to attract more customers? Contact SponsoredLinX on 1300 859 600