POKÉMON GO AND THE DIGITAL SPACE

Okay, so let’s get real. I feel like you should read this week’s post with the voice of your most annoying aunt, who always tells you the importance of washing the back of your ears, because this is an ‘I –and almost every other self-acclaimed digital marketing expert- told you so’ kinda post. So, remember when you read that thing about how digital marketing and social media is about to boom? Well, it just did. In case you’ve been under a rock or stuck in another time zone, an American company called Niantic has just developed a game called Pokémon Go, which is intended to catapult people into a major throwback to the early 2000’s. Just to give some perspective on this game, it’s a free, iOS and Android friendly game which places players in an augmented reality, where they use their phones to catch Pokémon in actual spaces around them. So don’t wonder when you see people randomly staring down at their phones, jaywalking through traffic at 8pm. Now, what does this epidemic mean for businesses? In a nutshell, if your business is not online by now, you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any justice.

Let me put this into perspective so you get the gist of this ‘lecture’. Pokémon Go has surpassed WhatsApp and Instagram in usage time, the dating app Tinder in app downloads and is rapidly creeping up to beat Twitter in daily users (marketingdive.com, 2016). How many people do you know, who are daily users of the above-mentioned apps? Perhaps everyone? This is where the current digital space is at, and there is no ignoring it. So ask yourself, if there are so many people on this new game, why isn’t my company on there too? Now if you still haven’t caught the point of this all, let me break it down for you. The game requires the geo-location from all gamers in order to help them catch Pokémon around their locations. So if this is the case, then it means that there is an opportunity for your company to target an audience based on their location. Niantic’s CEO has recently announced the introduction of “sponsored locations”, which means that companies will be allowed the paid opportunity to be featured prominently on the game’s virtual map, in the hope to drive customers inside their facilities (techcrunch.com, 2016). This is exactly where you should be right now. The other perk for companies is the beauty of data-mining. With such high volumes of daily users on the game, companies could track patterns and behaviours of potential customers, by virtue of their location.

Now, let’s conclude. With all this in mind, does it still make sense for companies to not have a digital presence? I hope your answer is no. Think about it, even if you think that your target market isn’t on Pokémon Go -which still baffles me because we have 30 year old business men on the game – the reality is, you’re missing out on a whole other market in the process of your ignorance. With that said, I’m sure you now wish you had started that LinkedIn account huh?

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