6 Things Your Business Can Learn From Pokémon Go
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6 Things Your Business Can Learn From Pokémon Go

In just a few days the new Pokémon Go game has literally “exploded” and become the biggest mobile game in US history, so it’s worth looking at it from a business perspective.

I’m not a gamer, but I’ve had business interests in mobile phone Apps and Augmented Reality (A/R) too, so I’ve been interested in this. I’m also interested to see how they’ve used a bit of lateral thinking when developing the game and have some clever ways to generate revenue; they’ve used what I call Lateral Monetization™.

With all the buzz I thought I give you a business and entrepreneur’s perspective to Pokémon Go, as opposed to the gamer reviews and media hype surrounding concerns, so here are 6 things I’ve noticed that are interesting if your in the business of making money, even if it’s not through Apps or gaming.

First of all, Pokémon Go has embraced technology, but rather than trying to develop it and get people interested it the developers have waited until there’s a reasonable level of interest and understanding before launching – I don’t know if this was a deliberate strategy but it’s certainly a god one.

People like Google spent vast amounts of money developing and promoting A/R and had products like Google Glass grabbing the attention, but they never got the return on investment they wanted but it looks like Pokémon Go will.

So the first lesson is don’t rush to embrace new technology, doing that makes it more expensive and harder work. Take your time and let others spend money developing a market, but be ready to jump in at the right moment.

Second is that Pokémon Go has linked the real and virtual worlds by using gamification. If you’re looking to get people involved and excited gamification is a fantastic way to achieve this, even if what you do isn’t normally associated with fun and entertainment.

Third is the fact that Pokémon Go has uncovered a new revenue stream by allowing businesses to pay to become a real world location in the game, in fact it’s already been reported that a Pizza bar in Queens New York increased food and drink sales by about 30% in the first weekend the game was launched.

Pokémon Go is, in my opinion, the first major success for mobile to physical promotion driving footfall, because as much as SMS marketing, Bluetooth Marketing and Apple’s iBeacon have been around for some time, this has really taken the commercial opportunity to another level. I was involved in these technologies many years ago and love the potential, but now I’m seeing that potential turn in to money and that’s exciting.

So whatever business you’re in make sure you look at new technologies and cross-market promotions as a way to increase your profile and drive traffic to your business.

And to get even greater results why not “double up” your promotional activity by using Pokémon Go “Lures” and special offers – can you imagine what it could do if you’re a small or even large business with physical outlets? It’s also a very cost effective way to build an email list of local prospects too.

Number four is realising how viral media will work and because of all the social networks and media channels, if you get things right, you can go from nothing to a global sensation in virtually no time.

Sure, we can’t all create the hottest App for iOS and Android devices, but what’s happened with Pokémon Go is really interesting if you’re interested in modelling how to go “viral” across online and offline media so you can apply it to what you do.

Fifth we have the fact that you can tie in seemingly unrelated events and locations to your marketing, which is what Pokémon Go has done, even using Downing Street in London just as the former British Prime Minister David Cameron left office and as the new Prime Minister Theresa May arrived to start her period of leadership.

As a business, entrepreneur and marketer, you should be using one off events and regular calendar events to support you promotions, whether that’s sporting events, political events, personal dates like birthdays, annual holidays and all sorts of other things because it’s a powerful way to associate what you do with other areas of interest people have.

And number six is that we can see from the impact of Pokémon Go on Nintendo’s shares – up 56% in less than a week, you can make money fast in today’s world. Pokémon Go is proof that one smart move in business can transform your situation and profits almost overnight, but be careful, the opposite can happen too.