Why Pokémon Go is a Next Level Small Business Marketing Gem

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App developers and business owners alike for many years have known that there is promise in the rise of the number of mobile device users enabling location-based services. Some thought that it would be easy for stores to push coupons to users’ mobile devices nearby. Others have dreamed that the technology could be used to influence potential customers to walk right into their store without direct prompting.

Nonetheless, retailers, small businesses and developers have had little success in overcoming the privacy barriers that are involved in getting the mobile access they need to influence user behavior.

Enter Pokémon Go, an augmented reality-based game that incentivizes the user for moving around in physical space. At its core the game brings to your pocket the themes of the older Pokémon games where you capture, train and battle Pokémon — but it adds a real-world twist. You discover virtual Pokémon to capture and train only by moving around in your physical world. Real world places correspond to the location of Pokémon Gyms (training centers) and PokéStops (places to retrieve items) in the app. You might say its somewhat of a cross between Zelda and Geocaching. If you want to progress in the game, you must go to the physical locations.

People are often more suspicious when they perceive that you are trying to get them to do something than when you are inviting them to have a fun experience. The Pokémon Go universe is nearly over 21 million users strong. It has access to the location data about all of these users and employs reliable mechanisms to influence users to move to specific locations.

It’s undeniable that the app has been influencing users’ real life behavior. It’s been getting people to go out in parks, walk along streets and to take impromptu trips. This uncommon behavior has even been noticed by law enforcement and has prompted more than one or two conversations with citizens.

Some businesses that are near Pokéstops have seen a rise in sales or have offered deals to Pokémon Go players. One couple is experiencing unexpected people traffic in front of their home (once a historic landmark) as visitors use their front lawn as a Pokémon gym. Meanwhile, health advocates are lauding the app’s ability to get people taking more steps.

It would seem that the entertainment gained through Pokémon Go fun is a semi-permanent veil that provides the makers with the ability to get in-depth user data points and influence users’ moment-by-moment location. I will not be surprised if revenue, as a result of Pokémon Go, outpaces that of Facebook in the coming months. Many advertisers and marketers may be looking to create partnerships with Pokémon Go to connect with its massive audience. How many of them have you caught already?

Native Ads & Context

While checking the weather today, I came across an ad that made me giggle, mostly because it contrasted so well with the forecast. See here:

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Imagine yourself building a fire pit in a small 12′ by 6′ backyard in 47 degrees in the pouring rain.  That might make you giggle too.

Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss. If you could dynamically change the ad content based on the moment to moment conditions outside at a users location that would be impressive.

How Diverse is Your Media Diet?

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Back in 2009, WIRED magazine released a media diet that the average American could follow to spread their daily hours spent with media across different modes. Take a look at it here:

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Now, a recent study from Nielsen shows that Americans spend 11 hours with digital media each day.

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You are known by who you associate with. How are you spending those 11 hours each day? With which companies/brands do you spend the most time and for what purpose? Just something to think about.

Share in the comments below if your heart so desires.

HOPA Dry Erase Girl (2010) makes a reappearance on social networks

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Facebook’s recent deal to acquire WhatsApp, makes me think that we are getting closer to having one primary social network that we do everything on. While, the logistics of such a feat are complicated, I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next five years, there are only 2-3 primary game players in the social networking sphere.

But the “big boys” wouldn’t get anywhere without content! Stories that are similar to one another tend to become popular around the same time and are repeated over and over in a culture (read: meme). Floating around Facebook this morning is a story about a young assistant who quits her job via a dry erase board. Take a look at it here. It was revealed later that it was a hoax put on by two masterminds at the Chive.

This story is four years old, but due to a recent resurgence of stories about female employees who have quit their jobs, it has gained interest again. The story is similar to the Super Bowl commercial where the puppeteer quits her day job and the story about the woman who was frustrated with the company’s focus on quantity over quality who teasingly left her post  via viral video.

Content creators and social media savants, make sure you are watching the trends and have relevant content top of mind and queued for publishing!

Can you guess what’s the central hub for 2014’s tech innovations? [Video]

It’s been in the palm of your hand all this time — your mobile device that is. How often do you post your outrage or excitement while you are watching your favorite TV show or sports game? How many tweets do you think you’ll read during the upcoming Super Bowl? Mark Cuban talks a little bit about mobile integration and cross-platform user engagement in the clip below from CES 2014.

Just more evidence that every day we move closer and closer to using only one screen to simultaneously connect to each of our media networks.

Getting started with Pinterest? Learn how to optimize your posts now. [Infographic]

Many small businesses are evaluating their social media performance from 2013 and wondering how they can “up their game.” According to a study released last week by a Pew Research Center, Pinterest users have increased by 6% since last year. While that increase may not seem alarming, understand that Pinterest is seeing more overall users than Twitter. Take a look at the best practices below and think about using Pinterest for your business today.

The Power of the #Hashtag [Infographic]

Need a quick way to track content on social media? Just hashtag it. Use hashtagging to track comments from a specific event, see statements from a company, or reveal user trends.

The Power of the #Hashtag

by JPBravo.
Visually.