Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few weeks, completely isolated from social media and human interaction, you will have heard of the latest trend in mobile gaming: Pokémon Go. This app-based game, produced by market-leaders Niantic, has dominated the global gaming scene this summer. Despite only being released in a certain number of territories, the game has been downloaded over 500 million times and dominated the headlines of news outlets for increasing tourism, sparking arrests and a number of other both positive and negative reactions, sparked by the game.
For those of you who aren’t quite Pokémon masters, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game released in the UK in early July. Since it appeared on app stores, the game has seamlessly transformed the public into pro-active walking enthusiasts who are always keeping one eye on their mobiles and another on roaming Jigglypuffs.
With a broad audience of children, teens and reminiscent adults trying to ‘catch ‘em all’, the seemingly unstoppable rise of Pokémon Go has us thinking: are we about to see a revolution in the way we approach digital marketing strategy?
Pokémon Go and Digital Communication
Not only is the Pokemon Go craze encouraging more people into our walkways, parks and shopping centres, social feeds are busying up with over 100 Tweets per minute flying through the social network.
Comparing Pokémon Go search queries to the recent trends around Brexit and the election of Theresa May, it’s safe to say that the game has well and truly taken off and surpassed what is deemed to be the most important political news of recent times. This implies that Pokémon Go is actually a primary focus in the public’s online conversations and searches, meaning brands are more likely to generate a conversation surrounding this topic; be that over social media or through the release of relevant and timely content.
With this in mind, it seems marketers will have to start thinking outside of the box with the objective of producing content aimed at enticing audiences to go out of their way if they want to get their hands on it.
Gaming and Digital Marketing
Traditionally, the gaming community relies on various consoles and specialist computers to compete and play. Although mobile games are now prominent in everyday life and have been for some time; will the gaming industry as a whole start looking more in the region of smartphone gaming in order to create and mimic the buzz generated by Pokémon GO?
Well, what we do know is gamification has supplied marketers with a new set of tools which we predict will be fully utilised as time goes on.
With the UK gaming industry worth £4.19bn to the economy, alongside an estimated 18.8m people between the ages of 6 and 64 playing, demographics are broadening allowing marketers to utilise these opportunities to fulfil brand awareness and brand loyalty objectives.
So, what we know so far is that marketers have demographics in place, the creation of games is inexpensive and people will jump through hoops for the right game. Surely, it’s a no brainer?
Digital Marketing and Strategy
Like almost every fad, the Pokémon Go craze won’t last forever, but the idea of blending mobile phone apps, augmented reality and location based marketing might just take off.
And why wouldn’t it? It bleeds into social media communication, Google Search behaviour, mobile internet usage and mobile-related purchases. There’s money to be made in the mobile gaming industry and before long, marketers will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure their brand is the one which capitalises on it.
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