5 Mobile Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Pokemon Go

Tuesday November 15th, 2016

You might have heard about the mobile gaming app Pokemon Go, which broke all the records of previous gaming apps.

Much of the credit for the overnight success of Pokemon Go goes to the fact that Nintendo was able to leverage technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). But, VR headsets and Google Glass, which use similar technology, weren’t yet used by many people.

So, what marketing strategy did the Pokemon Go creators follow to gain such massive popularity in such a short time? Let’s find out.

1.   Higher User Engagement

One of the most striking features of Pokemon Go was its real-time engagement that made app users stay active on the app even while they were on the road. In fact, the game gets more interactive when the players drive around from one destination to another.

This re-emphasizes the fact that your app needs to engage with your target audience around the clock. In this way, your users will come back to your app again and again. And, a lot of an app’s success depends on how you can work on real-time engagement that keeps your users busy even while they are on the move, or when they are free and more likely to use a mobile app.

2.   Branding Is Important

If you happen to look back at the Pokemon Go system, you will realize that a similar system was already in place for another location-based mobile gaming app named Ingress. But, Ingress did not manage to become even half as popular as Pokemon Go. Why? Because Ingress did not have brand recognition.

Pokemon Go, on the other hand, made full use of the brand value of the Pokemon characters and their designs which have been popular for years with fans of the Pokemon video game series. The brand connect of Pokemon has even been established across generations.

So, while Pokemon Go is good, it only really become an overnight craze because there was high anticipation about it among its users who already knew and loved Pokemon.

3.   A Huge Advertising Budget Is Not Mandatory

Nintendo did not invest heavily in advertising. Instead, they focused on the branding and features of the app that made it go viral.

So, they established a connect with the users. Once that was done, the users themselves marketed the app beyond limit. In essence, the advertisements for Pokemon Go was the users playing it in real life, while in public. When a lot of people were seen on the streets with their heads down, playing a mobile game, automatic interest was generated among others to also try out this game!

4.   Reward Users

It is one thing to get users to download your app; it is another thing entirely to ensure they keep coming back. Rewards go a long way in building customer loyalty and making sure that users continue to invest time in your app.

This was proven with the various incentives and bonuses that Pokemon Go players got for different activities, such as catching a new Pokemon, leveling up, taking on gyms, and walking. So, the excitement of getting rewarded at different stages motivated the Pokemon Go users to keep playing continuously.signs-108062_1920

5.   Timing the Market is Everything

You may think that an app should be launched whenever it is fully ready. However, to create the maximum impact on your target audience, you need to analyze what time of the year the launch of your app will gain the best results.

In the case of Pokemon Go, the game makers released it during summer, when people are more likely to go outside, roam around, go shopping, travel, and so on. Do you think the game would have been as widely used with a release in winter, when people prefer to stay home? Of course not!

Pokemon Go also used the popularity of Pokemon in a well thought-out manner. The Pokemon game was launched before 2000 (almost 20 years before the app) and the original fans, who were mostly school children at that time, are now adults. And, these adults now possess purchasing power to invest in a game that contained their favorite Pokemon characters.

While it is true that successes like Pokemon Go are rare, they can teach you numerous mobile marketing lessons and unique tactics that you can utilize for your own future app.

What is your strategy to market your app? Let us know in the comments section below.