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Pokémon GO and the Future of Digital Marketing

David Bosley

We told ourselves we wouldn’t get caught up in the fad, but now that Pokémon GO is the biggest mobile game in history, we can’t ignore it.

For digital marketing professionals everywhere, it’s time to address the Snorlax in the room.

In a matter of weeks, Pokémon GO managed to make a colossal name for itself. Data from SimilarWeb indicates that the app recently took over Tinder in Android app downloads and now has more daily active users than Twitter. And experts from the web analytics company say it’s only a matter of time before it surpasses Snapchat and Google Maps.


A look at Pokémon GO:

-Users currently spend more time on Pokémon GO than Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

-Incredibly interactive, Pokémon GO uses a unique combination of two hot digital trends: location and augmented reality (AR).

-To progress in the game, Pokémon GO users visit physical locations and deploy an augmented reality interface on their smartphone to catch virtual Pokémon.


Pokémon GO’s impact:

-As the first real AR app at scale, Pokémon GO recently reached 21 million daily active users in the United States, surpassing Candy Crush Saga’s peak of 20 million daily active users.

-Nintendo’s share prices spiked 50% since Pokémon GO launched, adding $10 billion to the company’s market value.

-Countless brick-and-mortar stores have started to leverage nearby Pokémon and PokéStops to drive additional foot traffic.


Digital marketing professionals need to pay attention

Up until now, the technology required for an AR experience was bulky, expensive, and not very consumer-friendly, but Pokémon GO changes everything. With its widespread success, Pokémon GO could become the “gold standard” for AR experiences and AR content could start to shift into mainstream behavior and create endless opportunities for brands to engage consumers in new and unique ways.

“People born in the 1980s and 90s, they grew up with this. It’s approachable and reassuring, and that’s why it’s gone from zero to millions of users in just a few days,” Jeremiah Rosen, managing director at creative agency Reason2Be in New York City told Reuters. “I see McDonald’s, Home Depot, national brands playing into the culture.”

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