How Pokémon Go and Augmented Reality Marketing Can Drive Your Sales

by:
on August 15, 2016

If you want to be a master at Pokémon Go, you gotta catch ‘em all. If you want to be a master at developing a clientele base, though, you need to keep ‘em all.

It’s no secret that Pokémon Go—the augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed by software company Niantic, Inc. in collaboration with gaming giant Nintendo—has been a huge success. Recent SurveyMonkey data shows that it may be the most downloaded mobile game in U.S. history.

For small and midsize businesses (SMBs), Pokémon Go can be a windfall, with creative marketers taking advantage of the game’s Google Maps integration to draw in clientele and even drive business up as much as 75 percent, in some cases.

A host of articles have pointed out how your business can profit from the game’s popularity by using several of its features to draw in new and returning customers.

This article will focus on using not just Pokémon Go, but also future AR technology and games, to draw in customers and increase your clientele base. Then, we’ll take a look at how you can use marketing automation (MA) software to track and keep in touch with those new customers.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

Use Pokémon Go to Attract Customers
Prepare for the Future of Augmented Reality Marketing
Maintain Your New Augmented Reality Customer Base

Use Pokémon Go to Attract Customers

Despite how advanced its technology may seem, Pokémon Go is actually a rather simple game. Players download the app to their mobile device, and it taps into Google Maps to find their location.

Using their devices, players are able to see—and capture—the Pokémon capering about in the real world around them, a technology known as augmented reality, or AR.

 

Waiter, there’s a Pidgey in my soda! (An example of Pokémon Go’s AR interface)
Players obtain speciality items by checking in at “PokéStops”—real-world locations designated by Niantic based on their popularity in tagged photos uploaded to Google. These locations become geographic hotspots where players tend to congregate, sometimes for hours at a time. In many cases, those stops are businesses.

It’s no secret that businesses across the country have been seizing upon the opportunities that this presents, particularly if they’re lucky enough to have been designated as a PokéStop or Gym. (At the moment, that designation is somewhat luck of the draw, although in the future American businesses may be able to sponsor PokéStops in the way that McDonald’s has in Japan.)

 

A PokéStop, as it appears to players
Anati Zubia, demand generation strategist at marketing software company Infusionsoft, explains how some businesses have leveraged the game to attract customers:

“You can purchase lures that help attract Pokémon to your business. Promoting your PokéStop location with ‘non-stop lures’ events will help draw customers to your location. Many businesses couple this with special pricing for showing their app at purchase or offer up direct coupons to one of the three teams.”

Anati Zubia, demand generation strategist at Infusionsoft

To obtain these lures, you must purchase “Pokécoins,” which serve as the game’s currency. According to Zubia, purchasing enough lures to create a “non-stop lure” event costs only $1.19 an hour.

She adds that, even if you’re not near a PokéStop, you can still take advantage of the game’s massive popularity. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start up a contest on social media, pitting players against each other for a prize
  • Ask people to post photos of Pokémon with your products to be entered into a drawing
  • If you sell a product, customize it with Pokémon team color versions!

There’s no shortage of ideas out there for capitalizing on the Pokémon Go craze, and savvy marketers can certainly take advantage of the current fervor for the game. But what can you do to prepare for similar fads down the line?

Prepare for the Future of Augmented Reality Marketing

Pokémon Go may be the first AR game to break into the public consciousness, but its huge success means that it is unlikely to be the last. In fact, we may just be at the beginning of a new era in mobile gaming, where the future will bring more—and better—AR.

Lindsay Boyajian, chief marketing officer of Augment, a company that creates and sells AR software for businesses, believes that “consumers are now ready for this technology and they’re accepting it. … And once depth sensing becomes ubiquitous in every mobile phone, there’s no reason that AR will not be adopted by everyone for e-commerce and through all aspects of their life.”

To be a creative marketer, you need to be ready to use technological innovations that are trending among your clientele, and AR is in the early stages of becoming such a trend.

In fact, Boyajian sees AR as more than just a gaming innovation, but increasingly a part of sales, marketing and commerce:

“Coca-Cola uses Augment to place [drink] coolers in stores, so their field sales team can go on site and show a client exactly what the cooler [would] look like [in real life]. The real size, real design. It’s a really practical use case, where these companies were limited to PowerPoint presentations or guesswork in trying to figure out if things are going to fit, and now with Augment, we’re able to bring those displays to real life.”

Lindsay Boyajian, chief marketing officer at Augment

Augmented reality marketing for B2B sales
Augment’s AR technology used for B2B sales
It’s not only B2B sales that can benefit from AR implementation, though. Boyajian points out two ways AR can revolutionize shopping, both online and in person:

  • When shopping online, you can actually see a product—its size, how it looks in your house etc.
  • Stores do not always carry their entire inventory on-site, but AR technology will allow them to show their entire catalogue to customers.

As AR takes off, it’s not enough merely to get on board with this new technology. You also need to be ready to use tried-and-true methods of marketing automation to keep in contact with the new clientele brought in by your slick AR and Pokémon battles royal.

Maintain Your New Augmented Reality Customer Base

So you’ve taken advantage of a new location-based game or a hot new fad in AR technology, and you have lots of new customers coming through your door. What should you do to keep those customers coming back?

Here’s where you don’t need to reinvent the Poké Ball. Instead, turn to tried-and-true methods of marketing automation that will keep your clientele primed for your services.

The first and most important aspect of this is to collect customer data.

Offering coupons or a loyalty rewards program makes it easier to collect contact information, especially email addresses. MA software lets you apply tags to these new clients, so you can send them targeted offers in the future.

Zubia counsels marketers to be certain they follow up with those new contacts. “Don’t just stop with the first touch. Make sure you have a healthy campaign calendar and nurture programs built out into your marketing automation platform. A software platform can keep maintaining the relationship and create repeat business, referrals and reviews for you long-term.”

MA software can thus make the process of building up your clientele base much more simple and streamlined.

Zubia further recommends that marketers should:

  • Use email-builders and templates to create announcements
  • Apply database tags to contacts in order to directly target certain groups with specific offers, events and discounts
  • Use a campaign builder to create automated notifications and responses to particular user activities

Infusionsoft’s campaign builder
 

With marketing automation, as with adoption of new technology, you need to constantly be looking toward the next big thing. Get on board with new fads and trends early to capitalize on them.

Proactively manage new contacts to convert one-time customers into returning clients. Most of all, make your life easier with the best MA software for the job so that, instead of letting a client slip through the cracks, you’re sure to catch ‘em all!

Next Steps

Now that you know just how important marketing automation is to your business, here are the next steps to figure out how to implement marketing automation and use Pokémon Go and future fads to increase your sales:

  • Stay up to date on the latest tech innovations likely to impact your business in the near future by following sites such as Product Hunt, TechCrunch and CNET for updates on the latest technological innovations that will likely impact your business soon.
  • Email me at andrewfriedenthal@softwareadvice.com for more information. I’m happy to help you figure out what your own MA software needs might be, and connect you to one of our expert software advisors for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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