In the past month everyone has heard about the hit app Pokémon Go. It’s a huge success with over 60 million installs the app is estimated to be making more than $1 million a day. Pokémon Go surpasses most marketers’ wildest dreams as the company that developed it, Niantic, went from raising $25 million with the help of Nintendo and the Pokémon Company to get the game made to being worth $3.65 billion, since its release. The amount of discussion the game is generating, alongside the use of augmented reality within the game, gives marketers a huge insight into the marketing opportunities they should be tapping into.

Pokémon Go brings gaming into the real world, allowing players to see Pokémon as a part of their everyday life, getting them to welcome advertisement to their user experience without the need for explicit ads.

‘“With almost two-thirds of Pokémon Go players in the 18 to 24 ‘millennial’ market, brands should embrace the opportunity this presents to target a market that typically tends to reject direct advertising.” (Jens Nielsen, head of UK operations, Netbooster’ – Marketing Week.)

Companies are looking for the next viral way to get their customers to use their brand- and immersing it into the users real world through AR is a new and effective way as ads no longer disrupt the user experience but become a part of it.

Shops on the high street close to an in-game Pokéstop experience more foot traffic and more sales. Smart businesses have already taken advantage of the in-game purchasable, Lure– which attracts Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes for all users of the game and works out at a small cost of under £2 an hour. It may be unfamiliar to use, but its free to download and reasonably cheap to take advantage of- Marketers should be manipulating the players through the apps ability to attract more people to a location, as users may even base their decisions on where to eat or drink depending on its proximity to a Pokéstop.

So what marketing and brand insights can we take from the Pokémon Go success? Here’s our top 7:

Consumer Experience

Pokémon Go’s unique user experience reinforces the power of creating engaging brand experiences that will start a conversation.

Manipulating Trends

The app generates revenue by allowing businesses to take up Pokéstops, which will increase foot traffic in that area. Taking advantage of this while the game is popular and still generating a buzz will help keep your own campaigns relevant, and will appeal to your potential customer’s interests.

Sponsored locations for advertisers

Attracting more visitors and Pokémon to that area. Pokémon Go was released in Japan in partnership with McDonald’s, making most of their 2900 locations into Pokéstops or Gyms- pushing people to go into a franchise in order to achieve in the game.

Gamifying your brand

Marketers should use the high interest in popular apps like Pokémon Go to show them where to take their ads, by partnering with an already popular bigger game for optimal audience reach.

Google maps

Pokémon Go uses Google maps to illustrate the users game with their surrounding area. Be a noticeable place on the map they see.

Integrating real world rewards with AR

AR creates real possibilities for marketers, by combining real-life interaction with social media marketing. Create some sort of commercial entity using AR off the back of Pokémon Go. This will give consumers the in-game/real-world immersion they are clearly interested in.

Match existing offers

(Or create new ones) to attract Pokémon Go users. Use Pokémon characters (or perhaps a combination) as a reward system for a free drink upgrade or similar benefit. Just remember to not break copyright rules.

McDonald’s partnership with Pokémon Go should encourage more brands to be pro-active in getting into partnerships with games. With 1 in 4 IOS users in Japan playing the app, a huge audience is now brought to McDonald’s restaurants. Niantic has not only grown an even larger fan base but also monetized their app in the process. Marketers should recognise and take advantage of the platform Pokémon Go has created.

Augmented reality is a future for marketing that we weren’t expecting for at least 5 years, but now it’s here and gaining a vast following in an extremely short amount of time. Marketers need to manipulate it attract consumers, and start bringing brands into the things their potential customers enjoy. Smartphones are a necessity for almost all under 25s and are the direction to take in order to appeal to the younger digital generation.

Pokémon Go will only be the beginning of far more highly advanced AR apps that will present marketers with some huge new opportunities, to start conversation and appeal to a larger audience.