Pokémon Go, the latest augmented reality game, is changing generations of kids and some adults into zombies like the Walking Dead as they wander around parks, stores, museums, churches and neighborhoods. They aren’t completely focused on their immediate surroundings but they are exploring the world… sort of.
The question is: Besides re-building the brand for Pokémon and all of its affiliated gaming revenue streams, is there more to be had? I think so…
Soon we should start seeing location based advertising. Your local knick-knack store can purchase Pokémon characters to hang out in the store or perhaps become a PokeGym. There have already been reports of museums and houses of worship having an increase in visitors wanting to come in due to Pokémon Go.
The CEO of Niatic, John Hanke told the Financial Times:
Alongside in-app payments, “there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations,” Mr. Hanke said, where companies “pay us to be locations within the virtual game board — the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic.”
Advertisers are charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to the “cost per click” used in Google’s search advertising, he said.
And it looks like McDonald’s is first and already working a deal.
This is great in many ways – a whole segment of the population around the world is now exploring outside of their homes. Game theory is keeping them intent on exploring and walking into your store.
But how will you convert your new customers? Similar to a web site, many of these customers are just “clicking” their heels into your store but really do not know what you offer and probably have no desire for anything in particular that you want to sell them. How are you going to convert them into customers?
Much like bad ad placement driving poor quality customers to a web site, store owners will have to think of creative ways to convert this new type of customer. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- If you sell food, are you going to make sure something smelling good is always in the oven to “pop” the customer’s senses away from the phone to notice your pastries?
- Are you going to walk up to them and engage in conversation first about the excitement of Pokémon Go and then how great this jacket would look on them?
- Or is this all nonsense and you do not want this type of customer in your premises at all?
As Pokémon Go builds a successful model, I will not be surprised to see a Walking Dead, Harry Potter or the Hobbit version coming soon! Not to mention 3D VR glasses like Oculus Rift overlaying our real world where you have to grab items, fight, jump and run!