What Pokemon Go Taught Marketers About Customers

Since the launch of Pokemon Go across the country (and the world as a whole), people have started going out into the street with their smartphones, in search of Pokemon. Although the game has been out for a couple of weeks and the initial hype has worn off, it’s safe to say that nobody is done with Pokemon Go just yet.

This new craze has so much to teach to marketers about customers, and in some ways, it has fundamentally shifted the thought process around relating to and connecting with them.

Here’s what Pokemon Go taught marketers about customers in just a few short weeks:

Technology is important

smartphoneIt’s no surprise, but it’s definitely worth calling attention to. Technology played a big role in the release of Pokemon Go as it works as a smartphone app with additional compatible technologies on their way in future updates.

Notably, the younger millennial generation has been known to stay at home and sit all day in front of their computers or play with their smartphones.Pokemon Go is the kind of game that requires players to go outside and walk around in order to get the most out of the game. Without much prodding, Pokemon Go was successfully able to get our nation’s youth to finally go outside and engage with activities outside of their rooms.

Augmented Reality

Most digital games don’t involve physical activity and instead employ virtual reality technologies. The combination of the virtual and real world is called augmented reality. Since the younger generation basically lives in a reality that involves technology, augmented reality is more or less becoming their actual reality.

Marketers should take the opportunity to connect campaigns to both the physical and digital world, which can, in part, be done by using artificial intelligence marketing tactics. Whenever possible, you should incorporate digital attributes in your strategies.


GameboyThe original Pokemon console game was released in 1995, and the franchise recently celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. As such, many adults have enjoyed the game (and the TV series) from back then. Nintendo was able to revitalize the hype with their long-term consumer base when they released Pokemon Go. Aside from older millennial fans, the newer version of the game have also successfully targeted the children of Generation Z.

Pokemon Go was able to make these adults, who previously played as children, feel nostalgic – and it worked! Marketers should take what they know about the positive response to nostalgia when designing new promotions. This is one of the most powerful things Pokemon Go taught marketers about customers. Always obsess about creating the best experience for your fans.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth played a big part in boosting the hype of Pokemon Go, both before and after the launch of the app. Even with the existence of digital marketing, players help perpetuate the growth of the game in offline conversations and with other players on the street. Real word of mouth advertising is one of the strongest promotional tools, but the hardest to affect. If you live in Chicago, you saw masses of people walking down the street and stopping to catch the Pokemon – it was instantly a hit and took off quite quickly because of it.


CalendarIt’s worth noting that Pokemon Go was launched in the middle of summer, when children are out of school and on vacation. It’s possible that If Pokemon Go launched during a different season, the result wouldn’t be the same. For example, a winter launch of Pokemon Go wouldn’t have been as conducive to the outdoor aspect of the game. Pokemon Go crowds would be reduced to only the most committed parties, and wouldn’t have spread as fast as it did.

Entertainment can boost business

So far, businesses are taking what they’ve learned about Pokemon Go to attract new customers. A couple different types of deals to consider when attempting to attract players:

  • Pokemon themed drinks and food
  • Special discounts based on a person’s Pokemon Go level or rare Pokemon
  • Free wifi
  • Trainer meetups
  • Advertising close proximity to a Pokestop or Pokemon Gym

Think about how you can use one of these to create a campaign that resonates with Pokemon Go players.

The popularity of Pokemon Go revealed many understandings marketers have about the way consumers think. It’s hard to directly incorporate the augmented reality game into every campaign, but many of these lessons can be used in different ways.

So here’s what Pokemon Go taught marketers about customers. What did it teach you? We’d love to continue the conversation on Twitter – tweet us at @MabblyTribe!