I used to have this really fat friend that would just sit at home and play video games all day round. My recent meet with him just blew me away, to my amazement, he had lost majority of his weight and seemed very active . . . always looking around with excitement. When I couldn’t wait any longer I finally asked what actually happened with him to which he was very quick to respond. ‘Pokémon Go,’ he said.
That’s it. It was then I decided that it was enough and I had to rip apart the success story and share my opinion on how Pokémon Go became what it is right now and how we all contributed to its success!
Let’s put together of what we know about Pokémon Go so far:
The game was released in the first week of July in select number of countries and everybody went batsh*it crazy! Within a day the game went onto take the first place in the app store and play store in the USA and boosted Nintendo’s stock price by 25 percent. The game, which uses augmented reality and location based services, took the world by storm and the entire app marketing professionals started to wonder what exactly went behind the success of Pokémon Go!
Statistics that will blow your mind:
- Around 25 Million Daily Active Users
- 40+ minutes spent by an average player every day
- By the time you will finish reading this post, the game will have more than 20,000 downloads
- It has already become the biggest game in the US ever
- In the first week Nintendo’s stock prices rose by 25% and in the second week by 50%
What App Marketers Can Learn from Pokémon Go:
If you think about it as a just another app, what can you figure from the pre-launch campaigns?
- The press releases, timely announcements and anticipation building among the fans
- Despite the hype, the game was released as a free app on most of the platforms that anyone could download
- The promotional video made its way almost a year before the game’s release
Now at the end of it all, you might say there is nothing new in their strategy . . . almost every new app or game does this. But, do you really think Pokémon Go is what it is today just because of luck? No, it’s a quintessential example of the story that an overnight success takes 20 years to show. The real reason game clicked with everybody was because it has POKÉMONS, REAL POKÉMONS! Now, pokémons have been a crucial part of a lot people who grew up . . . they all were loved too much because of so many reasons. When you use that nostalgia, throw in some seriously good tech, send out a message that all of us could actually catch them ourselves and make it available for free, there is no way this awesomely combined idea could fail.
Now whoever, unfortunately, wasn’t aware of pokémons, saw the rest of them running here and there and shouting with joy and going bananas every time they caught one, joined the bandwagon just to see what the hoopla was all about and got addicted in the process.
Let’s see how the tech works:
- Augmented Reality: This feature uses your phone camera view to show virtually placed objects (in this case, real pokémons) and mixes your surroundings with fictional virtual world where you are the sole hero!
- Location Based Services: They enable you to track your own activities and behaviors on the screen in real-time so that you can know how far you are from the pokémons and where exactly you have to go to catch them!
Let’s decode how Pokémon Go makes money and what exactly goes behind its marketing strategy:
- In-app purchases: This is where the makers and brain trust behind Pokémon Go strategized brilliantly. The idea simply was making the players addicted to the game and then make them spend to get pokeballs(using which you catch them all). Estimations show that in the first 11 days of the launch, the game made $1.6 Million everyday just with these pokeballs. And going by the trend, the daily active users aren’t decreasing, by the time you finish reading this article, it would have already made more than $80,000. Learn how to implement in-app purchases in your app.
- Advertising & Sponsorship: According to MoneyNation, the amount of money Pokémon Go is raking in with in-app purchases is nothing as compared to advertising and sponsorship. It is estimated that potential yearly earnings of the game from just ads is whooping $16.86 Billion. Combine this with in-app purchases, Pokémon Go can earn as much as $180 Billion in the next 10 years! Now what do advertisement and sponsorship mean? Restaurants, cafes, even gyms and other stores started to pay Niantic and Nintendo to have some pokémons placed in their premises just so that they could advertise and lure players in. Check out these stores and gyms showing off pokémons and collecting crowd.
Niantic had even started taking up requests for entrepreneurs looking to cash in the popularity of the game and have their store/gym locations sponsored with Pokémon Go. Nytimes even published a success story of a pizza owner that grew revenue by 75% just by spending $10 in the morning to lure in a huge number of pokémons and the entire day the customers kept lined up outside. The owner of L’inizio Pizza, Tom Lattanzio, says, “The amount of people has been astonishing.”
- Third Party Ads: Since the game already has 25 Million Daily Active Users, the mathematics becomes really simple when it comes to figuring out the potential of the ads of other apps to be seen by people across the world. It is estimated that this method of revenue is being contemplated by app marketers and should start being counted in soon.
- It takes a lot more than just luck and naysaying to come up with an app as successful as Pokémon Go
- Unlike Pokémon Go, where marketers knew the profile of their players, you might not have the clarity. Hence, it is a wise idea to implement real-time actionable analytics to acquire new users, analyze their behavior & interests, engage them with targeted marketing campaigns and convert them into loyal customers
- Focus more on the content than on revenue and the money will follow
- Concentrate on building a brand so big that people start associating with you and your app
- Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂
To conclude, it is not easy to achieve success as big as Pokémon Go did, but at the same time it isn’t entirely impossible. Should you have more stories/queries/ideas, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to connect with you.