Augmented Reality (AR) is an exciting frontier with great possibilities for incorporation into your Marketing Strategy.
The first most wide-spread application of this new technology has been recently offered by Niantic and their augmented reality game – Pokemon Go.
I’ve tried it – have you? I've seen kid and adults all over pursuing the virtual creatures. It can be a good way to get out, get moving and even play as family activity.
But what does this mean for small business marketing?
It could be the start of a new trend. According to Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream:
“What this means for marketers is that the next time those adults are asked to interact with an augmented-reality interface on their mobile device, it's no longer a foreign concept to them. They're growing comfortable with it. They even enjoy it. That's super important, because pushing new marketing technology on consumers before they're ready typically spells instant rejection of the concept.
Virtual and augmented-reality devices are expected to become a $4 billion market by 2018. Pokémon Go just ramped up adoption in a massive way, helping pave the way for businesses that will use this technology in the future to connect with consumers.”
This technology as a new marketing tool could be growing exponentially over the next few years and even months, so now is the time to learn, experiment and analyze how it might or might not fit in with your organization’s marketing efforts.
If you are a consumer-oriented business that relies on foot traffic, Pokémon Go might be a great way for your business to “Lure” in potential customers. You could take advantage of being close to Pokemon “Stops” and “Gyms” by enhancing your advertising and signage with a Pokemon theme.
7 possible ways to use Pokemon Go in your local marketing campaign:
Not for everyone?
But Pokémon Go isn’t an opportunity for everyone. While a family resturant or new business might enjoy the extra traffic and exposure, business and insitutions that have secured areas or security policies might want to opt out of having any of the virtual creatures on their premises.
For example, hospitals, like the Carolinas HealthCare System, are beginning to see new visitors in unlikely places. Game players may emulate suspicious behaviors, like walking around randomly taking pictures or looking at ways to enter facilities or get in the way of emergency entrances.
The Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam voiced their request in a clever way on social media:
"There is indeed a sick Pokémon at AMC, but we'll look after him well. Please don't visit him," the Dutch medical center stated in a Tweet that included a picture of Pokémon character Pikachu surrounded by tissues.
To request removal of a PokéStop from the app, organizations can contact Niantic, the developer, and complete a form. (Select “submit a request,” in the upper right corner and “report an issue with a Gym or PokéStop” in the menu.)
But for the majority of organizations, there are opportunites in the growing area of AR. So jump in to learn, experiment and apply augmented reality opportunities like Pokémon Go, keeping your target market and security in mind.
For example, if you use Google Drive/gmail, as many smaller businesses do, and register to participate in Pokemon Go, you give Niantic access to your entire Google account. What we did at Broad Reach Marketing Services is use a separate Gmail account for experimenting with Pokémon Go. Easy solution, but you must be cognizant of safety implications of signing onto Apps and games with your business addresses.
As augmented reality interface options become available for your marketing efforts, remember they are just another tactic – and as with any tactic, consider how the offering aligns with your customer base, branding and service offerings.
Have fun while you learn about this exciting new marketing development!
Thanks for reading,
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