Around the world, people are walking seemingly mindlessly around watching their smartphones while playing Pokemon Go, and according to one expert, this playing environment could be a good environment for businesses to test.
by Kristina Knight
Kristina: We've seen the immediate impact Pokémon Go has had on consumers. Do you see benefit for businesses from games like Pokémon Go?
Mitchell Reichgut, CEO, Jun Group: Augmented reality together with mobile games can absolutely have positive business impacts. Consider the power of location-based advertising in driving players to a business or place of interest, and furthermore driving sales and foot traffic. Many small businesses and venues have already seen an uptick in foot traffic from Pokemon Go players, and it's up to them to convert these new visitors and drive sales. According to TechCrunch, a pizzeria in Queens, NY, saw business increase 75 percent after buying a $10 in-game power up that lured Pokemon players to its location. Mobile games that have mass appeal like Pokémon Go present huge opportunities for brands to actively engage with their consumers in a native way.
Kristina: Is the game's popularity another indication that brands need to be moving into the mobile space?
Mitchell: Yes, brands need to reach their consumers where they are, and they are in mobile games. Ninety percent of time spent on mobile is in-app, 17 percent of time spent in-app is in-game, and furthermore 23 percent of all Apple Store downloads are for gaming apps. Mobile games provide sticky environments where loyalty is high and engagement is even higher.
Kristina: How can brands know if a mobile game or app sponsorship is the right move for the company?
Mitchell: It all starts with the audience. Select apps that fit your customer archetype. Hundreds of millions of people play mobile games each day; in fact, time spent with mobile games dwarf that of other media including television and film. All demographics play mobile games, from Millennials to Baby boomers, so brands need to set clear and measurable campaign goals as with any form of media to track progress. And mobile apps allow for all types of digital placements, from video to rich-media to value-exchange unit.
Kristina: What kinds of opportunities do you see for brands from the reinvigoration of mobile apps/games based on the initial popularity of Pokémon Go?
Mitchell: Mobile games and apps have always been popular. It's a loyal form of media with scores of passionate fans. New gaming technologies like augmented reality with location functionality will make this media form even more sophisticated, and present advertisers with even greater opportunities to connect with their consumers. This is but one example of a new wave of more immersive mobile experiences. Brands should invest in mobile games in order to connect with their customers natively, and take advantage of a top performing digital media format.