Just like Facebook, Groupon, and Uber, Pokémon Go has become an overnight success. This mobile gaming app provides users with nostalgia, adventure, and a distraction from reality. Anyone who has a smartphone can catch Pokémon.
Pokémon Go works by using your phone’s GPS and bringing up Pokémon in an augmented reality. In this virtual world, you are an avatar and you are on a quest to catch Pokémon and “level up.” Pokémon Go players find Pokémon at “gyms” and “poke stops.” This is where retailers become involved. These places can be found in real-world locations. Many retail stores throughout the country have become unofficial poke stops and gyms.
Since its arrival, Pokémon Go has generated over $50 million in revenue. It is predicted that when Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, figures out an improved marketing model, Pokémon Go’s profits could grow even more. Currently, Niantic is selling “sponsored locations” to advertisers. A cost-per-visit model is in the making. According to the CEO of Blipper, a leading visual discovery app, “This will certainly drive footfall to businesses and there is also room for the in-game points to be exchanged for real-world rewards. Push notifications and couponing have been hugely hyped but both have generally failed with AR. But if you integrate these into the game behavior of Pokémon Go, the possibilities for marketers are endless.”
Brands should target a market that is known to reject direct advertising. Branding within a mobile game adds value to the experience. Pokémon Go will encourage gamers to engage in ads by providing incentives. When a user enters a store that provided an ad in the game, the gamer will be rewarded within the game. Gamification enhances digital engagement with consumers.
The pharma industry is slow to adopt mobile gaming. However, the pharma industry can capitalize from the usage of ads within Pokémon Go. Events that raise awareness and money toward causes have the ability to incorporate pharma ads within the game.
According to an article from fiercepharma.com:
…the opportunity for pharma marketers to use mobile and location-driven experience isn’t limited to Pokémon Go. Disease awareness campaigns and events are frequently used by pharma companies as ways to “drum up discussion and engage audiences pre-launch” and beyond, Carly Kuper, CMI/Compas’ VP of public relations, told FiercePharmaMarketing. And Boehringer Ingelheim and others have found success with gamification when pairing it with unbranded awareness campaigns.
By getting aboard the Pokemon Go bandwagon, the pharma industry has the ability to spread awareness of diseases and promote disease education for gamers.