(Source: Pokemon Go official website)
Pokemon Go was released in Japan 2 days ago, where I am currently living with my wife. I was half curious/half annoyed by all the Pokemon hype, but the feeling changes quickly as I downloaded the app and started playing. After playing for 1 day, I realized this cute little game is about to bring massive waves of changes into the way we do IT business. Some may agree and some may not, but I just wanted to write down how I felt about the game after the brief (and on-going) experience.
- Rise of true O2O service: Existing so called ‘O2O (offline to online)’ services have been actually not offline to online, but more like web to mobile. By using this service, companies will realize the true ways to utilize O2O service, and many will begin to jump onto the bandwagon as soon as they realize the value of this new O2O aspect. The most beneficial companies will be the ones with many offline stores, such as coffee shop franchises or convenient stores.
- New marketing channel: Mcdonald is the first case to use ‘sponsored location’ for Pokemon Go. If you play the game, not only there is a unique feature that you can only play in Mcdonalds, but in-app features even tell you to go to Mcdonalds nearby to be able to get something done and calculate how far the store is from your current location. By using this, SME (small medium enterprise) will be able to attract tons of new customers just by saying ‘we have rare pokemon in our store’. This will be a powerful new marketing channel and existing tools such as SEM or Facebook might get some direct hit from this.
- Even more focus on content business: To be honest, I don’t think Pokemon is the strongest content to tie up with AR-based game, although it does appeal to wider audience and probably easy to approach. But they became massively successful, as they were the first-mover and they delivered the game with quality. But imagine if you can do this with other more powerful, engaging contents like Star Wars, Marvel heroes, and maybe even real celebrities. This whole AR mobile game will further strengthen the power of content, and I cannot wait to see which one will be the fastest to bring this into the market.
- Instant hype of outdoor products: Let’s say you are the alien from another planet and you have been observing humans for some time. What you will see on the surface is that bunch of humans suddenly going outdoors and walking around for hours with random directions. If you really don’t cover what’s happening inside the app, what can be observed on the surface is that people are just walking a lot more into parks, beaches, and downtown areas compared to pre-Pokemon era. This indicates that outdoor product needs will rise imminently, and sales of sunblock lotion, mosquito repellent, walking shoes, and portable battery will be massively benefiting from this phenomenon.