Purpose, curiosity, technology and multi-sensorial engagement are the interventions marketers must leverage. How? Let’s learn that from #PokemonGO!
- S Yesudas
As the Pokemon Go craze captures the imagination of one and all, many brands will be waiting to jump on the Augmented Reality (AR) bandwagon. Here’s a deeper look at Pokemon Go from a different perspective to understand what marketers can learn from this phenomenon.
LESSON 1: CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION
The dynamism in the market will be as much of a hindrance to growth as much as it is an opportunity. The easiest way for marketers to stay on course to make the most of a dynamic market like ours is to develop imaginative skills to explore the “human” in their consumers although it may be different from the current core marketing competencies and practices. I’ve been a top tier member of an airline’s frequent flyer programme for a decade, giving them a share of my wallet. But, last year, owing to the change in my status as a start-up entrepreneur, I took fewer flights. The last communication I received from the airline warned me of the likelihood of my status being downgraded. Imaginative skills here would have not only ‘kicked’ up the data to human beings for a different intervention than the mass mail with similar content, sent to a one-year loyal, Tier 1 frequent flyer and a decade-loyal top-tier member, but also opened up a new gateway for deeper customer connection. Others who are curious and imaginative will disrupt those who don’t embrace this reality. Pokémon Go is someone’s curiosity and imagination that will now reshape the world of virtual gaming.
LESSON 2: TECHNOLOGY IS NOT IMPORTANT
But what technology can do is very important. If we understand that the way we see a website vs. how a search engine sees it is very different, it will help establish that technologies for developers and users have very different meanings. Unfortunately, jargon-laden conversations originating from agencies which do not get demystified at the marketer’s end, particularly on digital and analytics, only pave the way for communication delivery structures being erected on very weak asset platforms. Frankly, many of the consumer connect solutions seem like Band-Aid on a deep internal wound. Consequently, technologies become gimmicks that come stuck on newspapers with top dollar investments. The fact that brands can actually become issues between consumers and technology is as much ignored as finding the difference between digital transformation and process automation. The world of technology is open to so much of collaborative opportunities. What the data from a smart wearable can mean for its user, beyond what’s on display, could be facilitated as much by airlines or garments as anti-ageing cosmetics or protein shakes.
LESSON 3: PURPOSE AND CONVICTION
Pokémon Go took years to see the light of day. But their purpose was not to seek marketing alignments to bring in money. Even when they open themselves to such ideas, it will collapse if those limited associations are not purely meant to enhance the user experience. Similarly, if short term RoI, without any long term purpose, is the only focus for brand investment, engaged communities of happy customers staying with the brand over a long period can never become a reality for any brand. Having a purpose will also mean that your engaged customers will actually find various angles to add new meaning to it. As for Pokemon Go, while the game developers focused on an extremely immersive experience like never before, customers have now found a positive ‘health’ impact.
LESSON 4: THE FUTURE OF ENGAGEMENT IS MULTI-SENSORIAL
What Pokémon Go has proved is fully in line with the future R&D investments that trendsetting companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are making to captivate different senses of consumers. Brand owners will have to find ways and means of engaging their consumers through different senses, which is not at all about changing the 30-second sermons more frequently. The first place where brand owners can begin from is their own digital assets. Consumers choosing to visit your website have made their intention clear to engage with you. Grab their hands and navigate them not only in between the pages of the site but into an immersive journey of giving them what they want and not just selling them what you have. The beginning of multi-sensorial impact is the thinking of marketing ‘for’ consumers as against marketing ‘to’ consumers.
-S Yesudas, MD & Co-Founder of Triggerbridge