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Trends, Technology, and the Marketing Game

by Kelcie Kromminga


Pokémon lovers, 90’s kids, and competitive gamers all over the world rejoiced after Pokémon Go was released in 26 countries. It’s no secret that the game has become the phenomenon everyone is raving about, but if you need further evidence of its viral popularity, here are a few statistics for you:

  • It took only 13 hours for Pokémon Go to become the highest-grossing app in the U.S.
  • Nintendo’s market value increased by $9 billion within the first 5 days after the game’s release
  • The game had more daily active users than Tinder
  • There are now more than 197,000 Pokemon-themed music playlists on Spotify

Businesses didn’t wait long to cash in on the game craze, with many of them offering discounts or perks to users of the app. Some even posted signs near “Poké-stops” to draw customers to their store fronts. But, perhaps less noticeably, it also appears that there is a phenomenon forming within the marketing world that’s based on the same tool used to make Pokémon Go so enticing: augmented reality (AR).

Marketers from all different industries are utilizing the implementation of augmented reality apps and tools to engage consumers more actively than traditional advertising methods. Just as the game gets you hooked on running around outside, looking for the tiny creatures and buying Pokéballs, brands and marketers are utilizing AR to drive consumer engagement and purchases.

What does all of this tell us about successful marketing strategy?

  1. Just as technology and trends evolve, so do the needs of the consumer. Convenience and entertainment are especially important when it comes to consumer engagement and loyalty. Now that technology, such as AR, has made so many everyday tasks simpler or more exciting, consumers are left on a constant search for the next best thing that will add convenience or fun to the everyday. As a marketer, it’s important to consider how you can fulfill new consumer needs as they change.  
  2. Every trend has an anti-trend. Just as Pokémon Go has become a worldwide viral sensation, there is an entire group of consumers who go against the new trend. These are the people who aren’t interested or don’t see the same benefits in it that others do. These consumers should not be overlooked. How can we appeal to the interests of this group? Just think of the contrast! Why does this group not agree with the trend and what does that imply about their own needs and values?
  3. A viral trend is an opportunity to differentiate. A lot of businesses used the Pokémon Go phenomenon to shape a new marketing strategy. While it’s a good idea to use big trends as a means to draw customers in, it is not always a good idea to just go along with what other businesses and marketers are doing. Learn from their strategy and consider how you can utilize the popularity of the trend in a way others don’t. What could entice consumers more than just a discount or add-on?

Trends come and go fast and technology is always growing and changing. Is your marketing keeping up with the pace?

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