Business Lessons From Pokemon Go

4b96e886-b3dc-42d8-ad20-a6b600a0869aWere you able to pull yourself away from Pokémon Go to read this? Apparently the entire world has become consumed by Pokémon Go fever the last couple of days.

There are many marketing lessons to be learned from this viral phenomenon thatboosted Nintendo stock 25% but, despite social media rumors, did not nearly cause a car accident as reported. The number ofhoaxes rolled out around Pokémon Go just fueled the 7.5 million downloads and $1.6 million in daily revenue to the Pokémon Go brand, Niantic, in less than a week. Don’t you wish you had an app with those numbers?

Putting the bad before the good, it appears that Pokémon Go is accessing everything in your Google account, but you can stop it. The creators say they’re not doing this, but the fact that it’s possible has to make you wonder why it was built to have this much unfettered access.

It would be a marketing goldmine to see your contacts and emails while tracking where you are and who you’re with while you play the game. Imagine being a brick and mortar business that can buy placement on the app to drive people into their stores to find a Pokémon.

The positive success may be an outlier event by a company and product that have decades of love behind them, but understanding how they createdengagement, retention, amplification, and monetization may be helpful for your company to note.

Niantic via Nintendo was smart enough to see that even though the Pokémon craze had died down, there was more opportunity ahead. They valued research on what did and didn’t work in the past.

Knowing your audience, why they bought from you before, why they bought from you repeatedly, and why they stopped buying from you can be the foundation to evolve your company and products.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make before creating a product is not interviewing their potential customers. One of the biggest mistakes companies make after releasing a product is not interviewing actual customers to learn about why they plunked down their hard earned cash to buy from them.

The simple process of interviewing your customers can be one of the most important actions you take. As someone who isn’t always the best listener, I’ve learned the hard way that asking the right questions and listening to what others actually want or what they actually respond to is much more helpful than incorrectly assuming to know what they want.

Whether or not your success will one day rival Nintendo’s Pokémon may depend on these lessons.

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