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It has only been a week and Pokemon Go has taken over the world’s imagination and the UAE is no exception. With more than 10 million downloads globally Pokemon Go has become one of the most viral mobile applications of all time. Pokemon Go is so popular that within two days of its launch, the app had surpassed dating app Tinder in Android device installs and was generating more downloads and revenue than any other iPhone app in the United States. More recently, The Guardian reported that daily active users of Pokemon Go in the US had overtaken that of Twitter. Though the app is not officially launched in UAE, yet due to the hype around the app the residents have found a way to download and can be seen catching Pokemon all around.

Published on Sep 9, 2015 by The Official Pokémon Channel​

As an augmented reality game, Pokemon GO uses your phone's GPS feature and clock to detect where you are, and make Pokemon appear around you at any given time, making them appear against the real background using your phone's camera. Probably you're likely to see youngsters running around Dubai Mall and beaches lately, trying to catch Pokemon.

Till now In-App purchases for power ups and virtual items works as a revenue model for the app however recently Niantic CEO John Hanke suggested that ads will soon be coming to the game in the form of “sponsored locations”. In other words, retailers and companies will be granted the paid opportunity to be featured prominently on the game’s virtual map, in the hope to drive customers inside their facilities.

Here are some reasons we think Pokemon Go will get bigger and what the phenomenon could mean for local marketing.

  • Strong Base of Engaged Users – As per the app more than 60 percent of users who have downloaded the app are playing it daily. As of July 8, the app was being used for an average of more than 43 minutes a day, a figure that exceeds usage time for Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat and Whatsapp. And according to TechCrunch, as of 13th July Pokemon Go had “topped Twitter’s daily users, and it sees people spending more time in its app than on Facebook.”

  • Already a revenue generator and economic gold mine – As mentioned the App is creating revenue through in app purchases which in turn helps to improve player performance. According to App Annie, a business intelligence firm that watches apps and digital goods, Pokemon Go could earn a run rate of more than $1 billion annually from in-app purchases.

Through strategic partnerships with businesses, Niantic could reap revenue in any number of ways. They could charge businesses a fee to become a branded PokeStop or Gym or permit businesses to create mobile wallet offers that players download as they pass by a business while searching for Pokemon. As long as the brand experience is not obstructive the advertising potential is strong.

If you operate your own brick-and-mortar locations, you absolutely need to watch how Pokemon Go evolves. Understand the user base and the ways you can capitalize on the game’s popularity. In case your business is next to Pokestop or Gym you can even think of buying a “lure” or “essence” which attracts Pokemon’s and as a result attract customers. Restaurant and café owners can particularly benefit from lures, as players will want to hang around for a while, and probably want to buy some snacks or beverages while they do.

Now is the time to play and learn.




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