Nintendo are on a winner with Pokémon Go!


On July 6th 2016 Nintendo launched the Pokémon Go app and according to USA Today, would quickly hit 15 million downloads and also see Nintendo’s share price rise 25%.

Why should Nintendo be the only winners?

It sounds like fun driving around fellow minded ‘Pokéholics’ for a living doesn’t it? However, if any business is to succeed, it’s going to need a first-class marketing strategy and plan.

Why formulate a marketing strategy and plan?

The short answer is to win and retain customers. A good strategy and plan must begin with a review of the current ‘business’ and market settings (referred to as a ‘situation analysis’).  Followed by defining the customer, optimal market positioning and promotional tactics to win.

Marketing Strategy and Plan

‘There are probably as many ways to think about strategy as there are strategy theorists’ (Iacobucci 2013, p. 212). Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2008, p. 261 & 262) explore one of the most popular strategic tools – Ansoff’s Product-Market Growth Matrix.

‘Joe’, our Pokémon driver, is essentially offering his existing Uber driver business to a new market – ‘market development’ according to Ansoff’s matrix. In Joe’s case his existing product is his driver service and the new market are the Pokéholics looking for the next PokéStop.

Situation Analysis

The five pieces of situation analysis


Picture: Shannon Anderson

Iacobucci (2013) refers to the pieces of situation analysis as the ‘5Cs’.

Knowing the 5Cs will assist:

  • in gaining a broad understanding of the customer;
  • defining the optimal service/product offering;
  • assessing the business environment;
  • identifying who will or could be working with the business; and
  • recognising what competitors are up to.



A commonly used marketing framework is the SWOT analysis. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis looks at internal and external factors that can affect your business.

Table 1: SWOT analysis example for Joe’s Pokemon driver service.Capture 2

The SWOT will give Joe terrific insights into the ‘Company’, however just as important will be investigations into the other ‘Cs’.  The results from these investigations could be expected as per table 2.

Table 2.Capture 3

Customer segments, targeting and positioning (STP)

With the situation analysis complete, Joe has a myriad of information from which he can determine  the customer segments he should target and how to position his ‘business’.

STP is a popular framework used by marketers to assist the marketing strategy and planning, ahead of moving into defining the marketing tactics derived from the plan.

  • Segmentation – is recognising the wants and needs of different customer segments of the market.
    • Joe should identify the current users and nonusers of the Pokéman Go app, including geographic location/s, demographics and behavioural traits (e.g. app usage).
  • Targeting – with the segmentation data at hand, decisions can be made about the attractiveness of segments.
    • Joe’s optimal target segment/s.
  • Positioning –according to Davis (cited in Proctor 2000, p.199) positioning ‘represents the most important decision and action that management has to take for the company and its marketing’.
    • Joe must position his marketing in a considered, consistent and appealing manner to attract the identified target customer segment/s.

When the rubber hits the road – The 4Ps

Joe is now ready to define the tactics to optimise the fundamental marketing pillars of his  ‘business’ – the 4Ps:

  1. Product – a new service, assisting players of the latest gaming craze, to quickly and safely hunt and capture the highly sought after Pokémon.
  2. Price – due to the minimal competition and high desirability of the service, price can be set with a premium to extend margins.
  3. Place – one driver currently (potential to expand), adjunct service to Joe’s existing Uber business. Customers will need to be motivated via promotion to seek out the service.
  4. Promotion – low cost and free promotion channels including, social media eg. gaming chat rooms, Pokémon fan Facebook pages, Reddit articles and Craig’s list advert.


Joe’s marketing plan and strategy cannot be static. It needs to continually adapt with his business model. Adjusting as customers, competitors, suppliers and customer preferences evolve (how long will the Pokemon Go craze last after all??). With all these Pokéholics running around, perhaps a new ‘product development’ opportunity will present…….Poké-detox Rooms!!

Author: Shannon Anderson 94406163


Alpeyev, P, Amano, T, Nakamura, Y, 2016, Nintendo Surges as Pokemon Go Downlads Top App Store Rankings, retrieved 22 July 2016, <;.

Iacobucci D, 2013, MM4, Marketing Management, Student Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio.

Johnson, G, Scholes, K, Whittington, R, 2008, Exploring Corporate Strategy, Eighth Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hill, Essex, UK.

Molina, B, 2016, Report: Pokemon Go downloads top 15 million, retrieved 22 July 2016, <;.

Proctor, T, 2002, Strategic Marketing, An Introduction, retrieved 22 July 2016, <;.

Queensland Government, 2016, Business and Industry Portal, Uses of SWOT Analysis, Queensland Government, retrieved 22 July 2016, <>.

YouTube, 2016, Clever Uber Driver Is Taking People On Pokemon Go Expeditions, retrieved 22 July 2016, <;.


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