Ashley Fowler Student ID: 215390465
Arriving at work Monday morning started out like any other, fighting for a car parking space close enough to the main entrance to avoid the ‘what feels like a 10 kilometer’ tedious walk for those unlucky enough to miss out, and the arduous task of sifting through the standard emails from the night before.
Only this time something extraordinary occurred! An email from baffled security staff informing a ‘rare’ Pokemon had ‘spawned’ in the hospitals Remembrance Garden for the fallen at 2am, luring hooded strangers in droves into a frenzy to catch the beast in the night!
What was going on I asked myself? I began to laugh, before this laughter turned to concern as the reality….augmented reality…was making its way into the Health Industry ?!?
For those of you who have yet to have your personal space intruded upon in the quest to catch ‘jiggly puff’ by an oblivious teen…or a patient parent, let me give you a run down on the Pokemon phenomena.
Pokemon Go, by Niantic, uses your smart phone’s camera and GPS capabilities to turn the real world into one large augmented reality, filled with Pokemon that are begging to be caught! Your smartphone vibrates at the mere presence of a Pokemon and before you know it, you are running through the Botanical Gardens at the speed of light ready to “Catch them all” with your poke balls in your virtual hand!
Niantic… One Gigantic Strategy!
In September of 2015, it was announced that Niantic had forged a partnership with Nintendo and the Pokemon Company to develop Pokemon Go with an injection of $30m each in support of the products development.
Each entity, successful in their own right, has had years of market research in the 5C’s, pivotal components of the organisations marketing plans. And with the 5C’s forged, have began to pave the way for the product marketers to tap into new market segments, target those new market segments and position themselves as product leaders, pioneers if you will, in the augmented reality that is Pokemon Go.
Niantic’s ingenious plan to capture those nostalgic teens from the 90’s was only just the beginning. The real challenge for Niantic, and a marketing marvel, comes from the clever virtual PokeStops (where players can stock up on in-game supplies) and Gyms (where players can train and fight their Pokemon), that are paired with real world locations, such as your favorite restaurant, or local McDonald’s!
Here’s the interesting part……
With this pairing of virtual locations with real life locations, the market segment was targeted….. and marketers from these paired locations fell hook, line and sinker! And with this, Niantic have been flooded with tech savvy marketers, all hoping to get in on the application for the purpose of marketing their brands!
These application non-users and ideal customers, became the companies largest market segment overnight! With this revelation, Niantic announced it’s plan to sell pokestop lures to businesses with the option of becoming a “sponsored location” in which marketers will be able to make their own business’s Pokestops, bringing in hordes of traffic through their store fronts! And these businesses will no doubt pay big dollars to Niantic to do so! Bravo Niantic!
The Marketing Marvell…….
The strategic planning process under taken by Niantic has involved the careful collaboration of the entities marketing, production, finance and Human Resource heads of department, as without these the analysis of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) and alignment with organisational missions and goals would not have been possible.
It is likely models such as Ansoff’s Growth Matrix have been utilised by the product marketing team as a marketing planning tool used to identify product and market growth focusing on whether the product is new or existing, and its capabilities of penetrating market segments.
Similarly, strategic alternatives such as the BCG matrix would have been utilised identifying the product’s general level of market growth and the product’s market share in comparison to the largest competitor in the industry.
Niantic are sitting on a ‘star’ product with a high share and high market growth. This product is seen as a market leader generating a high amount of income due to the high amount of strength Pokemon Go holds in the industry according to the BCG matrix.
Niantics effective ability in assessing opportunities and resources, determining the organisations objectives, defining strategies and establishing guidelines for the implementation and control of Pokemon Go has been an overnight success.
It has ensured that the right market segments have been identified and targeted, and that the positioning of the product according to a strategic matrix fits with the strategic marketing plan identified by the entity.
Furthermore, tactical plans focusing on the 4P’s, product, price, place and promotion would have fallen at the feet of marketers, grinning all the way!
Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, South-Western, Cengage Learning, Mason OH, USA.