Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Pokemon Go Model of Marketing

One of the craziest new fads these days is Pokemon Go, in which smartphone-wielding "hunters" pursue animated quarry in public places.  Great stock is placed on the number of different "pokemons" "captured".  For those of us who have escaped the trend, there is great amusement watching the hunters at work.  I marvel at how close to the Zombie Apocalypse this can get in heavily trafficked places.

Pokemon Go has also reminded me powerfully of modern marketing.  How?  I've been watching with great interest as small businesses "collect" marketing channels, especially in the form of online and social media, to promote themselves.  It almost becomes a game to see how many places a business can appear.  But they're not all equal, and definitely not all collectible, because target customers differ so much.

What is more, there seems (in many cases) to be more value placed on the relationship with an online tool than in what it delivers.  By this I mean that the "collector" expresses the breezy optimism that the one additional property will be seen by "someone" and therefore worth the trouble.

Bottom Line:  Marketing can be fun, but it isn't a game like Pokemon Go.  The small business owner ought to look at potential channels on the basis of their return and acquire them for use only if that return is significant and fits the profile of the target market.  Leave the pocket monsters for someone else!

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