What Marketers Can Learn From The Pokemon Go Hype

Pokemon Go has become a cultural phenomenon: “trainers” of all ages are using their smartphones to go on scavenger hunts around the world to find eclectic Pokemon creatures that are seemingly amongst us. They show up at our offices, local bars, landmarks, beaches, railroad tracks — you name it.

For those of you who have somehow missed the legions of people wandering around random places, glued to their phones — well, more so than usual —  the game works by integrating Google Maps and Augmented Reality (AR) technology, to overlay Pokemon characters in real-life settings when viewed through the app, which uses the camera on your smartphone.

It’s no doubt that Pokemon Go is a game-changer in the world of Augmented Reality. The success of Pokemon Go, along with other technological advances in the industry, such as Artificial Intelligence, is giving people an alternative view of how we see the world. As technology continues to advance, we’re now seeing the lines of our physical and digital worlds blending right in front of us, literally.

The interactive game has caused major disruption in the market and is influencing other industries as well, specifically in marketing and retail. Here are a few things you can learn from the Poke-craze:

1. Our physical and digital landscapes are merging

With the hype of Pokemon Go, we’re seeing our physical world turning into a digital landscape of augmented reality. So what does this mean for eCommerce marketers?

Many brands have already hopped onto the AR bandwagon. Urban Decay, for example, created an Urban Decay Vice Lipstick application through Modiface that allows customers to virtually test 100 Urban Decay Vice lipstick shades and swipe left or right to choose their ideal shades. Kind of like Tinder for lipsticks. 😉


It’s important to not overlook what AR can do, especially in commerce. Using advanced technology not only builds brand credibility, but it also creates an enhanced digital shopping experience. By allowing customers to “try before they buy” digitally, it removes the barrier of customers potentially churning from your site who may be accustomed to testing products in-store.

2. Be Ready to Act on New Technology

Technology in marketing, specifically AR & AI, is still developing, however, now is a great opportunity to get ahead of the curve and use this new technology to your advantage.

Macy’s, for example, has recently adopted a cognitive web tool, called “Macy’s On Call”, that’s powered through Artificial Intelligence. Customers can ask questions regarding product and brand location, departments, and where services and facilities can be found in a particular store. In return, they receive customized responses. Because of the tool’s machine learning capabilities, the technology will become more intelligent and accurate with every customer interaction. The new tool will be tested in 10 stores throughout the U.S. in hopes to improve the customer shopping experience by location navigation and to increase customer retention.


Marketers and businesses need to be ready to adopt big shifts in technology and get creative; it’s also vital that they capitalize on them when the time is right. Businesses have the opportunity to heighten the customer experience to a new level, creating more personal, one-to-one relationships with their customers. 

Pokemon Go is a prime example of how technology can alter and enhance the user experience– in this case, adding a physical/real-world level to a digital/mobile gaming experience. Marketers should use trends in tech to their advantage to build better and more personalized relationships with customers. It not only can build brand credibility, but it also has the potential to increase sales and create a smoother customer journey both in-store and online.

As tech continues to advance, it’s important marketers don’t ignore it, as it can not only change the world, but your business too!