Back in 2011 I had run a poll with CMOs and Augmented Reality did not show up on the list of high priorities for the next year.  It’s now 2016 and Augmented Reality, location-based, collaborative gaming is on fire right now thanks to #pokemongo. Is #pokemongo the future of apps?


Or just another craze that will fizzle?

There are two reasons why I think that the basic concept of AR based “lures” are here to stay.

Reason 1: Niantic the firm behind #pokemongo has a big involvement from Google (// in addition to Nintendo

This is important because then the core for them is geo-location and marketing rather than gaming.  Google has the reach and knowledge to sell to marketers on a global basis.  It isn’t too far-fetched to imagine integrating the ability to hail a Uber to go to the nearest #pokemongo gym, given Google’s investment there too.  Google also has shown reticence in monetisation for example in the case of Google Maps, and this self-control will be required to maintain the pure gaming experience.

Reason 2:

The vast majority of marketers are not tech-leaders and most CIOs also consider investment in AR for customer experience as a second priority.  But #pokemongo has shown a simpler approach – a third party platform that marketers can pay to become a part of.  That’s a much easier way to get AR incorporated into your marketing plans.

Long, long ago, like over a decade ago

Second Life ( a virtual reality world was all the rage.  I confess that as CMO of Wipro I pushed for our presence there and I remember IBM having a huge presence there too.  It’s been so long since I visited it that I thought the site was defunct – nope, it’s still alive and somewhat kicking with over a million residents.

So there is hope for long-lived AR communities too – more so those with 100 million users – as long as we learn from the past and keep the sales pitches to the bare minimum.

Are you investing in a #pokemongo #lure for your brand? Tell me how it works out!


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