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 (//nianticlabs.com/blog/niantic-tpc-nintendo/) 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.
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 (www.secondlife.com) 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!