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What B2B advertisers can learn from Pokémon Go

6 MINUTE READ | July 25, 2016

What B2B advertisers can learn from Pokémon Go

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Marc Stewart

Marc Stewart has written this article. More details coming soon.

What B2B advertisers can learn from Pokémon Go

After only a few days post launch, it looks like Pokémon Go is a massive hit, adding $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value in just a few days. Look to your nearest park, city center, or densely populated area and you are sure to see people of all ages trying to catch them all. Even within our office, conversations are buzzing, teams are forming, and distant memories from our childhood are being resurfaced as everyone immerses themselves in this new craze.

It’s not secret what Nintendo and Niantic have created is game changing, and provides an experience the masses have yet to see. So I ask, as advertisers, what can we learn from Pokémon Go to apply to our outlook and strategy when it comes to B2B marketing and advertising.

People want an immersive experience

Notice I didn’t use customers or prospects here. First and foremost, we have to remember these are people we are talking to, and they want content that appeals to their human nature. This is key in trying to solve the mystery of “What really constitutes as a great experience.” As a B2B marketer for software it’s very easy to get caught up in the leads (Yes, “weeds” pun intended, this is an article about Pokémon Go and B2B marketing isn’t it?). Day after day you are promoting those white papers, webinars, and eBooks, which is great and I’m not saying to stop that, but at some point we must step back and look at a message we are trying to push as a whole and find a better way to convey it than a piece of content. You can create as many nurture paths, and retargeting groups to try and serve up sequential messaging, but let’s be honest, no buyer moves in a linear path. By being able to provide a campaign that steps back, thinks outside of the box, and puts the user center stage, that is when you are on track to serve up a truly immersive and experiential message that will resonate far beyond any single piece of content could.  More than likely your whitepapers and chosen pieces of content tell a story and essentially outline a journey that, in the end, points to your company as the #1 solution to solving a problem, so why not try to tell this story in a more immersive, connect way.

If you build it, they will come

This is a perfect transition from the first point, and big motivator on why you should really focus on providing an experience for the user. If you build it, an immersive experience that is, people will talk about it and they will share it with their friends and colleagues. If your content makes the user seem cutting edge, or more in the know, then they are going to share it. Pokémon Go turned the concept of games being played inside on console on its head. In a market full of bigger, and honestly better competitors (Xbox/PlayStation), they did something no one else was doing. They took their game outside to the masses. Now I know that’s may be a little over zealous for marketing B2B software, or whatever you might be selling, but shoot for the moon right?

The point is: step back, look at your product, and show people how your product can change the world, or at least the user’s world.

The journey doesn’t stop after you catch one. Keep a storyline going that provides value to the customer

Pokémon Go is a journey. You don’t capture one and the game is over. Nintendo and Niantic aren’t going to just release this version and say have fun. They are going to listen to the community, scan the forums, read user suggestions and continually evolve and update the landscape and features of the game. We can apply this thought process to two aspects of the buyer’s journey.

One being the initial discovery period where you have captured a top of funnel lead and know they are showing interest in either your brand or your thoughts on pain points within the industry. You must listen to the users, well in most cases more like watch the user, but that sounds creepy. What can you conclude from their actions on your website? With answers or information will they be needing next based on their current content consumption? Both your paid and owned initiatives should take this approach of surrounding a user with new content to help them solve their current problem.

The second is, once you have a customer what can you do to retain them? Retention is the new acquisition, and the sales funnel has now better represented as a sales bowtie.

This one is a little less in the realm of marketing and lies more with sales and beyond, but the way I see it, if these two teams don’t have major overlap in your organization, both are missing out on some very valuable information. The practice of sales and marketing working hand in hand is a discussion for another blog post, but for now we can assume both are acting in harmony and producing a sweet medley of renewals, up-sells, and cross-sells. Look for ways that your organization can continue to educate customers on the value of your product. Make sure they are getting the most value out of the service, and listen to them of ways you can go beyond that and exceed their original expectations with the service. Marketing can also turn an open ear to current customer to see what features are cornerstones for your users? What behaviors has your service altered for the better? Since getting ramped up with your product, how has it solved their initial pain points? Looking to existing customer’s thoughts, and attitudes towards these questions can be a powerful message in appealing to prospects looking for their next solution.

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In all, we call all gain some perspective from the success of Pokémon Go and take a step back from the normal day-to-day and really look to formulate an experience that tells the best story. The company that can convey their competitive advantage and actually have it resonate with users are going to be the companies that have leading mind share when the consideration stage comes into play during the purchase process, and when it comes to closing deals, that’s the biggest advantage you can have over your competitors.

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