Pokemon Go: What App Marketing Strategy means for the Future Revenue?

How to grab a piece of Pokemon Go popularity and use it for your business?
What Marketing strategy leads to game incredible success?
What is the expected annual revenue from Pokemon Go?
And also: innovative technologies for unforgettable user experience, read more!

What is the marketing strategy of Pokemon Go?

A game that took first place in AppStore ranking and entered Top-10 Android games in the USA in a day after release. Pokemon Go – the most talked about mobile app at the moment. It’s enormous success raises many questions. In this article you will find answers to some of them which are particularly interesting to entrepreneurs.

Statistics about Pokemon Go in US look really fascinating:

  • 26 million active users daily
  • 40+ minutes a day spent in the app by average player
  • 500 downloads on the average per minute (and 700 000 a day)

Wow! Let’s also have a look at the revenue:

  • $1,6 million a day, according to official data
  • It has already beaten Candy Crush Saga for the daily in-app purchases.
  • In the first week after the game release Nintendo’s market value rose by 25%. In the second – by 50%.

Remember, Nintendo owns a 33% share in the project.
What about the developer of the application, Niantic, a Google spin off? According to financial prognosis the company is going for making potential $740 million this year.
Who else reaps the fruits of Pokemon Go mania? Apple, of course. Keeping the share of purchases on the Apple AppStore the company is going to have approximately $3 billion dollars in the next two years.

At first game was available only in US, New Zealand and Australia, but rollout all around the world doesn’t seem far. A huge inflow of players caused the delay, it was a matter of time when developers managed to handle the technical problems.

Mobile app marketing

When we talk about mobile app marketing, Pokemon Go is a great example to follow. At first, it represents a classical proven mobile game marketing strategy:

  • Pre-launch promotional campaign in advance:
    Videos on Youtube, press releases and announcements of main features.
  • Free to play:
    Being unpaid game easily attracts the larger audience.
  • Available on different platforms:
    It is unwise to focus on iOS or Android only, so the game provides full coverage of both most common platforms.

However, all of these we have seen many times in other popular app marketing tactics. What makes Pokemon Go so outstanding among them?

The reason are users themselves. They share news about the game without any prompting and everyone who’s heard about it immediately wants to try and play.
This app just became viral, and it’s not completely due to sensible marketing approach.

The secret ingredients of unforgettable user experience is a technological side of the product. The spicy combination of Augmented Reality and Location Based Services makes Pokemon Go an overall winner.

  • Augmented Reality uses the smartphone camera view and shows virtually overlaid objects. It mixes the familiar surroundings with fiction elements creating a new virtual world. And you are the main hero!
  • Location based services allow tracking your own actions and movements on the screen in the real-time.

Never the game was so interactive! And all you need to enjoy the Pokemon chasing atmosphere is just a smartphone. Our days almost everybody has one.

Pokemon Go Revenue Sources

Many people are wondering, how much money does Pokemon Go make?

As mentioned above, chosen monetization model for the app is freemium. The most popular methods to generate revenue from this model are in-app purchases, in-app advertising and sponsorship.

  1. The in-app purchases feature is brilliantly implemented in this game.
    At the moment this is the main source of income for Pokemon Go stakeholders. It is estimated that in the first 11 days the game has earned $17,6 million. Buying virtual goods (like a lure for pokemons) brings the company $1,6 million every day. The potential revenue this way amounts $584 million a year.
    Of course, it depends on whether the game maintains its popularity. Despite the fact that numbers may change, so far it does seem to fade out soon. On the contrary, the active users’ number continues to grow as the more countries gain access to the app download.
    So, the model appears very profitable.
  2. But, according to some opinions, in-app purchases come a poor second.
    The next option Pokemon Go will benefit from is sponsorship.At the first signs of the beginning craze inventive small businesses’ owners started seeking for ways to cash in. Look at these cute announces:



    In his recent statement published in the New York Times John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, has claimed that company has plans for cooperation with catering and retail businesses.
    Today entrepreneurs have an opportunity to apply for becoming a sponsored location, “Pokestop” or “Pokemon Go Gym”. It will be possible to submit a request through the Niantic’s support page.

    Pokestops serve as a place where players download Poke Balls, which are needed for pokemon capture, and other game items. Gyms are locations for virtual “battles” between teams.
    Both of them seem to ensure the attendance increase. Besides, players that will be looking for pokemons at the same time can stop to rest for a minute and enjoy a cappuccino you offer them in your caffè.


    There are even some success stories at the moment. For instance, the pizza restaurant which has gained 75% more daily revenue thanks to manager’s gumption. He spent $10 in the morning to lure a bunch of pokemons and all the day the pizzeria was overflowed with the steady stream of visitors. The owner of L’inizio Pizza, Tom Lattanzio, says: “The amount of people has been astonishing”.

    Of course for certain businesses it’ll work better than for others, but all the entrepreneurs’ community has taken the news enthusiastically. Company’s management is also anticipating a significant increase in profits from this partnership program.

    The cost calculation for advertisers will be on the same principle as “cost per click” in Google adwords, but now it’s going to be a real person visit to your store. And as in the case of placing a context ad, you have to pay for every visiting regardless of was transaction made or not.

  3. The third option, in-app advertising like pop-ups hasn’t been discussed openly yet.
    But marketers are actively speculating about the emerging opportunities. According to various sources, the current game audience consists about 23-26 million active players and it’s still increasing.
    It means that at the same rate amount of prospective ad views reached by Pokemon Go will be more than 7 billion. Sky-high figures, but seeing the overwhelming app’s success even they not seem as fiction.
    Potential earnings from ad impressions should also be measured in billions. It has the same features as the most popular TV channels. It’s too early now to give specific data, but it can explain the jump in Nintendo stock prices by almost $10 billion in this month.

How else can you make money with Pokemon Go?

While the game is the peak of popularity, there would be so much more than luring customers into your store. It’s hot time right now for everyone who’s ready to catch new trend and benefit from it.
Take for e.g. Smoketown Helicopters company which invented a truly original offer: Pokemon tours in the air. Have you ever wanted to catch up fantasy creatures flying on the helicopter? Now players will have a chance.

Other creative ways to get the benefit:

  • Organization of theme parties and special events for fans
    You don’t need to be a bar or club owner, you can take on the organizational part. And have your revenue.
  • Creating a fan stuff and souvenirs
    Funny badges and T-shirts are always in demand. They also act as kind of identification marks for other gamers (in those moments when they’re not wandering the street with eyes on the screen). Use the actual memes and jokes and don’t let your production be dull and boring. If people will love it they definitely won’t be mind to spend some dollars.
  • Run a thematic group on social network
    Every widely discussed topic should have the gathering place on the net. Start a community dedicated to the popular game, create conversations and polls, moderate it. Make it popular and then you’ll have an opportunity to receive income from in-group advertising.

Here we provided just some examples of alternative ways to take an advantage of widespread passion for Pokemon Go. Everything else is up to you, seize the moment!

Update: Recently Nintendo’s stock fell by 18% or $6,7 billion. The reason for this massive loss became a press release where the owners clarified that Nintendo, not being a producer, was overvalued in financial terms. Indeed, the company’s “effective economic stake” equals 13% by experts’ opinion. However, increase in value since the game launch remains significant – more than 60%.

The world around is always ready to teach us some marketing lessons. See our previous article about Four Lessons Your Marketing Team Can Learn From The Greek ‘NO’ Case.

Have a great idea for an application? Contact our specialists to realize it!


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