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Fresh Thinking

Category Archives: Economy

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

By | Culture, Economy, Fun, Sales, Strategy | No Comments

“Have you played Pokémon Go?”

Unless you’ve spent the two weeks hiding under a rock (which is a totally legitimate pastime, of course), someone has asked you this question by now. Released on July 6th, the tremendously popular app has already been downloaded at least 15 million times [Heavy] and is worth approximately $29 billion [MoneyNation]. There’s no doubt that Pokémon has been a financial success for its developer, Niantic, and rumor has it that McDonald’s is already preparing to pounce on this marketing opportunity [Gizmodo]. But what about the rest of us? Is there a way for small business owners to get in on the game that so quickly made its way to the top?

Turns out, there are several – and most of them are free!

  • Pick a side. If you haven’t already played Pokémon Go, the basic premise is this: 1) Create your trainer (i.e. avatar), 2) Choose one of three teams: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Valor (red) or Team Mystic (blue), and 3) Scurry about collecting and training Pokémon in various locations. Once you’ve picked your team, you can get in on the fun by providing corresponding deals to other “team members.”
  • Buy a lure. Purchasable in-game, lure modules last 30 minutes each and attract a bevy of “wild” Pokémon to a specified location. As many business owners have already discovered, they’re also a great method of enticing patrons. Inc estimated that it only costs $1.19/hour to keep the lures (and the humans that follow them) coming all day – and you can bet you’ll make that money back in no time!
  • Connect with millennials. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to appeal to marketing-wary millennials by actually playing the game, sharing your finds on social media, and offering discounts on products to people who’ve caught certain valuable Pokémon. Your younger audiences will appreciate the fun vibe!
  • Work that Pokéstop. If you’re fortunate enough to have a storefront near a landmark, monument or other prominent building in your town, advertise it. People flock to these spots in order to restock in-game items, and if you happen to be nearby…well, you just found yourself a whole bunch of potential customers.

We don’t know exactly when this idea might be implemented, but Niantic CEO John Hanke has already expressed interest in further monetizing the app with sponsored locations. “Pay us to be locations within the virtual game board – the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic” [Financial Times]. In the meantime, let the above suggestions keep you busy.

Happy hunting!

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession


Counterintuity | More than 30% of ALL businesses advertise on Facebook

More than 30% of ALL businesses advertise on Facebook

By | Digital advertising, Economy, Facebook, Social Marketing | No Comments

If you’re not advertising on Facebook, you’re losing out.

Facebook has more users than China has residents, and that number includes your customers.

According to a recent article on the Denver Business Journal, “About a third of small businesses are starting to use Facebook advertising to promote their businesses.”

Facebook advertising is not some “trendy” tool that coffee shops with $7 lattes and funky e-commerce retailers use as a way to sell to millennials – in fact it hasn’t been anything close to that for a very long time. It’s the go-to tool for news and all things current for many, many people.

This data was collected from a survey SurePayroll conducted of small business owners nationwide. It continued with the observation that “about a quarter are advertising on Google, and roughly between 1 percent and 10 percent are putting dollars toward LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.”

Page likes matter, here’s why.

We disagree with one of the findings here, namely that on Facebook, “Page likes don’t matter.” The justification for that statement is quoting statistics that reveal that only 3-4% of the users who “Like” your page will see your organic content and that only 3-4% of those who see your content will actually engage with it.

While that may be true for the entire universe of content on Facebook, that isn’t at all true for relevant, well-designed and well-written content such as what someone well-versed with social media might create for your business (and hopefully that person is you!). The pages that we manage have 3-10x the interactivity that this article outlines, and we would expect the same to be true for any Facebook pages that are, well, treated appropriately. So while spending money on “Likes” in a vacuum is a bad idea, so is doing any single small, isolated marketing thing and expecting it to move mountains.

In addition, having more “Likes” can help with your Facebook advertising plans, as you can target just those users with sponsored content (that you will know they’re inherently interested in). By utilizing that tool, the number of your “Likes” who see your content can move from 3-4% to 20-50%, or more.

Facebook posts and Facebook advertising are at their most effective when they are a part of a marketing plan and not simply expected to perform on their own.

The Polished Approach: Why Uber Doesn’t Scare People

The Polished Approach: Why Uber Doesn’t Scare People

By | Branding, Culture, Customer Service, Economy, Technology, The Future | No Comments

A few days ago I was watching a Comedy Central show called Nathan For You, in which a guy named Nathan “helps” struggling small business owners. Part of the show’s charm is that Nathan often has pretty good ideas, but (primarily for comedic effect) he implements them all wrong. In this particular episode, Nathan decides to initiate a motorcycle taxi service. At its core, the idea isn’t bad – bikes have lots of advantages over cars (namely the ability to legally weave throughout traffic), and the cool factor never hurts. So Nathan recruits a couple of biker-looking bikers in a bar and sends them out onto the traffic-riddled Los Angeles streets, instructing them to pull up alongside stopped cars and offer their services.

Not surprisingly, this approach is not met with much success.
Correction: this approach is not met with any success at all.

Why? Because it centers around a couple of biker-looking bikers grunting, “Hey, wanna get on my motorcycle?” And that’s it.

When you think about it, Uber is kind of a crazy idea too. You’re hopping into the personal vehicle of a stranger (often while inebriated) because they have a “U” sticker on their window. Sure, you have an app. They have an app. We all have apps, but what can the app really do if something goes awry? Yet somehow, Uber makes you feel safe. Uber’s app is cool. Uber’s ads are classy. Uber’s customer service is awesome. In short, Uber’s done a great job of marketing their services.

You need to give your customers a reason to trust your product, and a lot of that has to do with presentation. Even the best concept won’t get anywhere if it isn’t marketed properly – and that’s where we come in.

Don’t get in your own way. Call Counterintuity today!

Image by Mark Warner is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Act while the sun is shining

By | Economy, Sales | No Comments

U.S. consumer spending is up. So is consumer confidence. And so is business investment. And no less a sensible sage than Warren Buffett says that “the mother lode of opportunities resides in the U.S.”

We’re seeing the same positive trend here, and with clients. One longtime client who really struggled during the recession told us last week that last month was up 30% over the same month last year. Another client’s revenues have grown 400% over last year. And now that the snow that choked much of the country is clearing, watch the economy soar.

So if your sales aren’t up, if you’re not yet taking advantage of the turnaround in the economy, we have to wonder why. Because others (your competitors?) are already getting primed. With new marketing and new sales initiatives aimed at growing their crops while the sun is shining.

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Lee Wochner serves as guest columnist for National Arts Marketing Project

By | Economy, Email Marketing, News, Strategy, The Future | No Comments

Arts organizations: The economic bust is over. Most of what was going to break, broke. And you survived.

Now’s the time to light your fuse and make the most of an improving economy. It’s time to get ready for the boom.

I know: If you’re like most arts organizations, you’re probably not over with that bust just yet. But if you believe that everyone would have been better off being better prepared, here’s your chance to get ready for the upside that will surely follow. The private sector knows this; last week, three of our largest clients rolled out significant expansion plans for 2010. Arts companies can – and should – grow in the boom too.

These five easy steps will help you reignite your company.  Read more>

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Lessons Learned From a Layoff

By | Business Etiquette, Economy | No Comments

Dear Boss,

I can’t express the depths of my gratitude for laying my husband off.  Really.  I know, you’re thinking this letter must be laced with Anthrax.  Relax.  I’d like to buy you a beer.

Because we were forced by you to cut back and pinch pennies, we have learned what’s really important.  Gone are the movie channels and the bottled water.  We bid adieu to the housekeeper, the dry-cleaner who delivers and hot lunches at school.  And surprisingly, we don’t miss them a bit.

Christmas was quaint, but the kids said they didn’t notice.  The oldest boy used his winnings from a $1 Superbowl bet to buy his own shoes.  Middle guy cooked dinner when I was too busy at my new job. Even the baby offered up her Valentine’s cash from grandma for the family ante.

You may feel guilty about the layoff, but we are grateful.  Eating hamburger for six months has helped us to savor the occasional filet.  The house is a mess, but it’s a happy home.  Our marriage is stronger than ever, because teamwork and support are no longer optional.  Our often over-indulged brood has learned how the other half lives, and they’ve discovered it’s not half bad.

Boss, thanks for nothing.  We used to believe that anything was better than nothing.  Now we know it also works the other way around.