Forbes: Pokémon Go 3 Lessons For Entrepreneurs

By Tom Taulli 


The mobile world is certainly a wild place. Just look at Pokémon Go. In a few weeks, the app has become one of the most popular in the world. According to data from Adobe, the number of social media mentions came to over 3.1 million for the first six days from the launch! This was actually at over twice the rate of’s Prime Day.


OK then, are there any takeaways for entrepreneurs – who want to improve their mobile strategies? I think so.


Targeting: No doubt, Nintendo was in an ideal situation. That is, the company essentially revived a cult following, which has been around since the mid-1990s.


It’s true that this may not be something that many brands have. But there is still a lesson here.


“Look at the benefits of targeting an existing, dedicated community with new launches,” said Christopher P. Willis, who is the CMO at Perfecto Mobile. “You may be looking to catch a broader market, but try to determine the sub communities within those markets that can help spearhead adoption simply because the innovation already fits within their existing interests. The customer often drives innovation, so pay attention to their wants and unique habits to enhance adoption.”


Actually, a good way to do this is to, well, live among these users – in a digital sense. “Find out what devices they use most, how, when and where they use them to build an app that works seamlessly in the most common instances,” said Christopher


This approach should also help with monetization. “Research shows that once users are confident an app delivers expected value without having to pay upfront,” said Christopher, “they find it easier to spend on in-app transactions. To best leverage this approach, be sure to design your app so there are opportunities for paid upgrades.”


Updating & Data: Regardless of the planning, no app is perfect. There are inevitable hiccups. This is why there needs to be ongoing support and updates.


“Reliability and performance are critical to immediate growth,” said Michael Rodriguez, who is the VP of Mobile at The Weather Company (which is an IBM Business). “Users will notice a major difference if the app works 90 percent of the time versus 100 percent of the time.”


Because of this, he recommends using features like Apple’s short-review time frames, which allow for quicker releases. “The technology gives you the ability to capture audience and drive rank with new reviews in the store,” said Michael.


Yet frequent updates can only go so far, though. Another key is building in data to help allow for adjustments. “High-quality location data matters,” said Michael. “The Pokémon Go app developers made a number of decisions around the location details. They made the environment truly location-relevant down to a neighborhood-specific level, which was critical to success.”


Weather Factor: The Pokémon Go app definitely shows that there is lots of potential in leveraging real-world experiences with. But there are certainly many issues that need to be considered.


Perhaps one of the most important is weather. “The timing for the Pokémon Go app is perfect because the warm weather only encourages users to go outside,” said Jordan Edelson, who is the founder and CEO of Appetizer Mobile. “But developers will need to come up with a plan as to how they can continue to engage users during cooler weather seasons.”


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