Business Buzz: Market it right and they will follow

PHUKET: As an avid fan of marketing, I’m always interested to see the next big global trend emerge and to watch it evolve into a successful operation on a macro and micro scale. Right now, here in Phuket, we are witnessing one of those global phenomena.

Have you recently seen mature adults chasing invisible objects, using strange terminology and just generally behaving weirdly, while others look on but don’t find it strange?

With this new trend comes a slew of hard-to-follow social media posts that appear to refer to an outbreak akin to Gremlins.

Welcome to Pokemon GO.

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This latest installment from the Pokemon stable was launched in Thailand on August 6 and is taking the country by storm. People use their mobile phone to hunt down and capture virtual animated mythical creatures and get rewards to advance in the game. The goal is to catch all 151 Pokemon characters.

What’s fascinating is that the craze has transcended demographics across all nationalities, genders and age groups. It’s making adults act like foolhardy children with reckless abandon for the law.

One of the companies behind it, Nintendo, doubled in market value almost overnight.

As marketers, there is so much we can learn from this and how to apply it to our own circumstances.

Firstly, Pokemon GO is a free app. As there is no cost to download and play it, how can this generate billions of dollars in value for the app maker?

The lesson for all businesses – what I have banged on about ad nauseum – is that they have built a massive database and then offered in-app purchases. Better for them that they do not actually sell anything real, only virtual products, so it is all profit; players spend money to achieve better results in the game more quickly.

There are also real-world revenues through merchandising as well as spin-off revenue from increased traffic, branding and user awareness.

So what can we as business owners and marketers learn from this?

First, make sure you find something that appeals to your target market. If you can connect with them the way Nintendo and other big brands have done, they will literally do anything you want.

Ask yourself, what am I offering and what problem does it solve for the consumer?

Learn how to package it correctly and you are bound for success. The more people who need that problem solved, the more money you will make helping others.

Secondly, give them the chance to spend money with you. Use promotions and displays. Take advantage of up-sell opportunities. Use the database to maximum effect. Understand and appreciate its value.

Once successful, your loyal customers can help gain peer acceptance with testimonials and referral programs, multiplying success.

The message is, once you get your audience’s attention, plug potential customers into your sales funnel while providing them with quality support and information. Giving away something for free, or even as a loss leader, can make very sound business sense.

When done well, the result is increased revenues. Word of mouth marketing and market positioning will take your business to the next level.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, as long as you follow the principles of attraction marketing; building a database while providing quality and value.

Simon Wetherell is a Digital Media Expert, Trainer and Lawyer. He now resides in Thailand where he shows businesses and individuals how to profit from the Social Media industry. For more information, go to or call him on 095-085 3355.

— Simon Wetherell

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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