I recently got hitched. A case of two worlds colliding…. Or something like that!
Question: But what happens when two worlds, of a different kind, collide?
Answer: You get lots of people flooding into Mowbray Park.
The Creo office is a bit of a window on the world. We see tall people, short people, old people, young people, business-people, retired people, and even the odd seagull, as we look out on the streets of Sunderland city centre.
One of the beautiful things we get a good glimpse of from our office windows is Mowbray Park, a stunning open space that is full of Victorian splendour. The park in itself is enough to draw in many-a-visitor and it does. Every day… But I couldn’t help but notice recently that the park has been drawing a different crowd; not the usual families I have been used to seeing, but an army of people with their phones held out in front of them, apparently in a completely different world, unaware of where they are heading.
Enter, the Pokémon-hunters.
Yes, Pokémon GO fever has hit Sunderland in a rather big way. People of all ages are hitting the streets, driven by a burning desire to ‘catch them all’. Pidgeys, Jigglypuffs and Squirtles are among the prizes – or so I’ve heard! Don’t even get me started on the mythical Mew… Where is this exotic creature hiding?!
The fascinating thing about Pokémon GO is less the phenomenon it has created. That’s understandable. Moreover, the thing that I find absolutely incredible about this game is the way in which it can mobilise people. For years, marketeers have been trying desperately to influence behaviour. To generate action. Our adverts designed to entice, our press releases seeking to gain trust… All with the aim of getting people to do something – buy; sell; phone; email; think differently.
Each step forward with technology has moved us closer to that. Text allowed us to target people by SMS and invite a reply; the Internet meant we could actually learn about our customers’ behaviour, seeing how they move through our sites; remarketing gave us the ability to prompt customers again and pop items they may have wanted previously back into their trolley (rather like the way I remember slipping Milky Bar yoghurts back into my mam’s shopping basket when she turned away, as a child).
Twitter and Facebook took that further – a platform to converse in real time; to direct people straight off to a website where they could get browsing. But the critical difference – that whole transaction happened without physical movement – the whole transaction lived within the digital world.
In Pokémon GO we see the digital world meet the real world. People are simultaneously moving through their virtual world while also moving through the actual world. The two no longer live mutually exclusively.
It’s all a game, you may think – something to keep the kids entertained over the holidays. Well for marketeers, I can tell you it is not. The way in which the virtual world is now able to come together with the real world, and make people get off their proverbial, and do something now, is nothing short of a game-changer. And it is ours to make sure that our customers – of all different kinds – do not miss the opportunity to catch them all… That’s every client they wish to influence.
From the window in Creo, the observation is clear. Two worlds have come together, and life as we know it may never be the same again.