The big news from Niantic last week was that the Pokémon Go app will be getting a whole new round of little monsters for players to catch. Baby Pokémon like Pichu and Togepi, among others, will now be available in the game. There’s even a special limited edition holiday Pikachu running around until December 29 at 10 a.m. The introduction of new Pokémon is a long-awaited update and a true Christmas miracle, given that customers have been calling for the change for awhile now.
Continuing the trend of giving users what they want, Niantic recently revealed that the elusive Ditto has finally been discovered. Ditto is one of a group of several Pokémon that players have been calling for since the app first came out. There are a few legendary Pokémon that have not been found yet, like Mewtwo and Thundurus, but the release of Ditto is promising for more to come.
Another new addition to the app’s storyline is the Buddy Pokémon. Trainers now have the option to select a Pokémon to have at their side at all times—kind of like how Ash always had Pikachu by his side, rather than in a Pokéball, in the show. By choosing a buddy, players will earn candy, which can then be used to increase the combat points and health points of captured Pokémon.
So, what does all of this have to do with marketing? Marketing is all about reaching a target audience and convincing them that they want a certain product or service. In this case, Niantic’s target audience is current players and potential new users. In order to attract these people, the company has been working constantly to improve the game and its offerings through several updates. So far, Niantic has introduced new Pokémon, come up with new ways to gain experience points in order to level up, and even thought of ways to keep people playing through the cold winter months.
Incentives have been key to keeping the interest in Pokémon Go alive and well over the past few months. It turns out that this marketing technique has paid off immensely for Niantic. Tens of millions of people in over 120 countries continue to play Pokémon Go every day. As a result of its popularity, both Apple and Google have named Pokémon Go one of the Best Games of 2016. With such recognition from two major companies, it’s clear that Niantic’s marketing tactics have paid off.