Why every business needs to know their Jigglypuff from their Drowzee

Over the last week, much to the amusement and embarrassment of my friends, peers and family, I have been getting to grips with Pokemon Go.

I have been pursuing those elusive creatures and over time I have become ever more discerning about the ones that I really want.

Rattata and Pidgey are everywhere and quite frankly catching one of those is not worth wasting your Razz Berries on – what I really want is a Pikachu or, my own personal favourite, a Jigglypuff.

My initial motivation for getting involved with the Pokemon fever was to simply understand the whole phenomenon. I work with clients in the Telco and App industries and it is clear that augmented reality and some of the data requirements for running this type of technology are going to become hot topics of conversation, not to mention a way to reinvigorate brand engagement. We have already seen T Mobile US announce that they are zero rating Pokemon Go data traffic, and Vodafone UK has been swift to put a Pokemon Stop in at its HQ.

It’s also turned the heads of investors who needed to be convinced of the ROI. What’s probably of interest to them are the headline stats, for example it is estimated that Pokemon Go is already on 5% of Smartphones  whereas dating sensation Tinder has taken four years to find its way on to 2%. A stat that was once held up in high regard.

Why is this? Of course it has much to do with the fact that it’s got those who were hooked on GameBoys first time around to relive their childhood addiction in a new and exciting way. A good rule of marketing, give people an unexpected delight they want to come back for.

But it also occurred to me as I dodged traffic and hurdled fences to track down that elusive Venonat, that there were some similarities between the augmented reality and my actual reality.

Not all Pokemon are created equal, there are definitely some that you really want and others thatdon’t justify expending your Razz Berries on.

The skilled Pokemon Master knows the Pokemon he is after and the most effective way to get access to them, whether that is going to their preferred habitat to seek them out or hatching and evolving them organically.

Marketers face similar challenges with customers. Initially it may feel like success to “catch ‘em all” but when you start to analyse and segment your customers it becomes apparent that some are definitely more financially attractive than others.

Over the last year Graystone Strategy in association with ICM Unlimited has developed a simple to execute attitudinal segmentation for telecoms and retail businesses that allows marketing teams to rapidly segment their customers, learn where to find them and the best ways to appeal to them – although I admit as yet we’ve not fully tested the effect of Razz Berries.

So in the same way that a Pokemon Master can direct you towards areas covered in concrete,to find that elusive Pikachu a marketer using our segmentation model knows the preferred habitat for “Digital Devotees”.

Marketers using this type of segmentation can identify the right customers based on their value to the business and core strengths that the business has, and then develop the optimum channel, media and customer experience strategies to maximise return on investment.

It doesn’t mean that you ignore the Rattata and Pidgeys of the real world,you simply only invest in the customers that are most important to your business success. As we all know understanding your customer and developing products and services they want is imperative to breed loyalty. Far better to invest in your existing customers than have to keep going out to catch new ones.

So if you are keen to understand how you can segment your customers into Digital Devotees and Settled Seniors, or Jigglypuffsand Drowzees then get in touch.

And if your offices are near a harbour,canal, river or a stream I will be glad to visit you – as that is where I can catch my Squirtle.

James Gray

About James Gray

James has over 20 years of experience working in the telecoms and retail industries. He is an expert in subscription-based business models, CRM, direct and indirect channel management and major proposition development and launches. He has held a number of Marketing Director and Consumer Director roles.