Visual history of Pokemon Go creation – the timeline starts with John Hanke seeing the opportunity in interactive gaming back in 1996
Since Pokemon Go launched on July 6th, 2016, it has grown faster than Tinder and Twitter. People spend twice more money on it than the gaming industry average and twice more users stay with the game than average.
People engage with Pokemons more than with Facebook. That makes it an anomaly, and, possibly, the next big thing. And this growth is only based on 8 countries where the app launched so far. How can anything grow this fast? The concept of Pokemon is not new. Neither is geolocation-based games, nor augmented reality. Reading the The Ultimate History of Video Games, you can start seeing why Pokemon Go works. The person behind the game, John Hanke who is now 49 years old, is himself surprised at how popular the game is. But not too surprised. He spent the last 20 years developing location-based interactive games. When in1996 he applied to a Berkeley MBA, in his application essay he outlined the opportunity in interactive gaming. How did he see this coming back then?
It’s not entirely clear what Hanke did before 1996. We know that he graduated from Cross Plains High School in 1985. Then he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin in 1989. He then spent some time in Myanmar (former Burma) and Washington D.C. working for the Department of State.Hanke started working on games seriously during his MBA. During the post dot-com bust years, Hanke co-founded Keyhole, a company creating geospatial visualization software. When Google acquired it, he stayed on to lead Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google StreetView development. He was also partially responsible for bringing Google Maps to the iPhone.
While many founders’ dreams run aground when their companies get acquired, Hanke not only founded a company inside Google in 2010, he was able to separate it from Google, and get Google to invest in it. How this happened is not clear. Why would Google want this to happen? Regardless, Google is one of the 3 investors in the company to this day.
The name “Niantic” comes from a Gold Rush era ship that ran aground and now lies underneath downtown San Francisco. Back when San Francisco was still called Yerba Buena, Niantic ferried tea and silk from China. But it’s fate soon changed – it was converted to a sperm whaler. It’s last voyage ironically was one of the first to bring gold seekers to San Francisco. Upon arrival, the ship was intentionally run aground and converted to a hotel. The ship is still underground in San Francisco’s financial district.
The story evokes parallels to the philosophy behind Pokemon Go – discovering the hidden treasures of one’s neighborhood, seeing something new in places you thought were completely familiar, going outside to explore.
“Question the status quo,” John Hanke advises in his alma mater promo video, “”it’s probably not how things are always gonna be.” Interestingly, the answers for Hanke seem to be the obvious things most have ignored for years – virtually reality is not a new technology, neither is geolocation. The game encourages us to explore our same old neighborhood. Perhaps even meeting the same old people we would have met otherwise. It seems we’d prefer to meet them standing next to Pokemons rather than on Tinder. The pokemons themselves have been around for 20 years. So why something so non-revolutionary could become so popular? Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator answered this question in his essay “Schlep Blindness”.
Paris – Exclusive research from Socialyse (Havas Group’s social media solution) shows that 63% of “switchers”i will change their mobile device, and 23% will change their device and carrier. The study identifies a clear switching process including four key phases –Information Gathering, Active Research, Decision Making and Deal Hunting. It also demonstrates the important role of social media: 25% will turn to Twitter to inform their decision, and Twitter ranks among the Top 5 point of contacts for research.
Socialyse Global Managing Director Séverin Naudet comments: “The mobile phone industry is extremely dynamic. With total worldwide mobile phone shipments of just under 2 billion units, the mobile phone industry will grow by over 10% this yearii. We’ve been working closely with global telco companies, and this study really demonstrates not only how social is a powerful business solution, but how Twitter, in particular, can influence and impact the purchase decision. Social brings ROI to advertisers.”
Key Consumer Insights about Switching
The research provides keen insights into consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding switching their mobile devices and carriers:
Using Twitter to Influence Switching
In addition to the consumer insights, the study also delivers clear recommendations on how to activate Twitter for telcos:
Research institute CSA contacted smartphone users aged 18-50 who have or will change their mobile device and/or plan in the past/next 3 months, across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. The study included two phases: 1) a qualitative analysis including focus groups and one-on- one interviews, and 2) an in-depth qualitative online survey.
Launched in 2013, Socialyse is the social media solution of Havas Group. Socialyse provides a unique integrated and synchronized social media offer, including strategy, content, media and analytics. Innovative tools include the Social Rating Point and the powerful Socialyse Newsroom. With specialized talent and best-in-class technology, Socialyse guarantees both performance and prices. With over 720 social media experts based in 38 local offices and operating in 80 countries, Socialyse combines the agility of a startup and the strength of a powerful global network.
Tel +33 146933715
Mob +33 632063816 firstname.lastname@example.org
Au lendemain de la victoire des Belges et de leur accession aux 1/8 de finales, les équipes de CSA Belgium (Consumer Science and Analytics – Havas Group) ont analysé l’engagement des Belges sur les réseaux sociaux et en particulier sur Twitter.
En croisant cette donnée avec la couverture TV réalisée pour chaque match, CSA a donc pu obtenir l’index du Social Rating Point* des 3 matchs.
Notons au passage que 80% des 15-54 étaient présents devant leur écran pour suivre les matchs de poule.
#belita: 37.000 tweets pour une audience de 1,2Mio – SRP = 3
#belirl: 75.000 tweets pour une audience de 935K – SRP = 8
#swebel: 129.000 tweets pour une audience 1,2Mio = SRP = 11
Sans surprise, ce sont les hashtags officiels des matchs qui récoltent le plus franc succès – 70% du volume.
Au niveau des joueurs, Romelu Lukaku est le joueur des Diables Rouges qui génère le plus de tweets, il faut bien l’avouer, desservi par sa prestation du premier match contre l’Italie.
Les équipes de CSA se sont également intéressées à la visibilité des Diables Rouges au niveau mondial. Résultat: 1 twittos sur 3 a eu minimum un tweet lié aux prestations des Diables dans son feed. Ce qui représente une audience globalisée de 90 millions d’utilisateurs! Belle visibilité donc pour notre équipe nationale.
*SRP = Le SRP est calculés en divisant le volume de mentions d’une émission par son reach. Avec une base de données de plusieurs milliers d’émissions de télévision – chaînes généralistes et spécialisées -, ils permettent aujourd’hui de mieux comprendre les interactions sociales pour transformer positivement l’engagement du public en business potentiel.
on 8 Apr 2016
Brands are increasingly using Twitter as a customer service tool but not all are getting it right, according to a new study, which shows that retailers are the worst performers while the financial sector is leading by example.
In today’s social media age, Twitter-based customer service is expected to be speedy. But according to mystery shopper research by BDRC Continental, many brands struggle to keep pace.
Established retailers are among the worst brands for answering customer queries on Twitter, while high street banks and credit card brands are the top performers.
Fashion retailer French Connection, which saw sales in 2015 fall 8% to £164.2m, comes bottom of the pile in the research, taking an average of 39 hours and 22 minutes to respondto customers on Twitter.
“The longer a brand waits, the bigger the risk that a customer will decide to go and shop somewhere else,” says Tim Barber, director at BDRC Continental. “It is 2016 and people expect a rapid response. If they don’t get it, you could lose them forever. French Connection could be unintentionally sending that waiting customer to Topshop.”
With an overall score of 10% across several metrics including customer satisfaction and speed, French Connection is the worst-performing UK brand according to the study, but it was not the only guilty high street retailer. The brand is joined by high street giants including Starbucks, Waterstones, Vodafone and McDonald’s, which are among the 10 worst performers.
As part of the research, more than 9,000 tweets were sent to 395 high street brands in 32 market sectors. Each of the brands’ responses was ranked by the quality of their answer, whether additional information was offered, the friendliness of tone and if a reasonable effort was put into the response. All brands were sent the same 25 queries by 25 different users to allow for benchmarking of the responses.
Barber says the research produced its fair share of horror stories. “The worst thing a brand can do is respond even when they haven’t properly read a question or use automation to just cut and paste answers.”
He reveals: “One of our shoppers asked a payments brand if there was a charge to pay by American Express, and it bizarrely responded: ‘We take MasterCard, Visa and American Express’.
“Another shopper asked a popular high street restaurant if they could bring their own wine to a meal or if there was a charge. The response was an aggressive: ’No, absolutely not. If you do, you will be instantly removed from the premises’.”
High street retailers could learn a thing or two from the financial sector, however. According to the report, Nationwide has the best customer service on Twitter with an overall score of 88%. In fact, seven of the top 10 best performers are either credit card or banking brands.
The financial industry has had its fair share of PR disasters since the 2008 banking crisis andBarber says this works in its favour. “The banks, credit cards and rail companies are all used to being attacked regularly in the media. As a result, they have huge teams in place to manage their social media and PR. If they can make a customer happy on Twitter, it’s an easy PR win.”
At four minutes and 25 seconds, Virgin Trains has the quickest average response time. However, Barber says speed is not everything and that there is still a trend of “quick answers that don’t really answer a consumer’s question”.
The rise of online forums also means that the public can find answers to most queries through the simplicity of a Google search, suggesting brands that cannot do a good job of customer service on Twitter should not do it at all.
“Apple doesn’t answer any tweets, so it isn’t necessarily imperative that you go down the route of using Twitter as a customer service tool,” says Barber. “But if you are on the platform, you should invest in doing the job properly as it will pay for itself in the end. If you’re on Twitter and responding to customers poorly, it will do more damage than good.”
Ultimately, Barber says brands must be consistent if they are to achieve success through social media customer service. He suggest brands such as Holland & Barrett and Waitrose, which achieve scores of 77% and 75% respectively, do well to balance both helpfulness and personality.
Barber advises: “You need to be consistent with every single tweet and treat everybody like an individual. You have to have the infrastructure in place to respond to every single tweet – that’s important.
“You don’t pick and choose who you speak to when someone walks into a store – you aim to speak to everyone, so why do the opposite on Twitter? Treat every Twitter user like a shopper inside your flagship store. Remain consistently helpful and you’ll inevitably improve the sentiment towards your brand.”
New forms of social platforms present a new set of challenges for brands – and they can’t afford to duck them
For the best part of a decade, our online social lives have been defined by a handful of giant networks: Facebook, Twitter and (for professional and high-net-worth audiences) LinkedIn. Marketing strategies have therefore focused on capturing attention and driving engagement through these channels. With their mass reach and openness to advertising, they had appeared to make the task of engaging audiences on social media relatively straightforward. But things are changing – and changing fast. As far as marketers are concerned, our social lives are becoming a lot more complicated.
It’s not that the social giants are in decline. Their numbers of active users continue to increase, with 30% of global internet users heading onto Facebook every day. But they no longer define our digital social lives in the way that they once did. The average 16-24-year-old now uses at least five different social platforms each week. And many of the interactions that matter most to them take place on new types of platform, with less obvious roles for brands. This represents a challenge for marketers, but it’s also an important, and very timely, opportunity.
The daily use of mainstream social media is rising at 6% a year – but use of Instant Messaging (IM) platforms is increasing at double that rate. More than half of global internet users are using messaging apps on a daily basis – and this is pushing platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Snapchat and LINE towards the centre of social experiences. Messaging use may lag behind in the US and UK (35% and 39% respectively), but it dominates in emerging and fast-growth markets from Brazil (73%) to Malaysia (77%) and China (69%). And it’s not just IM that is expanding the social media universe. From Instagram to Vine, people are engaging on a far broader range of platforms that reflect their different needs and interests through very different social experiences.
It’s significant that Facebook itself has moved swiftly into these new social spaces: WhatsApp (owned by Facebook since late 2014) and Facebook Messenger are currently the two largest messaging platforms on earth. Facebook owns Instagram as well. The world’s largest social media player recognises that people are no longer satisfied with expressing themselves in just one way, on one type of network.
Look closely at the IM phenomenon and you’ll find a broad range of user experiences from stripped down to content-rich, but all have the same fundamental appeal at their core. IM enables real-time interaction within small, specific groups that can form, break up and re-form endlessly. Conversations are free to fade over time (the importance of which explains the intense debate about just how long Snapchat conversations are stored for). IM is more intimate, more responsive and less permanent. And it reflects more intuitively the way people have traditionally interacted with one another.
The return of nuanced private lives
To marketers, the sudden fragmentation of the social media landscape can seem disruptive and surprising. But in the context of human relationships, the shift isn’t really that surprising at all. If anything, it’s the last 10 years that have been abnormal.
In the offline world, there are certain, very specific situations in which being included in a large crowd is an important part of the experience: shopping in a marketplace, watching a football match, engaging in a pilgrimage or, on a smaller scale, enjoying a large dinner with extended family. But these situations are relatively rare. The vast majority of our lives aren’t spent shouting personal messages over the heads of very large crowds of people; they are lived more privately, built on interactions with far smaller groups that we shuffle between according to circumstance and need.
Living out more of our life online – but on different terms
The shift towards IM suggests that people want to move more of these offline experiences onto digital platforms; they are just not comfortable moving them onto the likes of Facebook. Messaging apps provide them with opportunities to reflect a more nuanced social reality in the online space. And as those messaging platforms build richer functionality around core messaging, there are more compelling reasons to do so. Users of LINE, which first launched as an emergency response to the Japanese earthquake of 2011, can now play games together, generate and share content, stream music and watch TV – all of which can be plugged seamlessly into their interactions.
More consumers carrying out more of their social lives online ought to represent a significant opportunity for marketers. However, there’s a challenge. The way that brands interact with consumers on Facebook, for example, is partly why large-scale open networks are deemed inappropriate for the more private and personal aspects of people’s lives. Facebook feels like the virtual equivalent of the marketplace, an environment in which we must be happy to be distracted by a host of different voices and different propositions calling for our attention; messaging platforms do not.
Time for a holistic social media strategy
There is still an important role for the marketplace in people’s lives – a space where we seek out new forms of stimulation and can quickly gain a wider sense of what’s going on in the world. Within our newly complicated social lives, the giant, open networks that provide this experience are the natural home for scalable, awareness-building, amplification and engagement campaigns. However, when connected consumers move onto IM platforms, they no longer welcome distractions in the same way. WhatsApp’s ‘no ads’ policy is a significant part of its appeal – and brands must proceed with caution even on platforms that are more open to marketing. People resent unsolicited brand messaging popping into the same space that they use to chat confidentially to close friends and family. When they do invite brands to engage with them, they expect them to behave in a manner that reflects this context. This means that marketers must play by a new set of rules if they want to thrive. We’ve been accustomed to seeing social media as one element within an integrated marketing strategy. Now we need to take a more granular view of the social media space itself – and start adopting integrated social media strategies that reflect the roles that different platforms play.
Getting in touch with humanity
The new rules are defined by the nature of messaging platforms themselves. These platforms deal in human experiences that are intimate, intuitive and relevant to the moment. Success for brands will similarly depend on a more human approach: facilitating dialogue and connection, replying to comments in a way that is worthy of that dialogue, caring about the moments that matter to the audience, and delivering content that is genuinely relevant to those moments. The most successful brands know that such relevance can come through providing tangible value that enhances or simplifies life – but also through the emotional connection that is formed when they align themselves with the right format and tone of voice for a platform.
Taco Bell’s use of Snapchat excels in establishing such a human connection. It embraces risk, experiments with different approaches – and earns respect from consumers for avoiding a bland, corporate tone of voice. Its choice of influencers to enlist for the brand has been appropriate as well: focusing on YouTube and other social media celebrities who have credibility on the platform, rather than conventional star power. The six-second DIY videos posted on Vine by the US home improvement store Lowe’s similarly mixed tangible value with emotional engagement by working within the format of the platform. The result? Lowe’s ninety Vine videos delivered over 33 million views.
Sharing counts more when it’s personal
As social platforms become more personal, the credibility added when content is shared becomes all the more valuable. WeChat Moments, which builds a broader social media experience onto WeChat’s IM platform, provides a powerful amplification opportunity for brands, with any content that a user engages with hugely more likely to appear in the feeds of their friends. The power of personalisation can also be seen in the influence of Instagram, which has grown in value as an earned media opportunity for brands. Instagram provides another environment where sharing amongst a more select network delivers powerful benefits. It was recently claimed (in research commissioned by an Instagram influencer app, Takumi) that 68% of 18-24-year-olds were more likely to purchase an item if someone they followed on Instagram shared it.
Why a more complex social world has more opportunity
Finding the right strategy for more intimate social platforms will become increasingly important as those platforms take on a broader range of roles in consumer lives. Users of WeChat can already browse and buy products (with 10 million WeChat stores opening in the last year alone), order taxis, apply for loans and keep track of their fitness. Facebook Messenger’s AI-powered virtual assistant, launched in September, prompts users with suggestions for where to eat, where to visit and what to buy. As social media becomes more varied, more versatile and more personalised, consumers are far more likely to trust the right social channel to guide their choices. As these new social channels become more sophisticated and seamless, people could increasingly make the journey from awareness through to purchase without ever leaving the platform they are on. Making themselves a part of this environment will require brands to invest in customised approaches, explore more partnerships, be more human and less guarded in their approach, and take more risks. But all the indications are that such effort will be worth it. Our online social lives may be becoming more complex – but adapting to that complexity will be increasingly rewarding.
Anjali Puriis Global Head of TNS Qualitative. Anjali is responsible for developing TNS’s qualitative offer, providing clients with cross-cultural insights, and leading new thinking, particularly in the areas of consumer choices, behaviour change and social media.
Zoë Lawrenceis Marketing & Communications Director, TNS Asia Pacific. A member of the APAC digital board, Zoe has been involved in shaping TNS’s thought leadership around the connected consumer since 2010.