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Marketing students study Pokemon Go phenomenon

Pokemon Go became a highly lucrative pop culture craze during the past year, making it a perfect topic to study for Hawai‘i Community College students enrolled in MKT 120: Principles of Marketing. The students’ project concluded on Halloween with games and prizes at the various Poke Stops on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus.

“With Pokemon Go making nearly $3 million a day on in-app purchases alone, earning $243 million as of September 28, 2016, and with a yearly earning potential of $17.9 billion, the class thought it would be valuable to research this phenomenon and have the research culminate in a fun and festive way,” said Associate Professor of Marketing Donala Kawa'auhau.

The project began with students conducting market research through survey analysis on the demographics and phychographics of Pokemon Go players versus non-players. They also studied precisely what it was about the app that made people enjoy playing it.

The project began with students conducting market research through survey analysis on the demographics and phychographics of Pokemon Go players versus non-players. They also studied precisely what it was about the app that made people enjoy playing it.

From that information they were able to develop next steps for the creators to take to keep current users engaged and also serve as a way to get non-users on board.

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The second part of the project was linked to promotions, event planning, management, philanthropy/community engagement, and post-event assessment. It was also focused on verifying students’ research findings through live engagement with the market. Through their research, students were able to see whether or not there was a viable market for a Pokemon Go event on the upper campus. 

With confirmation that the campus was full of Pokemon Go players, students decided to utilize the various Poke Stops as physical stations to hold games and – just as in the Pokemon Go game, which provides players with Poke balls, potions, and eggs – provide students with much needed supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, Ramen, and of course, candy. 

Students were required to use various promotional methods such as mass emails to the student body, social media, fliers, and word of mouth to inform the campus about their particular Poke Stop. The groups of marketing students competed for the maximum number of participants by tracking who attended their Poke Stops and how they were informed about the event. The team with the most participants was rewarded with pizza and Starbucks. 

LEARN MORE about the Hawai'i CC Marketing Program at: https://hawaii.hawaii.edu/marketing