Exploring the marketing potential of location-based mobile games

Linwan Wu (School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Matthew A. Stilwell (School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Publication date: 12 March 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Location-based mobile games, like Pokémon GO, have been tremendously prevalent in recent years. Marketing professionals have considered this type of game as a promising marketing platform. The purpose of this study is to explore the marketing potential of location-based mobile games by examining players’ responses to sponsors featured in Pokémon GO.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted among gamers of Pokémon GO to examine the psychological process of the gameplay, and how it influences some marketing outcomes. A conceptual model was built based on the survey results.

Findings

Results indicated that gamers of Pokémon GO experienced spatial presence, which positively influenced their attitudes toward and intentions to visit the sponsors. Moreover, spatial presence was positively influenced by players’ game engagement, perceived mobility and contextual perceived value. Some motives of playing Pokémon GO were also identified, including the entertainment motive and social motive.

Originality/value

This study is the first one to analyze the marketing potential of Pokémon GO, which is a successful location-based mobile game. The results are meaningful to marketing professionals who are interested in this innovative media platform. This study is also the first one to apply the theory of spatial presence to the investigations of this type of game. It showcases the power of this theory in guiding the research of interactive marketing with mobile gaming.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, L. and Stilwell, M. (2018), "Exploring the marketing potential of location-based mobile games", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 22-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-06-2017-0041

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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