The 25 Best Inventions of All Time

Outdated technology. Flat design - EPS 10, RGB. Effects used: transparency, blending transparency.

Since 2017 is expected to be a pretty pivotal year for technology, Inc. has made a list of their top 25 inventions from the last 5,000 years. On this list are things like the automobile, antibiotics, oil, and even beer. But the top of the list was the telephone, the radio, and the computer; Inc. noted that all three are “part of the greatest – and still just beginning – revolution in human history – communication”.

Pokémon Go for Car Dealerships

Pokemon Pikachu Squirtle Strathcom
Gotta catch ’em all… will this bring you more leads?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Pokémon Go – the latest viral app. The idea is that users explore their surroundings to hunt and capture Pokémon. People chase the cartoon creatures at “pokéstops” and “gyms” plotted on a customized version of Google Maps, navigating to their real-world locations using their smartphones. As of Monday, July 11th, the game was seeing about 21 million daily active users, (for comparison, at its peak Candy Crush reportedly had about 20 million daily active users). Nintendo’s new virtual reality smartphone game  has only been officially released in the United States, but Canadians are managing to play the new Pokémon game through a couple different workarounds.

It’s even one of the top searches according to Google:

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Top Google predictive search results for “What is”

One thing to look at with the advent of any new technology or social platform, is what is the impact for advertisers? Pokémon Go is a free app, but users pay in data. The developer behind Pokémon Go is planning to allow retailers and other companies to sponsor places on its virtual map.

“There are several ways that we see the potential for significant monetisation of Pokémon Go by Nintendo, and one of them is certainly the potential for paid advertising or paid deals that encourage players to come to a particular building or store. It is a huge opportunity,” said Atul Goyal, analyst at Jefferies.

In an interview with the Financial Times, John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokémon Go, hinted that similar advertisements would soon be coming to Pokémon Go.

Alongside in-app payments, “there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations”, Mr. Hanke said, where companies “pay us to be locations within the virtual game board — the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic”. Advertisers are charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to the “cost per click” used in Google’s search advertising, he said.

Pokemon Go has taken over
Pokemon Go has taken over

Some car dealerships & local businesses have already found that positioning a pokestop on their premises has driven a rush of traffic. According to the New York Post, one pizza restaurant in Queens saw business increase 75% after buying a $10 in-game power-up that lured Pokémon to its location.

Robert Drews of Mile High Motors implemented a program to reward players. He created a Facebook graphic to promote oil change discounts, with savings that correlate with your level on Pokemon Go (Level 5 = $5 off, Level 10=$10 off etc). Within the hour he had over 32 shares and 125 likes. Creative dealers could also open their service departments as hunting grounds, or see if their location is a “Pokestop” and use that to buy lures and entice customers to visit.

Pokemon Go could become a very powerful advertising tool in a short amount of time. Since this technology is so new, jury is out on the financial impact, but we cannot wait to see how progressive dealers use tools like this to bring in more business.

That’s So Maven

Customers want what they want. Companies can either adapt to ever-changing consumer demands or be left in the dust!

One example of changing consumer demands is in the automotive industry. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people become interested in getting their driver’s license despite owning a vehicle. According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 1998 and 2008, there was an 18.1% drop in the number of teenagers who got their driver’s license, and this number still continues to decrease.

Thanks to a new generation of car buyers, companies like Uber, and Google’s driverless cars, the automotive industry is changing and automotive companies are changing too. Most recently, General Motors announced their new car-sharing program: Maven.

“With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry,” says Julia Steyn, General Motors VP of urban mobility programs.

Maven will be launched in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but there are plans to expand the service in the future. It is free to join, every vehicle includes a fuel card, there are both hourly and daily rates, and insurance is included.

Here’s how it works:

  1. With your phone and the app, find and select a registered car in your area
  2. Start the engine (can also be done from your phone)
  3. Drive
  4. Fill up with the fuel card
  5. Return the car

GM isn’t the only manufacturer positioning itself for the change; BMW has DriveNow, Audi has Audi unite, and Tesla has recently announced Summon: an app that actually allows you to use your phone to summon your Tesla.

In a world where technologies and trends are always changing, the automotive industry is one industry that seems to be staying ahead of the curve.