5 Fun Business Marketing Ideas Using Pokemon Go

By now it's safe to say that Pokémon Go has completely captured the nation's attention, and has users logging in unprecedented miles around their hometowns, looking for augmented reality creatures throughout the local landscape. In just a matter of weeks, Pokémon Go has swept the country faster than a wind-driven wildfire and already has more daily active users than Twitter.

As a small business owner, do you see an opportunity here? Your marketing department personnel should recognize that even a modestly creative campaign has the potential to drive enormous traffic to your business by capitalizing on this phenomenon. In this article, an overview of the game will be provided, and we'll offer some ideas on how you might take advantage of the tidal wave of interest in Pokemon Go, to bring in more traffic and more conversions.

About the game

Unless you've been in a dark cave somewhere for the last month, you already know that Pokémon Go runs off an augmented reality heads-up display (HUD) based on the real world. Game players have avatars which explore this world to catch the Pokémon wherever they happen to be, to collect rewards from PokeStops, and to battle other users at Gyms.

If you're lucky, your small business might be a designated PokeStop or Gym, because players will flock to your location for the rewards offered, and to battle other game players. With this kind of game status, you won't even have to do much in the way of marketing or promoting - traffic will come to you in droves, and all you have to do is be ready for the volume. You can even enhance your appeal to players by dropping Lures, which attract the Pokemon to your location and guarantee that a boatload of players will be sure to follow.

Capitalizing on the Pokemon Go boom

You're way ahead of the game if your small business happens to be located in an area that already has a lot of traffic, because lots of game players will already be hitting the sidewalks in your area, and now those walkers will be looking to capture more Pokémon. Even if you aren't in a busy commercial area, and your small business is not a PokeStop or Gym, there are still some ways you can take advantage of the Pokémon craze with clever marketing:

  • Appeal to specific teams of players – one of the more surprising aspects of the game is the kind of loyalty and team unity that has developed between players, and this is something you can take advantage of. By promoting specials for specific teams on specific days, you can encourage them to congregate at your location. The three game teams are Team Mystic, Team Instinct, and Team Valor, and by appealing individually to each of these, you can make your business a haven for them on certain days.
  • Attract Pokémon trainers with Lures – in Pokémon Go, the point of Lures is to attract the Pokémon to a certain location, which is a tailor-made situation for you, since it will bring in trainers to capture those Pokémon. Any small business owner can purchase these Lures for approximately $1 apiece, and even though their effect only lasts 30 minutes, you'll bring in a lot more business than what it cost you to drop the Lure. If you have a store or restaurant, this can be particularly effective, because once you've attracted Pokémon trainers to your establishment, they'll more than likely be spending money while on the premises.
  • Use the social media – make use of the social media at your disposal to let game players know about any gaming advantages in your area. It could be for instance, that a rare Pokémon was captured somewhere near your small business, and by highlighting this fact through the social media, you'll be sure to attract other players looking to duplicate the accomplishment. Pokémon Go also makes available an in-game camera, so that you can take pictures of the Pokémon around your small business, and promote them to people who have not yet visited the area.
  • Provide charging stations - playing Pokémon Go quickly drains the battery in your phone, and players who happen to be out for an extended period of time will need to recharge their phones. If you provide a phone charging station at your premises, you can attract players to make a pit stop at your store, and hopefully while they're charging, they'll be sure to drop some of their cash.
  • Stage Gym battles at your location – this idea will only work for you if your business is designated as a Gym, or if you happen to be located near one. If so, visiting trainers will be able to battle for the glory of their team, so as to establish local rule and earn bragging rights. By promoting your location as one that features a Gym, you'll be guaranteed to have trainers spend at least a half-hour there, competing in contests to achieve Gym supremacy. You can get really creative with this by encouraging patrons to get involved, having your own employees participate, and by inviting challengers to drop by and compete. The lure and excitement of competition will be sure to draw in players – and customers.

How long will the craze last?

Obviously, there's no telling how long the Pokémon Go craze will last, but without a doubt the current mania surrounding the game will not last forever. On the other hand, the original Pokémon game has been around for more than 20 years already and has demonstrated remarkable staying power.

The truth is, it doesn't even matter whether the craze lasts for six months or for six years – as a small business owner, you should understand that no marketing channel remains wildly successful for a long period of time and that you need to capitalize on opportunities while they're there.

With Pokémon Go, an enormous opportunity has been presented to small businesses to cash in, by attracting huge numbers of customers to your establishment. When all the excitement dies down, maybe a lot of those same customers will still have your small business in mind, because the engagement experience during Pokémon Go was so positive.

If you need help implementing some of these ideas, our team of Web Ninjas is more qualified for the task.  Our staff represents two Pokemon teams, and holds down several of the local gyms at any time... on top of being really good at online marketing 😉  So just get in touch to schedule a free consultation today!

Will you try some ways to make Pokémon work for you?

Let me know in the comments if how you plan to make the most out of this gaming experience.

Edgar Guerra

Web Ninja

Growing up I saw the hard work my family put in day in and day out to give my siblings and I a better life style than they had growing up. They taught me that If there was anything I ever wanted in life I would have to work for it to earn it. I've taken their knowledge and hard work ethic to help me grow as a web developer.

I believe that if you want to be successful, you have to take the time and learn from people that have gone through the same road you have so you can learn from their mistakes and grow efficiently.

My mission is to help anyone who wants to succeed in life by helping them get there in what ever way I can.