Gotta Catch ’em All: Pokémon GO for Marketers

What’s the (Electa)buzz?

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the buzz about the latest trend in mobile gaming. Kids of all ages are suddenly out and about at all hours of the day, phone in hand, as they try to find rare Pokemon and battle for supremacy at Pokémon Gyms.

But what can this mean for your business? If you have a brick and mortar location, and you’re lucky enough to have a PokéStop nearby, it can mean increased foot traffic, and yes – sales! Apps like Foursquare and Swarm have tried to drive foot traffic for years. It took a cute little yellow creature named Pikachu to finally get the job done.

To really benefit from the foot traffic, though, you have to actively participate. Just having a PokéStop isn’t enough to get players to look up from their phones, as many have attested:

While thousands of gamers are hitting the malls and small business districts, most are not buying or even browsing, according to several news reports. Instead, gamers are seeking out Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops for training Pokemon and getting free game items.

Retail Customer Experience

Arbok, I choose you!

What do you do, then? Lure Modules to the rescue! These are in-game items that you can add to any PokéStop to attract Pokémon for 30 minutes at a time. And you can buy Lure Modules through in app purchases. So for less than $2 per hour, you can tell customers that your store / restaurant / bar / library is the place to be while out and about hunting Pokémon!

Pokémon GO marketing done right.
Pokémon GO marketing done right.

Cobra Arcade Bar in downtown Phoenix is taking advantage of the craze on all fronts. For under $20 a night in Lure Module purchases, they’re attracting more and more patrons on a nightly basis. In addition, they’re giving away game tokens for those who show that they’re actively participating in the game – thus justifying the purchase of Lures. Special cocktails tailored towards players encourage more purchases.

Pokemon GO at the Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is another example of Pokemon GO marketing done right. Not only are they dropping lures throughout the zoo, but they are also opening their gates early to let Pokemon hunters do their thing before the rest of the crowds come out! They are catering to a potentially new set of visitors while also keeping them from becoming a nuisance to the regular visitors. That’s a win in my book.

Pokemon GO Marketing with McDonalds in Japan

This is only the beginning, though. There are rumors that sponsored PokéStops are coming, with McDonald’s on board as the first major partner. Undoubtedly, you’ll be able to make your location a PokéStop if it isn’t already one through your digital ad spend budget. (Source: Android Headlines)

Pokemon GO marketing: Just a fad?

Beyond that, the game keeps adding new features. Much like Snapchat, they’re finding ways to keep the game fresh over time, and not become a relic of 2016 tech. They don’t want to become the next Candy Crush once the novelty of augmented reality wears off! In due time, there are likely to be NFC (near field communications, the same technology that lets you pay wirelessly using your phone or Apple Watch at Starbucks) interactions between players to facilitate trades and battles. This could even extend to retailers interacting through that same NFC technology or even QR codes to give special offers to players through a kiosk. (Source: Yahoo! Tech)

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for an account, purchase some lures and go Catch Em All! Customers, that is.

Also published on Medium.