Unless you have been hiding under a rock (or just plain can’t be bothered), you would have noticed this new Pokemon Go craze that has taken the world by storm. If you’re not familiar with it, it is an app for your mobile phone or tablet that allows users to “catch” Pokemon. They will appear (digitally on screen) in many places including parks, rivers, points of interest etc.
There are also “battlegrounds” where users can battle against other users. Users are also required to “walk” their Pokemon to gain more skills and bonuses.
This trend has sparked a new face to marketing your local business.
Check out this video from RNZ to get more of an idea of what Pokemon Go is about:
The app is clever and encourages people to get out and about to find more Pokemon. If you think it’s just kids playing this game you are in for a shock!
The other night while getting tea, we spotted groups of adults walking through town at night with their faces lit by the screens on their phones. It was quite obvious they were Pokemon hunting.
There has been a number of reports from businesses who have had an increase in foot traffic as a direct result of the app as explained in the following article by Time.com:
The app has also caused ambitious trainers to seek out their local pizzeria or coffee shop, many of which have been designated as Pokéstops where players can replenish on supplies, or as gyms, where they can train characters for battle.
Pokémon Go has created a huge opportunity for local businesses, and they’re already capitalizing on the app’s wild popularity. Some businesses are paying the app a $10 daily fee to purchases lures, or items that attract users, for their store to drive foot traffic. At L’iniozio, a pizzeria in Long Island City, Queens, the manager paid to lure a dozen Pokémon characters into his establishment. The restaurant’s manager, Sean Benedetti, told the New York Post that the shop’s business spiked by 75% over the past few days.
The speed at which Pokemon Go has spread is unprecedented. Less than a week after launch, this augmented reality mobile exploration game has been installed on twice as many phones as Tinder, it has double the engagement of Snapchat, and it is eclipsing Twitter in its percentage of daily active users.
People are spending so much time journeying around looking for Pokemon that getting sore legs from playing for hours on end has practically become its own meme.
Smart businesses have caught on too. As Pokemon Go users traverse their towns in search of Pokemon, local stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses are capitalizing on this massive opportunity, driving huge amounts of foot traffic and conversions both with simple in-app purchases and creative marketing campaigns.
There are some mixed opinions when it comes to how Pokemon Go impacts business. Some business owners are not so supportive. Complaining about people entering their shops and not purchasing anything.
While this can be perceived as negative, and for some businesses this would be far from ideal, but the positive that can come from this is being “relevant” in your community and by being supportive of community activities you will be building your local reputation which can only yield positive results.
How To Cash In On The Pokemon Go Craze
If you are interested in how to make the most of this new trend we have a few tips for you.
Is Your Business Location a Gym or Pokestop
These are locations of interest for the app users. It is where they will go to train / battle their Pokemon and find special pickups to help their in-game activities.
To find out whether your business is one of these points of interest you can simply install the app on your smartphone. If your business is not a point of interest you will need to become more creative.
Lure In New Customers
These are special in-game purchases. Basically, they create a virtual “scent” that attracts Pokemon to your area. Where there are Pokemon there will be players. By using one of these lures you can be sure to see an influx of people entering your business.
If your business is in hospitality it would not be uncommon for people to sit, eat and drink while catching Pokemon and leaving once the lure has ended.
Leveraging Pokemon Gyms
Users go to gyms to train and battle with their Pokemon. They can go to any gym or to a gym that is assigned to their team and the can battle other gyms to lower their prestige. How you make money off them is up to you. By using a little creativity and a dash of marketing it can become very lucrative.
You have a few options here:
- Look for someone who can customize a gym badge for your business. You could then give these away as prizes. The suppliers of these badges are pretty easy to find. A google search for custom Pokemon go badges will yield many results.
- If your business is somewhere there is a lot of foot traffic you could place a simple sign no the footpath and have notifications on which teams are winning. Finding out this information is as easy as asking the next application user who enters your store. The community will see that you are supportive, building trust and relevancy.
- Using social media will be another way to create a buzz in your local area. By updating your social media accounts with pictures of Pokemon hunters in your shop you will soon create a following. Naturally, people will share your content allowing you to extend your marketing reach. You could even take photos of the different kinds of Pokemon in your area and post these on Facebook. Some Pokemon is rare and will be sought after by many people.
Making money from these tips is totally up to you. You could offer a range of incentives that will turn hunters into buyers.
You could organize events such as Pokemon hunting or Battle Tournaments and offer discounts for the winners. For the hunting, you could advertise that the hunt will begin and end at your premises. Getting people in the door has never been so easy!
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