Let’s take a quick look at the staggering facts about Pokemon GO
- Within four days of its release, Pokemon GO was installed on more US Android phones than the Tinder app.
- 60% of players use Pokemon GO more than Facebook messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram.
- 52% of the people making in-app purchases are between the ages of 18-34
- According to ComputerWorld, Pokemon GO has nearly doubled Nintendo’s market cap in just one month.
So there you have it–Pokemon GO is wildly popular. Pretty sure you already figured that out before reading this post! The question is, how can it’s insane popularity make your business more money? Since this is a location-based app, it actually has a big impact on how much traffic is moving around your business. The trick is to know how to “lure” this traffic into your place.
Let’s get started!
1. Become familiar with the game. The first step to understanding how Pokemon Go can work as an unofficial marketing tool is to become familiar with how the game is played. Key terms include Poke Ball (what you use to catch the critters), Poke Stops (spots where you can obtain special items like Poke Balls and eggs), Lure Modules (items used to increase the number of Pokemon attracted to a Poke Stop), and Gyms (places where Pokemon GO players can battle one another). At this point you may be asking yourself if you must have a screw loose–are you actually considering using a game where you catch fluffy pink things called Jigglypuffs as a marketing tool? Have you really gotten that desperate? Just trust us–you’re not crazy, we’re not crazy, and this really is a great marketing opportunity!
Now that you are familiar with the key terms of the game, here’s a quick run-down of how it works:
- Players use Poke Balls to catch different types of Pokemon, which are recorded in the player’s journal. These creatures can be “evolved” into better, more powerful forms using a point system (basically you get more “candy” and points with each successive creature you catch, allowing you to eventually “evolve” the Pokemon). Players also level up based on points, and at certain levels they can join gyms. Some Pokemon are rare and difficult to find, while others are common and can be found nearly anywhere.
- Players stop at Poke Spots to collect Poke Balls, eggs, and other special items to assist them in catching Pokemon. They stop at these places A LOT because no one wants to run out of Poke Balls, and the alternative is an in-app purchase to buy them.
- When players reach a certain level they are allowed to join a team and battle at gyms. Battles at gyms lead to one team eventually taking over that gym.
2. Lure them in. Setting up lure modules at the closest Poke Stop to your business will literally lure in customers. Lure modules work for 30 minutes at a time, and once they are set they attract more Pokemon to the area. Simply set up a Pokemon GO account, purchase lure modules for a few bucks, and set them off in succession for however long you would like to “promote” the special event. For example, make it known that you are having a “Pokemon GO Lure Event” and continue setting your lure modules for an entire evening. Pair this with a special one-night sale, and you’ll have customers flooding your place. Cool eh?
3. Host a Poke-hunt. A Poke-hunt is a fantastic way to strengthen your ties with the community, and give your business a face that people will recognize. Organize a hunt that begins and ends at your business, advertise the date and start time, be sure to make the entire community feel welcome. Once everyone arrives, depart on your hunt–be sure to have employees participate as well, in uniform so that your business is clearly recognizable and associated with this awesome event. At the end of the hunt, gather back at your place to allow players to mingle with one another and discuss their catches–this is your opportunity to grab a few new customers. You could offer special discounts or incentives on the day of the event, but even if you don’t see a spike in sales that particular day, you are sure to make an impression on the community which means more customers in the future.
4. Tie incentives to achievements in the game. In addition to hosting special events such as the Lure Party or a Poke-hunt, try tying special incentives directly to achievements within the game. You can’t very well offer discounts to every Pokemon GO player–there are simply too many. Instead, offer an incentive to players for reaching a certain level, joining a specific team, capturing a rare Pokemon, or using social media associated with your establishment (for example, you may offer a special incentive if players take a photo of themselves catching Pokemon in your place and check-in through Facebook). To maximize time spent in your establishment, offer an incentive to players leveling up while they are there. These types of incentives will not only attract players, but make them feel like your business really understands the game!
While these tips are a great way to start using Pokemon GO to increase traffic and sales for your business, there are many creative options available for those willing to think outside the box. Each different business has a unique opportunity to tie this game in with their specific industry in a way that will set it apart from others. Animal shelters have been attracting volunteers who are self-conscious about simply walking around hunting for Pokemon on their own–instead, they take a dog from the shelter for a walk while they are hunting. Some college students are actually being paid to hunt for Pokemon in place of the poor suckers who are stuck in class at the time. The key is to remember that using the game to boost business isn’t all about sales–it can also be a fantastic tool to help your establishment create ties with the community.
Now let’s get going! Catch em’ all