How to Use Pokémon GO to Market Your Business
July 27, 2016 Nathan Mendenhall
Now that Pokémon GO has been available for a while and we have all calmed down, it’s time to start thinking about how we utilize it's popularity for ourselves and on behalf of clients.
But, before we dig into the different ways we can use Pokémon GO for marketing, let me first say we have to be tactful. Time and time again something becomes popular and we (marketers) absolutely ruin it. Approach marketing with Pokémon Go with the commitment to become a part of the experience, not hijack the experience.
Agreed? Great! Let’s proceed.
To understand the marketing potential of the Pokemon GO, we first need to understand how users are interacting with it.
- Only 2 days after its release, Pokémon GO was already installed on 5% of all Android devices in the US and 2 days later was installed on more US Android phones than Tinder.
- Over 60% of those who have downloaded the game are playing it for an average of 43 minutes a day. This usage is higher than Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
- 52%of users who made in-app purchases are between the ages 18-34 with 75% of the players being men.
And while the game is still young, we're already seeing a wealth of actionable data that points to a presumably effective platform for businesses to market their physical locations. If the Millennial market is important to your brand, it might be a good idea to start getting familiar with Pokémon GO.
Here are some important terms that you'll need to familiarize yourself with to start catching all the customers.
- Poké Ball – Players use these to capture Pokémon.
- Poké Stops – Places in Pokémon GO that allow you to collect items such as eggs and more Poke Balls to capture more Pokémon.
- Lure Modules – A player can place these at any Poké Stop to increase the number of Pokémon that will be attracted to that area.
- Gyms – These are areas players can battle their Pokémon against other players.
The above might sound like a bunch of hootenanny, however understanding the dynamic of those 4 concepts will help you form tactics to use this addictive game to drive business.
Branded capabilities are coming very soon according to developer Niantic – while the game already supports in-app purchases, we'll soon see advertisements in the form of sponsored locations or Poke Stops. The game will offer brands a pay-per-visit model for the amount of traffic driven to their store because of the game. There’s no word as to how exclusive this ad unit will be available nor how they will organize the chaos of brands flocking to take advantage.
Catch 'Em All
So as we patiently wait for Pokémon GO to unleash ads on the Poké-verse (I made that up), there are very simple tactics you can use to help bring attention, engagement and business to your location.
- If you have a Poké Stop close to your store's location, purchase a Lure Module to begin attracting Pokémon. One Lure Module is priced at 100 Poke coins (or $0.99). Be sure to promote that you'll be placing lures and promote this activity via your social platforms, and also have some patience as many people will likely come for the Pokémon. However, don’t be afraid to use the opportunity to turn that visitor into a customer.
- Showcase the type of Pokémon available at your location. Different Pokémon are placed in different areas, so players are encouraged to get out and explore. Take advantage of this and help players find that Psyduck or Dratini they've been looking for.
- Offer a special, perk or recognition to people visiting your location that have caught a rare Pokémon. Gamers like to brag, so let them – word of mouth will lead other hungry gamers your way.
- Many bars and restaurants already have a happy hour – why not place a Lure Module near your business and invite Pokémon hunters to fuel their hunts with refreshing cocktails at a discount?
While this is a fun new way to approach consumers, it's important to understand that these fads come and go. Pokémon GO is picking has incredible momentum, but I would recommend using it as a novel addition to your efforts and not a tactic that should be taken too seriously.
Open the game, get familiar and see how you might be able to use it to benefit your business.
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