The people at Niantic Labs along with the makers of Pokémon have come up with an altered reality game that transports players to the world of Ash and Pikachu all while forcing them to get outside and explore their communities. Entire cities are being instantly transformed into hunting grounds where players are going to great lengths to capture the various creatures available.
Just how big has this game become?
Well, considering it has overtaken giants like Facebook to become the number one download on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store I’d suggest you as a marketer take a second look at this before shutting the door on using it to your advantage.
To put things into perspective that means that millions of people are downloading this game and by the time you’ve read these words millions more will already be roaming their cities looking for their next PokéStop. In fact, there were over 21 million active users A DAY in the United States as of July 11th which is a staggering number of people considering the game’s relative newness.
All that being said and what can we do as marketers to take advantage of such an immense mobilization of people?
First off there are a few items that marketers can’t ignore when it comes to this global phenomenon (and a couple others you should know for the future);
1) The game is mobilizing millions of people to walk about their communities thus creating MASSIVE amounts of foot traffic around many local businesses
2) This game is a throwback for millennials (i.e. born in 1980 to approx. 2004) and has already caught on with the younger generation as well (Hint: You should know the buying patterns of millennials by now…oh…and they actually HAVE MONEY and aren’t afraid to spend it)
3) PokéStops and Poké Gyms are the areas where game players congregate
4) For what amounts to only a few real dollars you can purchase lure modules in the game which attract creatures (and more importantly, PEOPLE) in 30minute intervals
5) Pokemon players are spending significantly more time on this game than they are on Facebook and Twitter…say what now?!?!
6) Niantic does not currently accept payment for sponsored PokéStops and Poké Gyms BUT this is an addition they will be making to the game in the future so you will need to watch out for these
7) You can currently go to the following Niantic page and apply to have your client’s business added as a feature in the game
As a marketer (or savvy business owner) you undoubtedly already know that your sole job is to mobilize people to visit your client sites when an where you want them to. You’ll also already know that the most difficult part is actually getting people to physically move.
Now that the game has taken care of the mobilization piece it’s time to get a little creative and ensure that the scores of new foot traffic roaming about are inclined to visit your client’s location.
Though I won’t get into all the nitty gritty details for each technique to take advantage of Pokémon Go, here are some ides you can implement with many of your clients to increase the amount of customers they attract to their physical locations and websites;
Pokémon Energy Stops
There is no secret to the fact that the use of this game causes a SEVERE battery drain as people wonder around the city trying to capture the elusive creatures. Encourage visitors by advertising access to Pokémon recharging stations where players are invited to stop into your client’s location and power back up again.
While phones charge up again the players are spending time in the client location being exposed to the product, advertisements etc.. and the best part is that this is generally for more than a few seconds!
The Pokémon game comes complete with the ability to lure Pokémon creatures to your client’s location (though incense) or to PokéStops (through lure modules).
You can have your client advertise a lure-a-thon where they will use the incense and modules to bring creatures to their location at a defined time (best to do it during slow times, during special events etc.). This will attract game players to your client’s location and allows them to take advantage of people’s willingness to visit a location based on the fact they know creatures will be available.
Perhaps the best part of this is that the real cost of doing this is absolutely MINIMAL. See the picture below for the costs associated with the purchases. For a mere $1.39 (or less) your client is able to lure Pokémon to a location for a 30 minute period
Rare Pokémon Discounts
While the Pokémon don’t actually need to be rare to provide the discount to your customers your customer can choose any metric they want in order to provide the discount. Simply have the client advertise the discount and inform the player to show their Pokédex (as seen below) to receive the associated discount.
Live Battle Days (For Locations with Poké Gyms)
If your client’s site just happens to be marked as a Poké Gym (or is very close to one) you can have them advertise specific days and times to come to their location where winners of Pokémon Gym battles will be provided with a discount, freebie etc…
This kind of tactic will bring out the competitive spirit in those who are playing and the highs of winning often lead to the highs of buying!
Website Pokémon Hunt
Create a ‘treasure map’ for your client’s site that people can download and use to navigate through their pages to find clues that lead them to Pikachu (or a character of their choosing). For everyone that successfully finds the character image hidden somewhere in your client’s site allow them to click on that image and provide them with a discount code, coupon, free item etc..
Not only does this increase a visitor’s time on the client site, it decreases the bounce rate as they go from page to page to complete the hunt and it exposes them to all of your client’s advertisement (which I know you’ll be smart enough to place along the way).
For those businesses with patrons who would likely want nothing to do with this game there is still an approach for marketers here. Considering the entire world knows about the phenomena that is Pokémon Go and considering these same patrons will see the droves of people walking with their phones in hand you can simply have your client take the more sarcastic (yet no less effective) approach as noted in the picture we’ve provided (check out the sign).
As you can see there are TONS of creative ways you can incorporate such a massive mobilization of people into your daily marketing offerings. All you need to do is have your client sign up for the free app and you can walk them through the rest in seconds!
Since we are always looking for new angles to approach our clients with and to make ourselves an invaluable part of their business we can use Pokémon Go to our advantage. The application of a little creativity with trends like this can easily differentiate you from the rest of the pack and will definitely help you increase the level of your business.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the changes that will almost certainly come fast and furious over the coming months. There is no doubt that there will be other opportunities made available to all of us and we simply need to determine how we are going to use this to our advantage.
Keep checking back and we will definitely post again on this topic as the popularity of this game continues to grow.