5 Practical Ways To Use Pokémon Go In Your Marketing Strategy
July 24, 2016
Pokémon fever is rife across the globe thanks to a new augmented-reality version of the 90’s franchise, which sees players hunt through real-world locations for digital Pokémon powered by Google Maps.
Love it or hate it, Pokémon Go really is here to stay.
While there are no ‘official’ brand tie-ins just yet, Endgaget reported - citing the Financial Times - that Niantic said it would explore the options. It actually runs another, very much less popular game based around the same idea called Ingress, with which it has experimented with allowing brands to buy sponsorship.
But for now, what are the unofficial ways you can make the app work for your business?
Using real world examples we’ve come across, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make Sure It’s Right For You
There’s no point in a very serious business, with very serious clients getting on board with something like Pokémon Go. Only choose it if it fits in with you - and like many examples of poor ‘millennial’ speak brands (#YOLO anyone?) - isn’t going to annoy your regular customers.
To get started, we recommend downloading the app yourself and exploring its interface. It’s free, simple to use and will give you a feel for what you’re getting yourself into.
These are predetermined and businesses lucky enough to be Pokéstops could potentially be seeing an increase in footfall.
Pokéstops are essentially physical locations, highlight in the game on maps where players can stop to virtually collect necessities such as Pokéballs and other items.
You can’t request to be one via the app, but there is an online request form where you can apply.
One example of a many Pokéstops is in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
A local business, a music venue for example, can set ‘lures’ nearing showtimes. These can be set by anyone from within the app and draw a large number of Pokémon to an area for a 30 minute time period. This in turn, when done at the optimum time, could draw potential customers.
If you run out of lures, they cost 100 Pokécoins.
These are specific places players can go to ‘battle’ with their Pokémon for the chance to win new ones and cause damage to others.
The app lets user pick various teams - yellow, red and blue - when they reach level five, and the teams are constantly trying to ‘take over’ a “gym”, which turns the relevant color when a team member wins.
These are very popular and seem to be large distances between where they are, so your business being one can be quite a lucky thing.
“Gyms”, beside popular restaurants for example, will find those eating out in the evenings whipping their phones out to play and discuss the latest catches with waiters - so there’s plenty of opportunity here.
Of course, you can take as much advantage of the social media hashtag #PokemonGo as you like, but it’s worth using a tool such as HashAtIt to check what others are local to your area.
We have seen some very good local marketing messages. Our favorite at first was a chalkboard seen outside a New York City bar, noting there was a Pikachu inside.
But, on further exploration, it was found to be a ruse to get people inside - so make sure you actually have a notable Pokémon inside before you shout about it!
5. Meetups and Events
Depending on the type of business you run, you may be open to holding a Pokémon event. Given the active nature of the app, if this is a fit for your business, it is a great idea.
This is an easy one for musicians and bands who can host a Pokémon night at a performance venue where they’ll be appearing. Other businesses like real estate brokerages could take advantage too, like setting up Pokémon events that coincide with Open Houses.
One good example is Virgin Active in London, which organized the first Pokérun 5k last weekend.
Get creative - this is your chance to physically potentially bring quite a large number of people together (given engagement on the app is even higher than Tinder) and from all ages and demographics.
What’s Next for Pokémon GO?
There are updated versions of the app to come - including the addition of rarer Pokémon and new features - so it’s not going anywhere fast. The marketing opportunities of such an engaged community are vast, even if you’re not a physical business.
Indeed, Brandwatch tracked over 4.5 million mentions of the game on launch weekend and found that there’s mass uptake and an overwhelmingly positive sentiment about the app around the world - so as long as it’s ‘right’ for you, have fun and go catch em’ all.
So Let’s Go Hunting
Below is a screenshot of Jersey Shore hotspots where you can find Pokémon right now. There is a website called PokéVision that shows exactly where Pokémon are currently spawning in Google Maps, including the time left before they disappear. Users can access this map and enter there city and state in addition to using a pin drop tool to find Pokémon types in any city in the U.S. Check it out, and good luck!
PHANTOM POWER Marketing would like to remind you to be safe and smart while playing Pokémon Go! Respect private property and hours of operations of businesses, be aware of your surroundings, watch where you’re going while walking around, and don’t Pokémon and drive!
So how can you use these features to benefit your own business?