Unless you’ve been living under a very heavy, Geodude-shaped rock for the past few weeks, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Augmented Reality (AR) phenomenon Pokémon GO.
The app, which populates the world with Nintendo’s much- loved 90s creatures, has received an unprecedented reaction from fans both old and new. Last week (16th July), the app reported more daily active users than Twitter and, according to SensorTower, users are now spending more time on Pokémon Go than Facebook. This came as interesting news to marketing professionals and business owners across the globe who rely on social media to advertise their business and interact with customers. Rather than harm marketing efforts by taking traffic away from classically reliable channels, Pokémon GO has given businesses a new tool to increase brand awareness, sell products and attract customers. We’ve listed some of the best examples below.
1) If you add a lure module, they will come
One of the most popular ways businesses are using Pokémon GO is by placing lure modules near (or on) their place of business. A lure module is an unlockable (or purchasable) item in Pokémon GO, which lures Pokémon to a particular Pokéstop (a landmark or place of interest). By doing this and publicising it through social media, businesses are essentially bringing people into their establishments with the hope of catching new Pokémon. The tweet below from the Birmingham Bullring Shopping Centre’s Twitter page illustrates this. You can even nominate your location or business to become a Pokéstop, as to attract even more visitors.
— Bullring Birmingham (@Bullring) July 25, 2016
2) Tapping into a diverse audience
Pokémon has been around since 1998 and has experienced a huge fan following ever since its inception. This means, while the game is typically viewed as being targeted at a younger audience, it seems that nostalgia is bridging the generational gap. The original video games, Pokémon Red and Green made their Japanese debut in 1996, making this the year of their 20th anniversary and, as a result, 40% of adult Pokémon players are 25 or older. The diverse audience of Pokémon GO, presents opportunities for marketing professionals and allows them to profile their audience. The very fact that this audience regularly uses their smartphones is enough for some companies to connect the sales dots, just look at this advertisement from Amazon below.
3) Show that your office is on-trend
It’s not all about direct sales potential, Pokémon GO is also an ideal way to engage with a target audience; to show you’re interested in what they’re interested in and drive traffic accordingly. Using incense (digital catnip for Pokémon) in or around an office can cause the creatures to appear inside, and the resultant photos make great posts and stories for social media.
— Musselburgh Races (@MusselburghRace) July 21, 2016
4) Taking advantage of gyms
Gyms in Pokémon GO, much like Pokéstops, are generally attributed to landmarks or places of interest and are places where players train the Pokemon they collect. Gyms can be located anywhere from sculptures and churches to post offices and restaurants and businesses are actively inviting people to come in and play, rather than just stand outside. This has led to positive outcomes for some businesses:
Had an interesting chat at a bar/restaurant sitting between two Pokestops how their business increased by 10% since Pokemon GO came out.
— Sarah Anne Williams (@SarahAnneWillia) July 11, 2016
While community-based establishments, like Churches or community interest companies, are encouraging Pokemon Go players to join in:
the church sign by devins house is my fave pic.twitter.com/vJJOcEvfjD
— hales (@haleighbohn) July 17, 2016