Pokémon Go is definitely a trending topic right now, and has been bringing up the question in many business circles, does it have a place in your marketing?
Like all new things and marketing, we need to look at the opportunity as a whole and ask ourselves a few questions
- Do I have time to take on a new marketing campaign?
- Do I share the same demographic?
- What will the players do when they come to my business?
- Can I handle new business right now?
However, before we do let’s look at little at Pokémon Go and how it can be used to market your business.
What is Pokémon Go?
Okay, so everyone is talking about it, but what is Pokémon Go?
In simple terms, Pokémon Go is a game that uses a player’s phone GPS and clock to detect where and when players are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you on your phone screen.
Players then go and catch them.
As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time of day it is. For example, Water-type Pokemon tend to cluster around lakes, ponds or beaches, whereas Fairy-type Pokemon can best be found at night.
The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game.
It is taking off with demographics from teens to adults playing it across the world.
How can I use Pokémon Go to Market my Business?
A host of businesses have been jumping on the Pokémon wagon. Recent weeks have seen Pokémon pub crawls, group Pokémon walks and even Pokémon environmental clean-ups.
A few lucky businesses are in the vicinity of PokéStops or gathering places called Pokémon Gyms. They can put out physical signs welcoming players and offering discounts. If that’s not the position your business is in, there are a few other means.
Know their location
Your business may not be a PokéStop or Gym, but chances are your local area has been mapped and one is nearby. Check the game to see if this is the case, and if so use it. Let people know via signage and on social media there is a PokéStop or Gym in the vicinity and offer special deals, discounts or even a charging station. Pokémon Go rips through a smartphone’s battery in record time!
Set a lure
If your business is near a PokéStop, you can set a lure. This is an in-app purchase where you can lure people to a location for a period of 30 minutes. This costs real money but businesses like bars and restaurants find it reaps real returns.
Show your support
The game is played in teams so, like AFL, Union or League, show your support for a team and offer special deals and incentives to get people using your services or buying your products.
If a rare Pokémon is in your vicinity, let people know. Odds are players will start turning up and wandering the area to get their hands on the little critter.
Tips and advice
Get in on the hype by providing tips and advice on how to play, where to look and what to do. This is particularly good for building traffic through blogs or FaceBook pages. Keep abreast of what’s happening in your area to let people know.
Host a Pokémon party
Even if you’re not located at a Gym or PokéStop, you can host a Pokémon themed event, with themed food, dress ups and Pokémon inspired tips and competitions.
Back to the questions – is it right for you?
Do I have time to take on a new marketing campaign?
Not only are you going to need to get up to speed on Pokémon, but you’ll need to keep abreast of what’s unfolding and when. That’s fine if you or your team are naturally attuned to the Pokémon world, but if the effort’s too great and you’re already busy, it’s not worth taking on a new campaign and doing a half-hearted job.
Do I share the same demographic?
The Pokémon craze has challenged the previous boundaries of traditional gamers, but it doesn’t suit all businesses and services. You don’t want to be confusing clientele with terminology they may not have an interest in. And those you do attract will the be interested in the products and services you sell?
What will the players do when they come to my business?
It’s all very well to attract players, but how will you convert that to actual sales, and what will people do when they get to your site? Considering this is as important as whether you have time to embrace the trend.
Can I handle new business right now?
The ultimate aim is for players to use you services and become clientele in the future. That means ensuring you can handle new customers and provide them with a positive experience.
The Pokémon frenzy has raised some new and exciting possibilities for marketing where the virtual and real world collide. In the future it’s likely this will increase with the probability business will be able to purchase the rights to be PokéStops or Gyms. For now, it’s worth weighing up if this campaign suits your business and considering how you can use similar marketing techniques in the future.