Pokémon Go has yet to be officially released in most countries, but it’s already the talk of the world. The game is great for socializing, giving a reason for folks to get out more (this could be the solution to obesity), and people are even “hooking up” through the game (looks like Tinder has some competition). But it’s also giving headaches to police, raising safety issues, and its popularity is crashing the servers. It seems anyone and everyone is out there saying the same thing: “gotta catch ‘em all.”
As a Millennial, I see this game affecting our generation the most. We 90’s kids have had a love for Pokémon since April 1, 1997 (I will never forget the date). And now getting to be in Ash Ketchum’s shoes to capture Pokémon is like re-living that childhood dream. Players have created meetups with their teams across the world. Here in Calgary, (though the game has yet to be released), it seems every night there are meetups across town of Millennials hunting for Pokémon from 7pm till 5am.
Other than an awesome augmented reality game, my first thought about the game being so addictive and getting people out there was…. “Wow, this is an awesome tool for marketing!” When something is trending and on fire, marketers need to get on the craze ASAP. Though I don’t think it’ll happen right away, all things do eventually die down… so the faster you get on board, the better it’ll be—and cheaper, because eventually Nintendo will want its money and competition will be fierce (currently, Pokémon Go does not offer paid in-game locations through partnership – but it’s coming soon).
Here are the best ways to use Pokémon Go for your marketing success?
Local businesses can literally drive customers to their stores. Lure Modules in the game are used to “lure” Pokémon to specific locations. They’re purchased in the game by players and then applied to local landmarks/businesses, which then become “PokéStops.” I
f you’re a business looking for some customers, you need to set up lures. And why not throw in some free samples on the spot to get them interested?
Target specific teams
Once a player reaches level five on the game and visits their first gym to battle, they have to pick a team (yellow, blue, or red). Now this is serious business. People have created clubs with thousands of members overnight and people are showing their pride and loyalty over their similar choice (also great for bonding with strangers).
Businesses can easily cater to specific teams giving them special treatments and encouraging them to come out to their locations. Why not use this to throw in some discounts?
This has worked for businesses who cater to avid cell phone users and now that Pokémon Go is in the picture, this is even more important. Businesses can easily set up a sign outside saying they have phone chargers for Pokémon Go lovers.
Last but not least, show some love. Several businesses are already doing this. To win over fans and supporters for your business, show them you love the game just as much.
Maybe your business can offer some location-specific tips, host gym battles or even offer rare Pokémons? There are endless possibilities. This is also the perfect time to use social media to connect with your audience, like never before!
Now that you know the benefits of Pokémon Go for your business, what are you waiting for? Go catch ’em all—customers, that is.
Iman Bukhari is the CEO of the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation.