No doubt you see them all around your neighbourhood and throughout the community. Heads buried in their phone, wandering aimlessly, stopping all of a sudden letting out squeals of delight into thin air for what seems to be no good reason.
No, I’m not talking about teenagers, I’m talking about Poke-hunters – groups of people from all walks of life strolling around hunting animated creatures that exist only in cyber space and can only be captured using your mobile device.
What many technology and mobile experts are calling the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, Pokemon GO is taking the country and, even the world, by storm. You are probably wondering what a mobile game has to do with business and marketing. You’d be surprised.
I’m sure at the onset that the creators of Pokemon Go didn’t necessarily know that their latest craze would be considered marketing genius, but that’s exactly what it has become. In fact, the marketing potential of this mobile craze is virtually unlimited. Whether you have a resident Pokemon expert onsite or you’re learning as you go, there are plenty of ways you can cash in:
#1 Sponsor Team Days
There are three team designations for Poke hunters – Team Instinct or Yellow, Team Mystic or Blue and Team Valor or Red. Knowing this little tidbit of information can allow you to sponsor “team days” by offering a discount for each team on a different day. The options are up to you, but by becoming “Pokemon Go” friendly, you’re opening the door to folks who may have otherwise passed you by.
#2 Sponsor Pokemon Go Players
Like the idea of team days? You can even have your business sponsor shirts to allow hunters to share their team identity with the world –and your logo, too.
#3 Offer a Pokemon Special
What’s one problem that Pokemon Go players run into universally? Low or dead batteries. You can draw folks in by investing in a few extra power strips that Pokemon players can stop in and recharge their batteries and head back on their journey. If you are fortunate enough to be the owner of a restaurant or bar, you can even offer a Pokemon special while phones are being charged.
#4 Make Your Poke-Stop
Poke stops are a huge benefit to trainees on their journey. Why not get together with other business owners in your immediate area and make your own stop for travellers to benefit from.
#5 Loyalty Cards for PG Players
Punch and/or Reward cards seem to be the rage for businesses that offer food, drink, gasoline, etc. Offering a punch card for you local Pokemon Go travellers can help increase your foot traffic by getting their card punched every time they make a stop in or near your business. After so many punches you can give a promotional item.
Host a tournament that will appeal to your players: A “who can catch the most Pokemon” tournament would be a great way to include beginners while a “top trainer” tournament is a great way to attract a ton of people – especially with some type of nice prize offered.
Of course you should already have a solid social media presence in place, so it will not be a stretch to incorporate the two. When a rare Pokemon is found at or near your business, post it on your social media outlets. Not only does this help draw more followers to your social media presence, it will also bring people in search of something new not yet in their pokedex and put you on the map with Pokemon trainers.
#8 Photo Contest
Following along the social media lines, why not create a Pokemon Photo contest? Not only can this provide you with social media content that you don’t have to spend time creating. Many Pokemon Go players have taken some great photos so why not capitalize on it? Offer a cool prize for the best photos submitted through your social media outlets.
#9 Landing Page Dedicated to PG
No matter what kind of business you own, having a good email list is a must. You can put up a special landing page on your company’s website or a poster at the checkout counter offering a special promotion for Poke-emails.
Pokemon… and dating? Sure why not. This would be an excellent option for entertainment companies – offer a certain percentage off of a service or a free drink with the purchase of another.
#11 Create a Map With Poke-Stops Near to Your Business
Do you have a store front in your local mall? Put together a map of any Poke stops in the mall near your business to keep people circling around. You can even add a coupon for a certain dollar amount off of a special product or a free appetizer.
#12 Poke Specials
Own a bar? Perfect! Offer a special based on a Pokemon of the Day. There are enough available that you can choose a different one each day. Make sure to include the promotion on your social media and any outside signage – if your customers have the Pokemon of the Day they can take advantage of the promotion you’re offering.
#13 Happy Hours for Pokemon Go Players
Following along with the bar theme – make your happy hour a time or two a week a “Pokemon hangout.” You’re already offering happy hour prices so you don’t need to necessarily offer a new promotion – just a place for hunters to hang out.
#14 Offer Gifts
Offer a special promotion or gift to players who catch a Pokemon in your place of business.
#15 Point System
Like the idea of offering a gift to those playing in your business? If you have the time, take it a step further and set up points system and a leader board and offer prizes to the winners over a certain period of time.
One of the biggest “benefits” of playing Pokemon Go is the fact that the game forces you to get on your feet and move. Why not have your business offer a type of “survival kit” for trainers that include, bottled water, a healthy snack and even a charger cord or battery.
#17 Keep it Simple
Finally, remember that trainers may not always have their app open and could possibly stroll right by your business without noticing your attempt to draw them in. Keep it simple and be sure you have easily-seen signage to attract passers by.
As you can see, there is no reason that you and your business can’t benefit from this latest craze – no matter what kind of business you own. You can opt for the simple all the way to the complex with little effort and cost but high returns.