Pokémon GO, a free-to-play, GPS based mobile game, was released on July 6, 2016. In the six days the game has been available to the public, the number of average daily users has already surpassed Tinder and is on track to pass Twitter’s app. According to SimilarWeb, “Over 60% of those who have downloaded the app in the US are using it daily, meaning around 3% of the entire US Android population are users of the app.” 3% might not sound very significant, but that is roughly over 2 million people.
A huge part of the reason so many people are using the app is because the game does not just target children as a demographic. Adults in their 20’s and 30’s remember Pokémon from their own childhoods and want to relive the fun they had playing, which makes the potential demographic reach substantially larger. Ultimately, having such a large demographic is a huge asset for marketers because there are so many potential uses.
Here are some current and potential ways marketers can get involved in the world of Pokémon GO:
Be a part of the conversation
If your business happens to be the site of a Pokémon GO gym of PokéStop, take advantage! Business owners can welcome the users that are driving around or hopefully stopping into their business by offering a special deal to those playing the game. For example, if a restaurant is the location of a PokéStop, the business owner could offer a discounted appetizer or dessert if customers show that they checked into the restaurant’s PokéStop or posted about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Promoting on your own social media that your business location is the site of or near a gym or a PokéStop can hopefully get your business more visibility and foot traffic as well.
Offer Discounts, Meetups, of Free Swag to Users
At the moment, users can only battle one another at PokéGyms, so if your business is the site of a gym, or close to one, embrace it! Create an event where attendees can meetup and receive promotional items from your business, such as t-shirts or water bottles (walking around in the hot sun catching Pokémon is thirsty work), and battle at the PokéGym nearby. Pokémon GO is also a huge battery drainer; so setting up a charging station for users in or nearby your business is a great way to generate more foot traffic as well.
Businesses can also use lure modules and incense, two items bought within the game, to attract Pokémon to the area. Using these items can also lead to increased foot traffic.
Currently, the app does not offer any sponsorship or partnership programs, but the future is definitely full of possibilities. Even though sponsored gyms, PokéStops, and items are not available now, it’s quite possible they could be at a later date. Because users are visiting businesses in real-time, it would be a great opportunity for Nintendo to brand with businesses to generate more traffic. It is important to be on the lookout for game updates, to learn about other potential marketing strategies.
Pokémon GO has developed a massive following in less than one week. As the game continues to grow, businesses need to be prepared to gather as much potential user engagement as possible, so long as it naturally fits into the business’s target audience.