If you haven’t heard about Pokemon Go yet, pull yourself out from under the rock where you’ve been living and look it up. In simple terms, it’s a smartphone app that uses gps to let users wander around to find pokemon, and is all built in to the actual map of wherever you are. For a more full explanation with a video, go here. Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about why this app is a viable marketing tool.
Pokemon Go has been the #1 downloaded app over the last month. As of July 10th, a mere week into the Pokemon Go launch, almost 6% of all active Android smartphones were using the app. And there aren’t any signs of it slowing down yet. It has surpassed apps like Tinder and Twitter in the number of daily active users. Nintendo, the company who released the app in conjunction with a couple contributing companies, is making over $1 million a day from the app. Remember, these numbers are from almost a month ago and only in the United States. It’s becoming a global phenomenon with mounting anticipation of its release in various countries. It only took 3 hours for it to become the top app in Germany when it was released there. And the story is the same for every country it’s been released in since. We can only assume that it’s continuing to climb in popularity and revenue generation. And it’s not just kids playing it. Demographics show that a large percentage of users are in their 20’s and 30’s, probably having to do with the fact that Pokemon first became popular in the 90’s when they were kids. But parents are also playing with their children, walking around the neighborhood to find pokemon and other supplies needed for the game. What we’re saying is, there’s no lack of buying power amongst players of Pokemon Go. And since you have to walk around (or drive/bike/run) to effectively play the game, this means you have a lot of people on the go willing to be where the pokemon are. So if you got a marketing brain, you’re next question would be; “How do I get the pokemon to appear at my business, and then let everyone know they’re there?”.
Well I’m glad you asked. Among other things you can do to increase your chance of finding pokemon, there are lures that you can purchase that will attract pokemon to a specific location for 30 minutes. And the great thing is that lures benefit everyone because anyone who comes by the lure will be able find and catch the pokemon that show up as a result. From what we’ve researched, each lure should attract about 6 pokemon over the 30 minute span. So it’s obvious why these lures would be attractive to anyone playing the game, and how they could generate a lot of foot traffic to your business.
But how do get these lures? Simply put, you buy them in the app. In Pokemon Go, you can buy certain supplies (like lures) to help accelerate your progression in the game and ability to catch pokemon. You purchase these with PokeCoins, which are purchased with actual money. One lure costs 100 PokeCoins, and a set of 8 costs 680. How much do PokeCoins run? Well that depends on how much you buy at once.
- 100 Pokecoins for $0.99
- 550 Pokecoins for $4.99
- 1,200 Pokecoins for $9.99
- 2,50 Pokecoins for $19.99
- 5,200 Pokecoins for $39.99
- 14,500 Pokecoins for $99.99
So if you’re a local business owner, you can see how you can get a lot of lures for not a very big investment. 8 hours of continuous lures at a single location only runs about $15. And lures turn into people coming to your location, if you can let people know they’re there.
Many companies big and small have already began doing this. The Denver Zoo and other Denver area businesses have been leveraging the power of Pokemon Go. The zoo invested $380 on lures and offered $5 admission discounts to players during a weekend in late July, when attendance is typically low. “The zoo brought in about $58,000 in revenue from Pokemon Go users during that July 22-24 weekend. Attendance beat projections, with 5,000 more people visiting than on the same weekend last year. Of the visitors, 4,845 showed the app to receive the discount.” The Texas Rangers (Major League Baseball team) have encourage people to come to the stadium for a game or a tour to catch pokemon. This story details how an ad agency (Huge) in Atlanta and a pizza place in New York City (L’inizio Pizza Bar) did the same. And there are many other examples like these. All of them show a great return on investment.
So how do you let people know when and where they need to go to take advantage of the lures you’ve purchased? There are several ways to get the word out.
- First, if you have any kind of social media following, you start there. Post, tweet, share, and whatever else you have to do to let everyone know that you’re going to be releasing lures and exactly where and when to find them. Then put pokemon related and area specific hashtags on every post regarding your event. Search twitter to see what the more popular hashtags are. #PoekmonGo and #GottaCatchEmAll are two of the most popular ones. You can also try hashtags like #PokemonGoNYC, #PokemonGoDallas, or #PokemonGoSaltLakeCity depending on where you are. And make sure to encourage everyone to share the news as well.
- If you have an email list, blast it out there. Let them all know about your Pokemon Go event, and encourage them to bring their kids.
- Another idea is to leverage the reach of the businesses immediately around you. Check out the social following of your neighbors. If they have a decent amount of followers on various social networks, consider letting them in on it. Tell them you’ll buy the lures if they spread the word. Sure it may be for your store and not theirs, but having all those people come around should benefit them as well. Maybe next time you can switch the roles and they’ll pay for the lures and you’ll share it on social media as well. Doing this will also help enlarge your own social following. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Invite people to share on social media what pokemon they’ve caught there at your event.
- Make it so that people have to share that they’re at your business catching pokemon to be entered into a drawing for some free stuff.
- And anyone playing the game in your area can see that there is a lure active there due to a special marker (pink/purple confetti) in the game. So don’t just do it for an hour or so. Make it an all day event so that the word can spread, and more passers by can notice and come over. That means buying a few more lures, but it will be more than worth it. If you go a full 8 hours, that’s only 16 lures if you do one every half hour. That’s only about $15. Marketing doesn’t get much cheaper than that.
- Like many other businesses in our examples have done, make it an event with discounts and giveaways for Pokemon Go players. This will help turn all of the foot traffic into actual customers, and build great brand loyalty.
- Don’t forget to have chargers on hand for both Android and iPhone so that those who come can stay and play longer by charging their phones. Pokemon Go can be a drain on your battery, so this will be a big help.
By holding a Pokemon Go event, you’re now no longer just a shop like all the others. You’re a little bit cooler now. You’ve connected with them on a different level by helping them have more fun. And along with a great return on your pokemon investment, you’re sure to have some fun too.
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