Since the release of Pokemon Go, the Augmented Reality App has taken the World by storm! Millions of people have downloaded it with an average of 47.3 million people logging into it at any one time.
You may think if you don’t play it yourself, that this phenomenon is just for children but you are mistaken. The Pokemon franchise has been around since 1997 meaning anyone from the age of 25 and above are in love with the game too.
If you haven’t tried it yourself, I can tell you from personal experience that it is HIGHLY addictive!
Pokemon Go isn’t a game which can be played in your home, you need to get up, get out there and find the Pokemon, Pokestops and Gyms, as it uses the players GPS position throughout the game. As the players need to get out and about to use the App, this can be used to the advantage of small businesses.
Before getting into how to market using the App check out the definitions of Pokestop and Gyms below. If you’ve already got the App you can skip through this part!
What is a Pokestop?
Pokestops are hugely important in the Pokemon Go World. They are essentially free item drops placed in specific positions around the world. The number of Pokestops in an area depends on the size of the town, village or city your business is in. The denser a population, the more Pokestops are in place.
They can also be discovered in areas of historical significance. For instance, when I recently visited Newgrange, Co. Meath a large number of Pokestops were in the vicinity of the monument itself.
What is a Gym?
A Pokemon Gym is a place where Pokemon gamers’, train their Pokemon by battling them against other trainers Pokemon.
In the game, Pokemon trainers can choose to be part of 3 different teams, Team Instinct, Team Mystic, or Team Valor. The colour of the Gym varies depending on which team wins a Pokemon Battle. The colour of the gym will correlate to the winner of the battle and they become the dominant superpower in their area. This can change on a daily basis and a numerous amount of times (trust me I know all too well!).
How do I use Pokestops and Gyms to my advantage?
Just like this young girl, you can take advantage of the growing phenomenon while it lasts. This young entrepreneur hit the headlines in America by taking advantage of the Pokestop in her front garden, by selling snacks and drinks to Pokemon trainers who visited the Pokestop!
Pokestops and Gyms are your friends, embrace them!
If you have a Pokestop within the grounds of your business, you are very lucky and hopefully reaping the rewards without having to do anything!
If not, or if you want to benefit further from the Pokestops at your business, these tips will help:
Pokemon Lure Modules:
A Lure Module is dropped at Pokestops and attracts Pokemon to the stop for 30 minutes. The Lure Module can be dropped by a trainer and any trainers within the area can collect the Pokemon that are lured to the area by the module.
You, as a small business, can use this to your advantage if the Pokestop is at your business’s location. It can be used to bring potential customers to the building and possibly purchase from you.
This is perfect for businesses selling food or drink, as all that activity is thirsty work and a convenient Pokestop with a Lure Module and snacks while waiting for the Pokemon to appear is attractive to Pokemon Trainers!
Lure Modules can be purchased in the game and cost as little as 100 Pokecoins (€0.99) for 30 minutes or 680 Pokecoins (less than €10) for 8 lure modules.
If you would like to take advantage of the Lure Modules I suggest waiting. Research how many trainers enter or stop at your business before purchasing. If you see a small or significant rise in people purchasing and using the game at your location purchase the 8 lure modules and use them off at different times throughout the day. Keep an eye on this and if it is working for you purchase more.
Note: Make sure you keep a record of your purchases to see if the end justifies the means. There is no point purchasing lures if they are not drawing customers into your shop!
2. Pokemon Trainer Discounts:
Why not give Pokemon Trainers, who used a Pokestop found at your business location or located near your business, a discount. Here are a couple of ideas that will help get the ideas flowing:
- Pledge your Allegiance: This is perfect for marketing your business if you have a gym in the area.Why not offer a discount or free item with a purchase to the team holding the gym in your area. Remember the team that holds the gym can change on an hourly or daily basis depending on how popular it is, so keep your eye on the App for this one!
- Support for Players: Playing Pokemon Go can completely deplete your battery. If you have a high footfall of Pokemon Go players in your area why not offer a free charging station at your business. This will ensure that the players stay at your business for longer than usual, will chat with other trainers while waiting and possibly purchase more because of it. Be assured that trainers who know you have a free charging station will spread the word to other Pokemon players and you may see new and original customer return!
- Pokestops & Lure Modules: Pokestops with a Lure Module is the perfect thing to bring Pokemon trainers to your business but what if you are not one of the lucky ones to have a Lure Module on your premise? Why not take advantage by using a Lure Module at a Pokestop near your business. This will ensure that you will bring customers to the Pokestop to attain the easy to catch Pokemon lured to the stop. Your business can take advantage of this by offering a discount to the person who catches a Pokemon at the lured Pokestop or for catching a Pokemon with a certain CP (Combat Power). The Pokemon Go trainer can prove they have attained the Pokemon at that particular Pokestop by taking a screenshot or showing you the map which can be viewed under each captured Pokemon.
Don’t forget about Social Media!
It is always a great idea to create personalised business posters for your area or your window to announce the opportunities you have for Pokemon Trainers but don’t forget about social media!
Spread the word of the offers and discounts you are giving Pokemon Players, announce to them that you are going to be placing a lure at a specific time and don’t forget to specify your terms and conditions.
A perfect example is from Denver Zoo’s Social Media Page. Check it out below!
Remember, Pokemon Go may only be a short phase and could disappear overnight so take advantage of this opportunity while you can.