Gotta catch ’em all, right? That’s the mentality millions around the world have adopted over the past two weeks as the latest mobile gaming fad, Pokémon Go, has invaded homes, streets, pop culture, and more. Sick of hearing about the Pokémon hype? I’ve got bad news for you – you’re not going to enjoy this post. However, if you’re looking for innovative local marketing tactics to attract more street traffic, then you may have to hop on the Pokémon train.
For those of you unfamiliar with the mobile application, it is a “free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game” developed by Niantic, an American software development company based out of San Francisco, California. Yes, “free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game” is quite a mouthful, but it accurately summarizes the game for the uninitiated. Niantic developed the game with The Pokémon Company, which is owned by three parent companies: Creatures Inc, Game Freak Inc, and the well-known gaming/software developer, Nintendo.
Initially launched in three regions (Australia, New Zealand, and the United States) on July 6, 2016, the mobile game quickly shot up app store rankings and became a worldwide sensation overnight. The game itself is quite basic and can be played by people of all ages, requiring no payment information to get going. Of course, there are upgrades available within the app’s store, but that’s only if you get tired of walking around and want to expedite your ability to find new items. In terms of gameplay, below is an overly simplified list of things you can do:
Immediately upon release, Pokémon Go has become a mobile application for the ages. Below are some powerful and salient stats that cement Pokémon’s place within pop culture and the record books:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re thinking about leveraging the success of Pokémon go for local marketing initiatives, then you’re right on the money. Not only is there a record-breaking amount of users downloading the app, but players are highly engaged within each session, walking the streets of their cities & regions to find elusive and rare characters. Within the game, many local businesses and landmarks have already been designated as PokéStops and Gyms, which will attract gamers naturally as players can pick up items and battle against other users within the game. In order to take advantage of this mobile app, you can either promote your location’s PokeStop (if you have one) or purchase Lure Modules, which are setup to attract “rare and wild” Pokémon for thirty minutes. Here is an example of how purchasing Lure Modules can be an affordable option for a local business:
Of course, that’s the ideal situation. The flip-side is that you purchase $99.00 worth of Pokécoins to acquire Lure Modules and no one comes by your establishment. However, there are stories of many local businesses in various markets utilizing the latest mobile gaming craze to attract clients and boost business, so it’s worth the small investment to capture new customers.
In addition to purchasing Lure Modules, here are some handy strategies you can employ to bring users to your local establishment:
The possibilities are endless and this is the perfect time for experimenting , especially before most users become bored of the game. Of course, there is a large contingent of die-hard Pokémon fans that will keep up with the game for months, but it’ll be interesting to see the lasting power among casual users over the next couple of months.
In the meantime, if you haven’t downloaded the application yet, it might be time to try it out and see how it can help your local marketing initiatives. Who knows, maybe you’ll have some fun catching Pokémon.