Never heard of Pokémon Go? Here is a recap for the few of you who have been wondering about people wandering around with their phones in front of them. Niantic Labs and The Pokémon Company released “Pokémon Go,” the newest gaming app of the Pokémon franchise available on iPhone and Android. It’s much like the original Pokémon games in which you catch creatures and train them to battle, all the while making friends and enemies along the way. Except this time, the setting is real life and you are the trainer.
Sounds like it would be complicated. But it’s really not. The mobile app uses GPS technology to transport your avatar trainer into your real life, immediate surroundings. Streets, buildings, and parks are all visible on your screen and the objective is to walk around, in real life, and find Pokémon to capture. Once you find one, they show up on your mobile screen as if they are right there in front of you. Throw Pokémon balls and capture it, then hold them in your Pokédex inventory. Sounds kind of nerdy but it’s actually pretty cool. Try it out if you haven’t already.
Now. What can we learn from Pokémon Go for marketing?
To the lucky business owners privileged with the title of “Gym” or “Pokéstop,” take advantage! These are real life buildings designated by the Pokémon Go world. The Gym is a place where you can battle your Pokémon and Pokéstops offer Pokémon Go’ers a place to purchase items and meet other trainers. If your business happens to be one of these places or is close to one – don’t ignore the opportunity, embrace it to snag some extra customers.
- Start a Pokémon Go campaign. Use your marketing efforts to reach this audience. Whether you are personally involved with the game or not, it doesn’t really matter. This game is big and has a ton of people playing it. Blog about it and utilize your social media accounts. Forbes Magazine says that Pokémon Go is going to surpass Twitter in daily activity on the Android. Now, that’s saying something! Jump on the opportunity; you won’t be disappointed.
- Have promotions to encourage people to buy. Bring more customers in by offering some sort of Pokémon Go special. Knowing that your spot is a Gym or Pokéstop will have them coming back and offering some sort of special will keep them spending money. You don’t have to give something away for free. Do you own a local eatery? Create a Pokémon Go dish or something fun for Pokémon Go’ers to enjoy. It will allow you to tap into a whole new audience that you may not have had in the past.
- Use in-app purchases to attract new customers. Make sure you utilize the in-app purchases. One in particular – The Lure Module makes it possible to lure in Pokémon to your Pokéstop for 30 minutes. Which means there will be an increase of the number of Pokémon nearby and it will be visible to all nearby trainers. Having a slow day at work and want to see more traffic? Set off this module to bring more people in.
- We didn’t forget about you B2Bs. You may not be able to take advantage of Pokémon Go directly, but there is a lesson to be learned here. Pay attention to these types of trends. The right opportunity may present itself and there’s nothing more relevant to other businesses than what their customers are currently looking for. “What’s Trending?” is a popular topic and it could mean big purchases from your clients, if you can tie in the subject. The nature of the game is also very insightful. Virtual reality is making its mark in the business world and you should take notes. Clients will be more inclined to make big purchases if they experience first hand a virtual test of your product/service.
What does this mean for the future of gaming apps?
Pokémon Go has revolutionized the mobile gaming app. They set the standard pretty high and we see more gaming companies doing this in the future. Real life meets virtual reality and people love it. From the game play to the social impact, this game has created something new. If you are a business owner, take notice to these trends. Do yourself a favor and download the game just to see where you are in the Pokémon Go world. It could be highly profitable.