What is Pokemon Go and How Do Businesses Use it as a Marketing Tool?
It’s almost impossible to access any form of media these days without hearing something new about Pokemon Go. Due to the game’s immense popularity, it has become the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. It has taken smartphones by storm and entices people to venture outside in search of new Pokemon characters to catch for their own personal collections.
Let’s start with the basics – how is Pokemon Go played? Simply put, it’s an “augmented-reality” game – meaning that it combines real-world elements with digital gameplay. The game uses a smartphone’s GPS and superimposes a game-world map over the real world and establishes fictional locations on the map that fall under two categories:
- Gym – Players can use their Pokemon characters to battle one another at these locations.
- Pokestop – A station in the game that provides free item drops to the player’s digital avatar.
The game-world’s locations are often placed near prominent real-world locations such as historic landmarks, public spaces and facilities, or other places of interest like local businesses. The game’s players follow the map and then switch to a camera-based interface to catch their Pokemon characters. In the Princeton area, there are at least ten known Pokestops and one Gym. Most of the game’s locations are near or on the Princeton University grounds.
What does this mean for businesses in the local area? Since its gameplay also requires people to leave their homes and navigate the physical world, there is a significantly increased amount of foot traffic in areas where users can continue playing the game.
As a result, Princeton-based businesses have the opportunity to take advantage of this significant potential spike in local foot traffic. As you go about your respective marketing strategies, consider promotions and advertising materials that could appeal to these Pokemon Go players. You might want to download the app yourself and see if there are any Pokemon near your place of business. If so, you could always advertise your location’s proximity to a hotspot area!
Here are some tips and suggestions on how to use Pokemon Go as a marketing tool for your business:
- Advertise your proximity to Pokemon Go characters. Be the local area’s informer on any game-related happenings in the area.
- Host a social media giveaway for local Pokemon Go players. Example: Have them take a picture of a Pokemon they find in the Princeton area and tag your business’s Instagram account to enter for a sweepstakes.
- For any physical advertising materials, make promotional pieces that relate to the Pokemon Go player directly. For example, put a sign up saying “In between catching Pokemon, stop in for a bite!”