Pokémon Go, the latest and, in my opinion, greatest mobile application, is sweeping the nation – in one week it has garnered more American users than Twitter has to date. The game, which is an augmented reality version of an old 1990’s classic, gives individuals an opportunity to explore their surroundings as Pokémon trainers. The goal of the game is to catch as many different virtual monsters as possible, which requires users to venture out into the real world. As a result, everyday spaces have become gathering places for Pokémon Go enthusiasts, who range from fifth graders to senior citizens.
In case you have been living under a (virtual) rock, the game is a major hit – millions of Americans are actively glued to their phones on a daily basis as they explore their neighborhoods. This newfound activity has had many positive externalities, most notably for small businesses, which are experiencing dramatic increases in foot traffic. According to Polly Mosendz and LJ Kawa of Bloomberg, one Brooklyn Pizzeria saw a 30% increase over the weekend in food and drink sales – and that is not an anomaly; hundreds of small businesses are experiencing a similar increase in sales.
To take full advantage of potential customers catalyzed by Pokémon Go, business owners can be proactive and utilize this new form of point-of-sale marketing. To maximize potential profits, business owners can get creative. Below is a list of potential practices businesses can use in an attempt to capitalize on the Pokémon Go craze:
If you have not yet downloaded the app for free, consider doing so immediately.
How to Use Pokémon Go to Catch Customers #smallbusiness Tweet This
Use Lure Modules for an immediate source of advertising
In the game, many local landmarks are accompanied by Pokéstops – virtual blue boxes that replenish gamers’ items, from Pokéballs to magical potions. These Pokéstops present a great marketing opportunity for small businesses thanks to Lure Modules, a special item that attracts Pokémon. Lure modules are picked up during the game, acquired by leveling up, or purchased in the store, and effectively lure Pokémon to a Pokéstop for thirty minutes. As a result, Lure Modules can also attract potential customers, who may gather in droves in search of new Pokémon.
Small business owners can consider utilizing Lure Modules if possible because they may provide a tremendous return on investment. Let’s take a look at the math:
You can buy 14,500 coins for $100, and an 8-pack of Lure Modules costs 680 coins. So, you can get 21 8-packs of Lure Modules (14,500 coins/680 coins = 21 packs). You then have 168 individual Lure Modules, which will last for 84 hours (168 modules x 0.5 hours = 84 hours). Since you paid $100, each lure module costs you $1.19 per hour ($100/84 hours = $1.19/hr).
As you can see, Lure Modules can be an incredibly cost effective way to generate foot traffic.
Pokégyms can be a great source of potential customers
If your business is located next to a Pokégym, consider yourself lucky, because Pokégyms ensure a constant stream of gamers. Pokégyms are effectively battlegrounds – players from the three different teams (red, blue, yellow) are constantly battling to control these gyms. Consider providing deals or promotions in some capacity, if you are located next to a Pokégym. For example, you could provide a 10% discount to any member of the team that currently controls the Pokégym.
Social media promotion is highly suggested
With so many Pokémon Go players actively checking social media to find the nearest Pokémon, you can try to get involved. Advertising which Pokémon are in your store is a great way to attract gamers seeking specific Pokémon. Similar to how you can market around being near a Pokégym, you could offer a discount to members of a certain team. Consider hosting a raffle – have those who catch Pokémon in your store take screen shots and post them to social media, tagging your business. Or, post pictures of Pokémon you have caught yourself in your business.
Advertising which Pokémon you have found in your store can be particularly effective if the Pokémon you catch are “rare.” You can then post your trophy catch and people will see the rare Pokémon that could be caught at your business.
Lastly, you can register nearby Pokéstops on Yelp. Doing so for your business can help grow awareness and attract gamers to your store from all over.
Go mobile (and I don’t mean on your phone)!
If your business is not near a Pokéstop or Pokégym, have no fear. Businesses with the ability to go mobile can attract customers by moving a small storefront near the action. Businesses can sell a product or even advertise Pokémon that have been caught in the mobile store in an attempt to attract customers.
As you can see, there are many opportunities to help turn Pokémon Go gamers into customers. The game may present a tremendous opportunity to make money, and an even greater opportunity to establish a community of repeat customers.
Before Pokémon Go, there were many other ways to market your business. For more sales and marketing tips and advice, visit Hoover’s.