Digital Marketing

Pokémon GO: Five Marketing Ideas for Your Business to Catch 'Em

New tech materializes on a seemingly daily basis, distracting consumers from what we really want them to do: buy our stuff.

It’s become so hard to reach consumers that we now have to target them from nearly every digital angle – display, SEM, social, mobile – just to capture a fragment of their attention.

But an unprecedented opportunity has emerged over the past week, allowing both online and offline marketers to – shall we say it – “catch ‘em all.”

Pokémon GO, a mobile game that traditionally would have appealed to an exclusively tween audience, has taken the world by storm by seeing rapid growth across all ages and demos.

As word of mouth around the game builds, businesses are leaping at the chance to speak to this vast, highly engaged audience through fun digital and real-world promotions.

Here are some of the best Pokémon GO marketing tactics we’ve seen so far:

1. Pokémon and Pokéstop Promise

Restaurants like Picasso’s in New York are offering customers the guarantee of collecting in-game assets, based on some fortunately placed Pokéstops within their location. Obviously this relies on placement of Pokéstops, which businesses have no control over, but with a Stop on virtually every other corner, there’s a decent chance you have one nearby to leverage.


2. Customized Products

A pizza chain worker took her love for Pokémon to the next level by creating a pie that resembles the game’s iconic Pokéballs. With a vast library of recognizable characters and game tokens, Pokémon GO offers no shortage of product customization opportunities.

Sell pastries? Here's a free idea: try renaming them Jiggly-cream-puffs for a limited time! Bet they'll sell like hot cakes - pun intended.

source: Instagram, @bec_bell77

3. Lure Module Incentives

One of the easiest ways for consumers to collect Pokémon is through the use of the game’s Lure Modules. These earned or purchased assets attract Poké creatures to a specific location for 30 minutes and notify other players when they are active.

In addition to attracting Pokémon, the use of Lure Modules has also proven to be one of the best tactics for attracting customers.

Business owners can either earn or buy these Lure Modules, or they can rely on customers to place the Module by offering an incentive. When you consider that the Lure Modules have an in-game value of just over $1.00, purchasing a module and coupling it with an enticing in-store promotion can result in an easy, inexpensive way to garner foot traffic.


4. Team Incentives

Upon reaching a certain level within the game, Pokémon GO users are required to join one of three teams – Instinct (yellow), Valor (red), or Mystic (blue) – promoting both teamwork and competitive spirit.

A clever employee at Round Table Pizza created a promotion that is scaled based on the user’s team selection. Team Valor members receive a 25% off discount, while the dreaded Team Mystic is forced to pay double price.

5. Social Media Content

No brick-and-mortar store? Nothing to sell? There may still be a place for your brand to have some fun in the Poké'verse.

The Marines overcome those challenges by getting in on the fun with this creative, somewhat morbid, use of the game franchise’s most popular character, Pikachu. This simple Photoshop has been shared hundreds of times and has received almost 9,000 likes, raising the profile of the Marines among social media users.


BONUS: Create Your Own Adventure

Pokémon GO has inspired and encouraged the masses to get out of their houses and use their imaginations (and their phones) to create their own adventures. It has also opened the doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs like these business saavy kids (and their quick-thinking dad) who created a pop-up shop targeting dehydrated Pokémon hunters. Full story here:

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