Within the past week, you may have heard or seen large groups of people walking around local streets with their faces lit up by the glow of their smartphones. I, too, questioned what was so intriguing that all of these people were ignoring “Do Not Walk” signs while crossing the roads. Upon asking, I was told they are all playing a new game for smartphones. Pokemon GO is the name, and catching Pokemon monsters is the game!
Pokemon GO is an AR (Augmented Reality) game. AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. This game, unlike most console games, actually requires players to get out of the house and explore the great outdoors. Mothers everywhere are rejoicing that their kids are actively leaving basements to venture outside this summer.
In the game, you use your smartphone to find Pokemon monsters using your phone’s GPS. Pre-programmed locations called “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms,” such as landmarks, statues, monuments, and even historic buildings, are “hot spots” where monsters and game players congregate. As a business, you too could be considered a “hot spot” with some planning and strategy.
In the following paragraphs, we will give you some ideas on how to boost business and capitalize on this growing game.
- Host a PokeStop Lure Party
At PokeStops, you have the option to purchase an item called a “lure module.” Once activated, lure modules will attract wild Pokemon to your location. With Pokemon on site, you are bound to lure in the players, as well. Many businesses are buying packages of lure modules and having Pokemon GO Lure Parties. Each lure lasts 30 minutes and draws in Pokemon monsters from around your area. Customers love the convenience of a one-stop-shop to find the elusive monsters.
The Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI, for example, used a package of lure modules to boost admission into the museum over a couple of hot summer days this July. Since the Neville is so close to many landmarks, historical buildings and statues, players were able to walk through the exhibits collecting large amounts of Pokemon monsters.
A local, downtown bar also capitalized on lure modules. Players collected the monsters while enjoying the bar’s drinks and food. With the help of Pokemon GO, the bar saw a 70 percent increase in sales that day.
- Gym Battle Tournaments
In Pokemon GO, players have the opportunity to join one of three Pokemon Trainer teams prior to finding a Pokemon Gym. Upon locating a rival gym, a player will be able to fight against the Pokemon that defend it in an effort to take it for their own team. If successful, the player will be given the option to leave a captured Pokemon at the gym to defend it from other attackers. If the gym is already controlled by the team that the player belongs to, they can still battle the Pokemon there to help raise their level and increase the overall prestige of the gym, which will give a boost to its resistance to attacking teams.
Advertise that you’ll be hosting a tournament in advance, perhaps even offering discounts to gym battle winners. Not only is it a great way to harness those intense “Pokemon GO” rivalries for your business, but in order to hold a gym, teams need multiple members to defend it. So, while you’re giving discounts to the gym leaders, their teammates will be there alongside them as well, most likely as full-paying customers.
- Host a Poke-Hunt
Hosting a communitywide “Pokemon GO” hunt that starts and ends at your business’ doorstep is a strategy that’s not contingent on the proximity of gyms or PokeStops. All you have to do is advertise the date and time of your family-friendly Poke-hunt, wait for players to gather, and then depart together for a stroll around your neighborhood. Your staff could even join the hunters in branded shirts to make sure your business is visible through the entire event. After the Poke-hunt, invite the hunters back to your establishment for some trainer talk and to compare their hauls. This is an especially effective tactic for restaurants.
- Pokemon GO Social Media Posts
Even if you don’t want to put any money toward a promotion or event based on this game, you can still increase your visibility on social media. Here are some examples:
- Offer customers a discount for posting a screenshot of a Pokemon in your store or around your location through social media with a tag to your business.
- Take a fun picture of an employee, and add a Pokemon to the image with a clever saying.
- Make daily posts about what Pokemon are in your area on a given day. You might get some repeat visitors.
Now that you know the overview of the game and how you can use it to boost sales, get out there, set up an account and start attracting customers today! For more info and strategies on how to successfully run these events, please contact us at Baer Performance Marketing.