Pokémon Go: Catching Consumers Through Local Search
Pokémon Go fever is at an all-time high, with users falling off cliffs and crashing cars in pursuit of being the very best. Mass amounts of citizens are taking to the streets with high hopes to catch the next Charizard and Pikachu in their communities, and there is a veritable gold mine waiting for businesses that are looking to cash in on this rapidly expanding user network. Every person walking around with their phone in their face is a potential customer for your business…so long as they don’t walk into oncoming traffic on their way to you! What does this mean for your business? Marketing opportunities, foot traffic, revenues, and money! See below on how to capitalize on this craze that’s taking the world by storm.
How Marketers Can Utilize Pokémon Go For Their Business
Pokémon Go offers many different ways local businesses can get involved in the hype. Here are some of the top ways that you can utilize the game and increase your revenue:
1. Using “Lures” to bring the consumers to you
Many businesses have been taking advantage of nearby PokéStops by placing “Lures” (In-app purchase which makes that PokéStop a hotspot for Pokémon) and attracting both Pokémon and consumers to the area for as little as $1.19/hour! Stores can only purchase and drop lures at their brick and mortar stores if there is a PokéStop in their surrounding area. Once the lure is dropped, all players in the local area will see it on their phone and will be drawn to the location. Instead of doing a local search for stores, many players have begun visiting businesses purely because of the lure. Lures gives consumers an incentive to search for your store and once the players are at your store front, it becomes a lot easier to draw them in as customers. Of course, like any marketing campaign, be sure to pay close attention to measure the results. How many more people visited your business? What was their average transaction? Ultimately, how much revenue did you generate vs. how much did you spend, and what is the value of the business awareness that you created which may also result in return visits.
2. Provide discounts or deals for Pokémon players
Unfortunately, the businesses that were originally chosen as PokéStops occurred at random, but some have taken it upon themselves to get involved by offering deals for players that purchase from their business. These businesses are doing things like putting out signs offering player discounts or supplying players with chargers while they are in the store. While this method is not as effective as “lures” are at drawing customers in, it has proven to be very effective at keeping customers in the store for longer periods of time. Players can regroup in the store as they charge up, catch Pokémon, and grab a convenient bite to eat. Pair this together with a lured PokéStop and business could expect to see their shop remain full for hours.
3. Sponsorships of PokeGyms
Pokémon Go has implemented the ability to sponsor PokéGyms where consumers can get together and battle each other. McDonald’s has transformed 3,000 of their restaurants into Pokémon Gyms in Japan as of July 20th and are seeing a massive influx of consumers. While this is the priciest option of the three posted, it is definitely the most reliable in increasing foot traffic.
4. Get listed on Yelp as a PokéStop
A great example of companies playing into the Pokémon Go craze would be Yelp. The review site has added in a filter that shows consumers where the closest PokéStops are. In order to be on this very popular list, Yelp is requesting that “Yelpers” check-in to that location and list it as a PokéStop. If your business has a PokéStop nearby, you can request your customers to leave a review. A quick and successful way of gaining more reviews would be to utilize Chatmeter’s newest feature Review Builder! You can customize the message to target Pokémon Trainers and quickly increase traffic and revenue!
What’s Coming Next: Local Search Ads
It has recently been announced that Pokémon Go will start incorporating local search ads in the game. Niantic CEO John Hanke said that these “sponsored locations” will become another revenue stream for the company besides the in-app purchases. Retailers will be able to purchase screen time on the game’s virtual map and be prominently featured, hugely increasing their visibility.
A lot of businesses are reacting to the excitement of the game with comments such as “the game is a fad” and “it’s not a long-term money maker” which could very well be true, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an endeavor worth pursuing. Even if the critics are correct and your sales return to normal numbers within a month, the consumers you attract today with Pokémon Go will remember your business down the line, thus leaving you with a loyal consumer base.
What Is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an AR (Augmented Reality) application that allows users to catch virtual Pokémon who are projected into their environment by their phone camera. The Pokémon Go dashboard loads a full grid map of your current location, and the user is given an Avatar which moves along the map in real time as players go out into their communities to start exploring. As players adventure down the street, Pokémon will pop up in the app for players to “catch”. To stock up on Inventory, players travel to “PokéStops” so they can collect PokeBalls and other items to help them level up. These PokeStops are scattered through cities and can be a variety of things like public art, park benches, and local businesses.
Many businesses have already begun utilizing the app to increase store traffic, which has resulted in a new form of local search in the market. Instead of doing a local search for a store on Google, players are looking on the app to find local Pokémon spots and then incidentally shopping at the surrounding businesses as they try to capture nearby Pokémon.
With the game popularity soaring and consumers everywhere out on the streets, businesses should find ways to exploit this opportunity and gain new customers before their competitors catch em’ all.