Pokemon Go is a phenomenon that’s sweeping the globe. All those kids who used to play Pokemon by flashlight under the blankets after their parents put them to bed are now fully-fledged adults–with smart phones! And the newest member to the Pokemon game franchise is proving to be just as (if not more) addictive than its predecessors.
Now there are those who grumble about “them darn kids with their noses in their phones again”, but there are also those who have finally found the motivation to leave their beds for the first time in weeks. This game is revolutionary in many ways. Not only has Nintendo finally achieved its goal of getting kids out of the house (see here), but it’s gone the whole nine yards; it has given people an entirely tangible tool for socializing with complete strangers in the real world.
No better conversation starter than a simple “Hey, are you Valor, Mystic, or Instinct?” Let the banter (or argument) ensue!
Don’t Get Used And Abused
For business owners who’ve found themselves the victim of the Tech Gods selecting their geo-location as a Poke-stop, Pokemon Go is also a great opportunity! Don’t let yourself be used and abused by all those Pokemon Trainers out there for nothing, like this guy. You’re way savvier than that.
The app’s given the entrepreneurial a way to monetize the huge public interest: buy a lure (if you’re one of those “lucky” people right under a Pokestop) and offer a simple business proposition. “Buy a drink and get the Pikachu.” “Check in on Foursquare and get the Growlith.” “Like us on Facebook and share our ___ to get the Charmander.” You get the idea.
Do note that the app is a huge data suck, and people will be trying to hop onto your Wi-Fi faster than ants to a picnic. Just print the password on the receipt and you’ve got a passive motivator right there for guests to make small purchases.
Pay For Play Not Your Game?
Just host a Poke-meet-up to drum up business and encourage community building within your space. Opening up your doors and welcoming people to a safe space to mingle, play, and have fun can’t be bad for your business, and especially not for your image. Local buzz is what keeps Mom & Pops afloat after all. Forbes has published a piece telling us the same thing: “Don’t turn them away, lure them in!”
Trainers are in greater need of safe havens for their nerdery than ever with unsavory characters targeting their love of the game. It’s guaranteed your shop is safer than most other spots and lures with people like this lurking.
If you have an active Pokemon Trainer on your staff, you can make it an even more interactive exchange for your customers and social media followers. Once Niantic gets its act together and lets us trade, set up fun treasure hunts for your followers with the promise of a coupon waiting on the other end…and a sweet Poke-trade (CAUTION– this means you or an employee need to be willing to give up a beloved friend, like Ash did in episode 15 of season 1. Proceed knowing I’ve disclosed the emotional consequences).
For marketers, the app’s growing popularity and traffic reveals an even more exciting potential. With Pokemon Go gaining on Twitter for number of daily active users, imagine the in-app ad placements that are inevitably coming our way. The app is still in constant development, and Nintendo would have to be blind to sideline this opportunity. We’ll have to wait and see what they decide. Until then, happy hunting!