Taking Advantage of Pokemon Go Still Isn’t Over: 6 Ways to Make It Happen

By amanda Disilvestro on August 25, 2016

If you’ve recently seen swarms of people in one area wandering around, seemingly without a destination, chances are they’re playing Pokemon Go. This game is a new version of the 90s hit, and it’s making its creator, Nintendo, a ton of money while also getting people out of the house and exploring their communities. The game can be downloaded on your phone and uses an augmented reality heads-up display of the real world that makes it appear that Pokemon are actually present in the real world. Then the players have the task of catching as many as they can using various strategies.

In order to find Pokemon, players have to go around town and check out new businesses. So why not use its newfound popularity to increase the traffic to your business?  Tons of companies are capitalizing on the game and getting great results because of it, so we advise business owners to do the same before the hype dies down. Here are some ways to use Pokemon Go to increase traffic and conversions for your small business:

  1. Figure Out if Your Business is Already a Pokemon Hot Spot

This means that you’ll need to download the game and experiment with it a little, which I highly recommend if you’re going to get the most out of this type of marketing. However, if you don’t want to do that you can always buddy up with someone who already plays. Regardless of how you do it, you need to figure out if your business is either a Gym or a PokeStop. The most important thing to know for a business owner is that both these places generate a ton of foot traffic. Check out a screenshot from one of my favorite bars, Poor House, as a PokeStop that a player would see:


If your business location happens to be one of these two things, you might see an increase in revenue even without doing any extra marketing.  Unfortunately you can’t force your company to become one of these two Poke locations; if it is, you’re just lucky (although there is talk of sponsored locations in the future). If it’s not already a spot, follow the tips below.

Note: It’s not a bad idea to incorporate some of these strategies even if it is a hotspot; you’ll only increase your chances of your audience making a conversion.

  1. Drop a Lure

A “lure” is something that anyone can pay a small fee to drop at a specific location, or if you’re a player you sometimes pick these up for free at PokeStops. A “lure” will attract Pokemon so that users nearby can capture them. 99 cents gets you one lure that lasts for 30 minutes and $9.99 buys you six hours worth of lures. The lure then shows up on the map in the game and everyone playing will be drawn to the Pokemon there. The one downside of this is that lures can only be dropped at PokeStops, which I said before are set locations that can’t be changed.  So if you’re lucky enough for your business to be a PokeStop, pay to drop a lure and watch the traffic come in.

If it’s not a stop, you might need to get creative. Drop a lure at the PokeStop closest to your business and then advertise from there. Post a sign directing players to your company, or have an employee stand there and hand out flyers, coupons, or business cards. It’s a small price to pay for a big reward.

  1. Take Your Business to Where the Pokemon Are


Image credit: theverge.com

Along similar lines to number two, if your business isn’t already a Pokemon hot spot, take it on the road to where one is! If there’s any way to mobilize your product, do it. Set up a stand at a popular Gym or PokeStop and advertise your product. Bring some samples of whatever you sell, plus some incentives (coupons, discounts, free gifts, etc.) to hand out to players.Then, make sure to direct them to the stationary version of your company.  Ten year old Miranda set up a lemonade stand at a popular PokeStop and quickly met her financial goal of raising enough money to purchase a new cell phone. Her business has become so popular that now she’s saving money to buy an IPAD, and her parents are looking into getting the stand its own business license.

  1. Know Your Audience and Target Them

A lot of people have a skewed view of who plays Pokemon Go; the most common assumption is that it is teens and adolescents, generally male. This is false. Pokemon Go players come from every demographic and aren’t biased based on age and/or gender, so don’t assume that players  won’t be interested in your business. Target your marketing to Pokemon Go players by using advertisements that speak to both Pokemon players and your target audience; considering there are 7.5 million plus players the chances are good that there will be some overlap in these two groups. Get creative, like Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill in San Diego, CA did below:


  1. Offer Incentives to Players

This requires you to know how the game works; if you offer incentives to every person who walks in with the app on their phone, you’ll probably end up losing money. Instead, choose a game strategy and then tie a marketing strategy to it; for example, offer a free gift if they catch a rare Pokemon, or a coupon if they make it to another level. You can also take pictures with Pokemon in the app, so some businesses are offering discounts if people post their pictures on social media and also check into their business at the same time. The Four Seasons Catering and Eatery  was one of the first businesses to offer incentives to Pokemon Go players, and on the first day they had a dozen people come in to claim their free bottle of water; every one of those people also made an additional purchase from the restaurant.


  1. Offer a Place for Players to Charge their Phones

One downside the players complain about is that the game is incredibly draining on their phone battery. Fortunately for business owners, you can use this to your advantage. Make your business a charging station, and then advertise it! Once you get players coming in to charge their phones, offer them additional incentives that are tied in with making a purchase. They’re going to have time to kill if they have a dead phone, so they might as well relax with a snack and a beverage, or by browsing your store’s inventory.

Although this game is most likely a trend that will die down at some point or another, that’s no reason to not take advantage of its popularity today.  In fact, it’s even more of a reason to jump on Poke-marketing before it gets boring and outdated. Marketing for Pokeplayers now could potentially create new, loyal customers who will keep coming back even after the game loses appeal. This article by Venturebeat contains a list of businesses that are already capitalizing on the Poke-phenomenon if you’re still looking for inspiration.

So how are you going to get Pokeplayers in to your small business? Comment in the section below!

About The Author

amanda Disilvestro /