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Pokemon Go as a marketing tool to attract customers to your local business

Pokémon Go is THE craze of the moment. Officially, the game has not yet been released in Belgium but through various APK versions it is already possible to play the game now.

Within days, Pokémon go will be available in the Appstore and Google Play store in Belgium. Only then does the real craziness begin here. If you are there from the beginning, it offers you as an entrepreneur many opportunities to attract customers to your business.

Virtual reality

Pokemon go is a game for your cell phone in which the real world is transformed into the Pokemon universe. Niantic Labs and Nintendo are already having a huge impact on people’s daily lives.

People walk to Pokémon stops at night, take incredibly long walks and look at their smartphone screen while behind the wheel. (Which is dangerous so put someone in the passenger seat doing this in your place.)

For those of you who don’t know it yet :

Pokemon Go uses your phone’s GPS and camera function to turn the real world into a hunting ground where you can catch Pokemon. The game challenges you to explore your neighborhood (on foot) and actively search for Pokemon.

But it also transforms local businesses, monuments and landmarks into Pokémon Gyms (where trainers can go to fight other teams or defend their Gym) and Pokéstops where players must physically visit the place to get free items such as PokéBalls.

If you are a local business owner and have not yet downloaded this game I recommend you do so NOW. There’s a good chance your business is registered as a Pokémon Gym or a Pokéstop. And if this is the case, you may prepare yourself for a large flow of potential customers.

Embrace them and address them in Pokémon jargon, they will appreciate this and further positive word of mouth for your business.

Don’t chase them away but lure them in

Looking at the image below, it is not hard to think of how this could attract additional customers. Will every customer buy something? No but some customers do. It also brings in new potential customers who otherwise would have simply walked past your business.

With a positive message, you leave a positive feeling. You have to do relatively little for it, except play along with the trend and show that you are participating in it. It gets people talking about your business, they are excited to get new items or Pokemons, and you can even gain media attention.

Hospitality Business

Perhaps you have your own coffee tent or a local restaurant that serves as a Pokestop? Create a Pokémon-inspired drink or dish and offer your customers a discount if they come in with the game in hand.

What if there is no PokemonGym or Pokestop at your business?

Fortunately, there are more ways to attract additional traffic to your business. The Pokestops and Gyms are based on a secret algorithm from Niantic Labs over which you have no control.

But in the game, there is an item called “Lure Module” that attracts Pokemon for half an hour. You can purchase the item in-game or find/get it at various places. Everyone in the neighborhood can see that the Lure Module is being used and will flock to it.

Use it during quiet moments to attract more traffic from customers walking by.

Then it’s only up to you to convert them into paying customers.

Example from reality

Our local library serves as both a Pokéstop and a Gym. At popular events such as village festivals or reading programs, they place several Lure Modules to appeal to even more passersby.

This will also be communicated in advance via Social Media. Nothing appeals more to a Pokemon trainer than knowing in advance where there are a lot of Pokemon gathered in one place. Ready to be caught.

Just believe me when I say that the game is exploding in popularity. It officially already has more users than Twitter, and in a matter of days. Embrace the game as a marketing strategy and reap the benefits before your competition starts doing so.

Make the Pokemon Go experience as memorable as possible for both yourself and the customer.