Pokémon Go has quickly become one of the most popular apps in the world. By combining an augmented reality game with the characters of Pokémon, which was a staple for almost every millennials childhood, Pokémon Go is already being used more than other popular apps that have been around much longer such as Whatsapp and Instagram. After being downloaded millions of times and generating over $1.6 million in daily revenue from in-app purchases, as well as dominating the attention of adolescents, teens and even adults, Pokémon Go is also starting to have a noticeable impact on local businesses. Because the game practically forces users outside their homes, businesses have a new opportunity to capture new customers organically through people exploring city and town streets while they play the game.
At an average daily usage time of 43 minutes, Pokémon Go users are constantly out in public for extended periods of time which increases the chance of them becoming a potential customer for any local businesses they come across on their Pokémon journey. Due to the geo-location inspired gameplay,Pokémon Go players, better known as “trainers,” are prompted to go to real world locations that are represented in the game as Pokéstops or Pokémon gyms in order to progress in the game. These locations tend to be near local businesses, which can cause large numbers of trainers to become potential customers while they hunt down Pokémon. Businesses have reacted quickly, and are identifying creative ways to integrate Pokémon Go into their marketing strategies. For example, some restaurants will now promote the game by activating lure modules, an in-game item that attracts high amounts and high level Pokémon for 30 minutes, during lunch and dinner hours to attract more customers. Other businesses might offer special discounts or deals to customers who catch Pokémon at their locations.
As more and more businesses begin to promote the game for their own benefits, more and more people are joining the trend and exploring the world of Pokémon Go, which is why the app already has more daily users than Facebook. In addition to trying to directly marketing to Pokémon users, businesses are now also trying to get Niantic, the company that created the game, to allow businesses to have their own sponsored Pokéstops to help promote their business to any trainers nearby. Since Pokémon Go is still in its beta form and constantly developing, the app creators announced that they would try and stick to a bi-weekly schedule for updating the game. Hopefully, some of these future updates will contain more features to help give businesses an edge in creating marketing strategies with the most popular mobile game in the world. In today’s world of constantly changing technology, its great to see that businesses, large and small, are taking the concept of “innovate or die” seriously in order to stay ahead of the curve.