Using Pokémon GO as a way to bring more people into your business has been a hot topic in the marketing channels. Our very own CEO published such an article of Pokémon GO tactics on Forbes just the other day. Just wandering around chasing my own Pokémon Master dreams I’ve seen hundreds of people in and around businesses that they never would have been to otherwise.
There is undoubtedly a TON of potential for using Pokémon GO for marketing purposes. Here are 18 types of businesses that should absolutely be making the most of this opportunity.
Of all the types of businesses that I’ve seen make the most of Pokémon GO, restaurants have so far impressed me the most. One example is from a local barbecue place, Bam Bam’s Barbecue:
From what I heard, they sold out of all their food in a matter of hours because of the number of people that flocked to their store. It doesn’t hurt that their brisket is amazing.
I also got a text message from a local Gandolfo’s location using Pokémon GO to get people into their location:
The response has been incredible, and every local restaurant needs to take advantage of this.
The same principle applies to retailers. I’ve seen tons of promotions in signs outside shops, % off discounts, and free items by “checking in” at retail stores using the Pokémon GO app. The effect is amplified when there are a group of stores together in a strip mall or mall that work together to become a hotspot for Pokémon Trainers. If you have store that has multiple pokéstops nearby, take full advantage of the extra foot traffic, and start some promotions to bring that traffic into your store.
Colleges and Universities
How long is it going to be before there’s a top-25 list of the best Universities for Pokémon GO? I’ll be it won’t be long after the start of the fall semester. Although people go to universities for the academics, the social life is absolutely a huge selling point for potential students, especially when there are existing students telling them how awesome it is. College and Universities can make the experience of attending students insanely fun using Pokémon GO, which can in turn bring in more students later down the road.
College Housing (Or Any Real Estate Business)
Thousands of millennials, all playing Pokémon Go. Can your tenants sit on their couches while collecting items at a nearby pokéstop? How many gyms are in your area? As crazy as it sounds, this could actually be a huge selling point for college housing landlords. Such a setup could tip the scales in your favor. Heck, you could probably even throw a huge Pokémon GO promotion before the new semester starts to bring tons of potential tenants to your doors.
This example is obviously a little extreme, but it definitely illustrates the idea:
Every sporting event is an incredible opportunity for incorporating Pokémon GO. There are thousands of pokémon trainers in one place. Let’s face it, almost every sporting event also has a lot of down time. What better way to make the event more enjoyable than to give people something to do when there’s nothing going on? What about those spectators that are only there because they’re parents/boyfriend/friends made them go? How do you get the ravings fans that are there to rave even more?!?! You advertise that you have a couple gyms and several pokéstops around. Who doesn’t want to try their hand against a huge bulk of people trying to take hold of the same gym? Who is really the very best?
Some ideas for how this could work are brought up by one of my colleagues, Matt Santos, on a recent edition of ESPN 960’s discussion on BYU’s football program. Check it out!
Amusement Parks and Water Parks
People are already spending hours walking around enclosed areas to find the best pokémon. What if between pokéstop reloads you could get an adrenaline rush from a hundred feet in the air? I would imagine that Niantic and Google, the creators of Pokémon GO, would LOVE to accommodate a bunch of pokéstops and gyms within an amusement park. We already know that the single worst part is the waiting in long lines and walking from one attraction to another. It would be an infinitely better experience if random pokémon were hanging out with you.
Have a 3-day music festival out in the boonies? I guarantee that if you found a location that had a few pokéstops (or worked with Niantic to set some up), you’d get a lot of those people out that would normally just be on the fence. Especially when the game comes out with trading and battling capabilities, it would provide a natural ecosystem of pokémon transactions. It also offers the perfect time-filler between performances. Just make sure your attendees remember to eat something while they’re chasing that elusive Charizard.
Obviously, the lure of a tourist attraction is already pretty strong, but let’s just be honest and acknowledge that even some of the most famous tourist attractions can be a little stale. Especially when there’s a 4+ hour line involved. If people are going to go anyway, it’s probably a good idea to give them some entertainment along the way. I know I would have enjoyed my hike to the top of the Empire State Building much more if I was leveling up at the same time.
You better believe people will choose one hotel over another if they know there are pokéstops nearby. You can even create a map for guests to point to nearby attractions, and what noteable Pokémon GO locations are nearby. This could be especially effective if there are pokéstops within range of the majority of your rooms, so that people can continue to catch ‘em all while they’re just relaxing.
I love golfing. The only downside is that is takes an incredible amount of time. Most of that time is spent either walking or driving to wherever you hit the ball. Well, hit a hole-in-one by incorporating Pokémon GO into the experience. With pokéstops along the course, and the ability to catch a few wandering critters while you’re waiting for your golf buddies to take their shot, people will make golfing an every-weekend activity.
Pokémon Go Happy Hour. I don’t think it gets much better than that. For two hours the nearby pokéstop is activated with a lure module, 10% off wings, and the regular happy hour price on beer. Sounds perfect.
One of the coolest things I’ve seen about Pokémon GO is that it breaks the ice between all sorts of people that wouldn’t normally interact. I walk around the mall, and instead of ignoring everyone around me, I find myself have conversations with people. The same principle applies at networking events and conventions. Between presentations, I’d normally try to talk as many people as I can until I run out of steam. At that point I just want to do my own thing until the next presentation. It would be wonderful (and would open up a bunch of opportunities for various new marketing materials instead of the usual stuff in the goodie bag) to be able to catch a few pokémon and battle some nearby attendees.
Most people get to their flights at least an hour early, and just lounge around until their flight takes off. However, if you want people to keep walking past the in-airport stores and restaurants, placing a pokéstop outside of them would be the optimal way to do that. Because airports are already equipped with free wifi and charging stations, it has the making for the perfect pokémon training ground.
Now, for the low percentage of people who actually go to the gym just to put in a great workout, this doesn’t make a huge difference, but for the millions of gym members that take an hour and a half to accomplish a twenty-minute workout, there’s a lot of time to kill in between sets. Plus, the inclusion of a pokémon gym just fits naturally here. You might even be able to get people to try new types of workout by increasing the foot tracking between different areas of the gym.
The perfect place for passive pokémon playing. Turn your sound on and just wait for the pokémon to flock to you. Invest in 10-20 custom poké bowling balls, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect pokémon bowling experience.
A major struggle for libraries is that almost everything is digital these days. Fewer and fewer people are going to libraries to research, study, and check out books. An influx of foot traffic can do wonders. In fact, in nearby Provo, Utah, Pokémon GO has sent hundreds of people to the library every night. In fact, there are enough people that LA Times featured it, as well as several other libraries, in one of their articles.
Initially, this one rubbed me the wrong way. Much like the horror stories of people hunting for Pokémon in Holocaust museums in Washington D.C. and Auschwitz, I thought that maybe this was a no-go zone for Pokémon Go. However, the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City proved me wrong. One of my coworkers went and visited a family member there, and said it was actually a great experience to drop a lure module for the kids in the hospital. They appreciated the opportunity to have something to fill their days. And that’s makes a lot of sense. A small way to provide some sort of service for those who need it.
Now I’m not just including this because I happen to be working at a marketing agency, but this can particularly come in handy for any agency who works with local businesses. On top of the huge benefit of providing SEO and PPC services for local businesses, Pokémon GO could be a great strategy to supplement with. With the first sponsored location launching tomorrow in Japan, it’s only a matter of time before local businesses everywhere can take part in the same promotions, making the management of such a prime service for marketing agencies.
I’m certain there are quite a few others, but this is definitely a good start and covers most of the more noteable business types that can really make the most of this Pokémon GO craze. Don’t get left behind! Make sure you’re doing everything you can “catch ‘em all” when it comes to your customer base.
If you have any other ideas, please tweet them to us!