There have been some definite stages in the public’s reaction to Pokémon Go since it was released earlier this month.
The conversation over the past couple of weeks seems to have gone something like this:
“This game is so fun! You have to try it!”
“I wonder if businesses will use this for marketing?”
“Did you hear it has full access to your phone and Google account? Yikes.”
“Oh well, it’s so fun! I play every day.”
Pokémon Go’s Popularity
Already the game has been downloaded an estimated total of 7.5 million times in the U.S. The second most popular recent mobile game release from Nintendo only had 1.58 million downloads in its first five days, by comparison. On iOS alone, the app is making about $1.6 million per day. Compare this to Clash Royal (one of the other most popular mobile games), which makes about $350,000 per day from iOS.
Pokémon Go Attracting People to Businesses
The game involves players physically going out and collecting virtual creatures located in various public and private locations called PokéStops, including businesses. Businesses are already taking advantage of this opportunity by offering players a discount or other promotion for coming into their store to catch a Pokémon. Some are promoting them on Twitter:
Others are simply using the fact that they are a PokéStop as a means to draw more customers in.
Marketing Opportunities within Pokémon Go
In addition to the obvious marketing opportunities that come with being a PokéStop or Gym (another location predetermined by and utilized in the game), Lure modules are a way to attract more traffic to a business. Lures are available for purchase within the game and also given out for free when players reach certain levels. They can be attached to any PokéStop and for 30 minutes will make a Pokémon appear every 3 minutes. Players can see in the game where Lures are placed and will flock there to try to capture as many creatures as possible.
One library that is a PokéStop is already planning on using Lure modules to attract people to their location prior to events in hopes of acquiring more attendees. A pizzeria reported that they bought and ran Lures in one hour intervals all day long and announced them on Facebook. The owner had kids and (mostly) adults coming in and buying pizza and soda for the duration of Lures. A frozen custard store that has the luck of being both a PokéStop and a Gym has said they’re going to offer a buy-one-get-one offer during times they deploy a Lure module.
The Future of PokéMarketing
As of now, the game developer predetermines where PokéStops and Gyms are located so businesses can’t choose to become one if they are not already. However, Niantic Labs, the game’s development company, has already been inundated with questions about whether or not businesses will be able to apply for this in the future. With all the interest from businesses and marketers, it will be interesting to see what opportunities develop in the world of PokéMarketing from here.