5 Pokemon Go marketing tactics for your business that are not too… Farfetch’d.

August 16, 2016

For the uninitiated, Pokemon Go is taking Singapore by storm. #POGO players can be characterised by a very specific set of actions; Suddenly stopping in the middle of the path, faces glued to their phone, making swiping motions with their finger, entirely oblivious to everything else around them. Once you learn how to spot the telltale signs, you’ll notice them everywhere, regardless of race, language or religion. Heck, even Aunties and Uncles are playing them. We’ve been observing the fad for the past two weeks, and have come up with a couple of ways where you can use Pokemon Go to help your business.
Unlike most other games, Pokemon Go has the ability to actually get people moving. Playing the location dependent game is most beneficial when the user is up and about, walking around visiting different Poke Gyms and PokeStops. This, coupled with Pokemon’s huge fan base, has erupted into unprecedented crowds literally taking to the streets, all in search of that rare Pokemon. Smart businesses have been quick to jump on this opportunity, and we have gathered some great, practical ideas for marketing with Pokemon Go for brick and mortar shops, together with some insights into user psyche.

Find out if your business is near a Pokemon Gym or PokeStop.

Gyms and PokeStops are scattered all over our sunny island and are essential to the game mechanics of Pokemon Go.

PokeStop’s are places of interest tagged by Niantic (the creator of Pokemon Go), where trainers can visit to collect essential items for Pokemon catching and battling. Good news, trainers can collect items here once every few minutes, and are highly likely to stick around… if given the right incentives.

Gyms are places where trainers meet to engage in friendly Pokemon battles. Niantic has cleverly included an overarching team based gameplay into the mechanics, and gyms can be owned or taken over by one of three teams; Instinct, Valor, or Mystic.

Both PokeStops and Gyms generate huge amounts of traffic with little effort. Trainers are all too keen to collect rewards and battle others, and you can make use of this to great effect (It’s super effective!)

Throw a lure, and prep your staff.

There are a couple of in-app purchases to be made in PoGo, and boy have people been buying. Lures are just one of the many items you can buy, and their purpose is to attract more wild Pokemon to a specific area. Wild Pokemon normally spawn randomly, with certain Pokemon spawning more often than others. Lures can be used on a PokeStop to increase the spawn rate of Pokemon in that particular area for half an hour. While that may not sound attractive to you, trainers are drawn to lures like bees to flower, probably because the perceived spawn rate feels dismally low. Whichever the case, we’re pretty sure it works, going by these pictures.

Making things better are the fact that Lures won't tear a hole in your wallet. Let’s have a look at the math. SGD$60 would get you 5200 PokeCoins, allowing you to buy 7 (8 pack) Lure Modules.

The Math

7 * 8 = 56 Lures = 28 hours.

$60/28 = $2.14/hour.

With such an affordable way to generate foot traffic, you should totally try this if your business is near a PokeStop. Of course, the returns would likely be skewed in favour of F&B outlets, cause who doesn’t want a place to rest their weary trainer feet.

Reward the very best.

If you’re near a Pokemon Gym instead of a PokeStop, don’t fret. Although you can’t use a Lure on a Gym, there are many other ways to fan a trainer’s burning spirit. Capitalising on your proximity to a gym requires a little bit of creative marketing on your side, we’ll cover a few, but the sky’s the limit!

Probably the most straightforward way of doing this is by giving rewards. Since Gyms can only be held by one team at a time, you could offer rewards/discounts to members in the defending team. There are a number of factors that you can play with to make the rewards more attractive, including duration held, gym prestige/level, and maybe even number of team members present at a given time.

team mystic

A quick example could be something like this.

10% off all ala carte menu items to all members of the defending team.

A basic reward that will capture (heh) attention. At the very least, customers walking by will know there’s a Gym and will want to check out which team is currently holding it. From our observation of Trainers so far, if there’s a Gym that can be easily taken over, you WILL fight. There’s no escaping it.

15% off all ala carte menu items to all members of the defending team if Gym hits level 3 or more than 6000 prestige.

Maintaining a gym at more than 6000 prestige requires time spent defending it, hopefully keeping trainers in your store. Being a gym leader is a full time job. Setting up a wall or TV projection of the Gym status would both serve to catch the eye of onlookers as well as foster a more competitive atmosphere.

Free Iced Lemon Tea for all members/current gym leaders of the defending team if duration held > half an hour.

Keeping a gym to one team for any extended period of time is obscenely hard, and is only possible with high level Pokemon and large groups in the same team present. If the rewards are large enough, you could potentially get a huge crowd trying to achieve this. You would probably require a lot of social media work to build up this spirit of competition/get the word out, so don’t neglect your channels.

*Side note on the rewards, giving a mass reward to members of the defending team would likely draw many players but be of less incentive to high level players, while kick ass rewards for reigning gym leaders would draw high level players but alienate the Krabby ones from trying to participate.


Professing team loyalty

Stoke the flames of Competition.

Team Competitive Spirit is so important it gets another mention. Our observations thus far hint at a deep, burning desire to bring glory to their team. Post a question on Facebook asking which Team to join and you’ll get a ton of comments professing loyalty to their team. Possibly related to this is the fact that you can’t change your Team once you’ve joined… Kinda like getting married. Faced with this, Trainers try to make the best of it, becoming even more defensive of their chosen team. You could try to work this in a few ways.

A possible way to do this is to provide something that Niantic didn’t, giving Trainers a way to see which team is currently performing better. It could be as simple as a constantly updated chalkboard, stating the overall duration a nearby Gym has been held over a period of time by who, and maybe tying it back to the reward system in the earlier point. What’s important here is that you’re giving the winning team something credible to boast about, Truth is, while we can see which colours are more dominant on our in game map, no one really knows how well the Gyms are doing overall, and giving Trainers feedback on how well their team is doing would be well appreciated.

Another way to do this is to state your affiliation directly, like this post by Wildfire Burger. A Trainer from the opposing team will first feel distaste, as evident in the comments, followed by a (50/50 chance) desire to take over their Gym (if they have one). Because screw Team Mystic. On the other hand, Team Mystic Trainers are going to be hyped up with a place to call their own, a place where they belong with their heart and soul. If opposing teams were to contest their Gym, we are pretty certain that Wildfire Burger would be able to call on Mystic defenders. Overall, the aim here is to build hype and foster competition, in a bid to increase foot traffic and hopefully, sales. Let us know how it goes, Wildfire Burger.

Surf the Pogo Wave

We don’t know how long the craze will last, but we do know this - businesses need to be able to react quickly to changes and trends in the market. This is just the biggest one at the moment, and it wouldn’t hurt to give it a whirl. Pokemon Go having such massive reach provides an interesting opportunity for businesses to create new touch points with their old and new customers, so don’t miss out, and may the Pokey light shine upon you.

Author’s Note:

We wrote this article based on our observations on the Pokemon Go fad over the past two weeks. We were interested in Pokemon Go because there are hardly any apps that have generated such explosive user engagement. Here are 2359 Media, we enjoy turning real world observations into actionable insights. Got questions? Drop us a line! We’ll be right here, grinding Pidgeys observing PoGo trainers.