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How To Use Pokemon Go To Promote Your Business

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How To Use Pokemon Go To Promote Your Business





This was originally posted on the Mr Leads blog

By now, you’ve probably heard of the hottest fad this summer, Pokémon Go. It’s the hot new cell phone game that’s been sweeping the country lately.

But, can it be used as a way to attract people to your business?

In this post, I will answer your questions about what Pokémon Go is and if it can be used it as part of your overall marketing strategy.


What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is an Augmented reality mobile phone game. It works as an overlay over your phone’s camera and GPS system where you capture characters.

Here is a quick video from Cnet that explains it a little further.

Who created Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go was originally conceived as an April Fools prank by Google in 2014. The prank got so much buzz that Google sent it to a subsidiary called Niantic to create a full game out of it. Niantic was later spun off as an independent company.

Is Pokémon Go just a fad?

Most likely yes. However, it’s also a new revolution in gaming. The strategies outlined in this post could be used for future Augmented reality games as well.

What are Pokestops and Gyms?

Pokestops and Gyms are designated physical locations for gameplay. This is what brings the in person mobility into the game.

Where are Pokestops and Gyms located?

The Pokestops and Gyms are located in public places, typically parks, points of interest, churches or businesses. For the most part, the players have been welcomed by the location owners and managers. There have been a few incidents, like at the Auschwitz museum where there was some frustration with players at their location.

Many small businesses were delighted to find out that they were selected to be a Pokestop or a gym, causing a sudden uptick in business.

If I’m not at a Pokestop or Gym, can I still play the game?

Yes, but it’s a very limited experience.

How were the Pokestops and Gyms chosen?

These were chosen by Niantic, the creator of the game.

My business wasn’t chosen to be a Pokestop or Gym. Can I pay Niantic to create one at my location?

This is not available yet. This article from Forbes mentions that this is part of Niantic’s future plans for the game.

For now, you can submit a request with Niantic to get a Pokestop at your location, but there’s no guarantee of you getting one or when this option will be available.

What are Lure Modules?

This is where is gets interesting. The Lure Modules are a way for extra gameplay. The players can earn lures or simply buy them through the app for $1 for 30 minutes of play.

Or….the business owner at the Pokestop can buy them to “lure” in customers!

This is where it gets fun.

In this story from Bloomberg, a pizzeria in New York increased their sales by 

Here’s an example of a church using Pokémon to attract people to visit them.

What types of businesses are great for using Pokémon to get more customers?

If your business can use some extra foot traffic, Pokémon is a great way to do it cost effectively. Some examples of businesses that are ideal for a Pokémon promotion include: restaurants, bars, festivals, churches, shopping areas, bowling alleys.

Your business should be targeting the same demographic as the Pokémon game, or their parents. Currently, most Pokémon players are between age 12 to 30.


What should a business consider before doing a Pokémon promotion?

There are a number of things to consider before doing a Pokémon promotion. Some of these include:

  • How are you going to convert the players into customers?
  • What will be your policy of having players under age 18? What about the parents?
  • How will you keep the players safe?
  • Will having players at your business disrupt your other customers?
  • Do you have enough space and staffing to accommodate the influx of people to your business?

Should a Pokémon Lure promotion be advertised?

Yes, absolutely. You will get some foot traffic from inside the game, but for best results, you should also market your Pokémon promotion.

If you have an email list, and absolutely, you should have one, the first and simplest thing you can do is send an email out to your list.

Next, put something out on your social media channels. For best results, consider making it an event and limiting the time of the event.

For even more players, buy a social media ad. All the major networks like Facebook and Twitter allow you to target by zip code, age and other demographics. A well placed ad can bring in a lot of traffic for a small budget. Since the Pokémon players are a younger demographic, also consider buying advertising on some of the newer social networks like Instagram and Snapchat.

As you can tell, having a Pokémon promotion can be a great way to bring in customers to your business. But, you need to plan it out and do it right.

In Conclusion

This is a limited opportunity for local business owners who were lucky enough to be chosen for a Pokestop or Gym. Unfortunately, if you aren’t one of those business owners, you are out of luck until the sponsored location feature is released.

Need help getting started with a Pokémon promotion? Contact me today at to request a free consultation.

For further reading about Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go: How the Pokéconomy Is Changing Business, One Lure at a Time
PC World

Pokémon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small Local Businesses. Here’s How It Works
Inc Magazine

6 Ways To Use Pokémon Go In Your Local Marketing Campaign

The CEO behind ‘Pokémon Go’ explains why it’s become such a phenomenon
Business Insider

17 Small Businesses That Are Totally Cashing In On Pokémon Go

Bookstores Are Just As Obsessed With Pokémon Go As You

Niantic CEO Confirms Sponsored Retail Locations Are Coming To ‘Pokémon GO’

Request A Pokestop At Your Business

Pokemon go.png
Constant Contact partner and LinkedIn expert.

Author of Mr. Leads LinkedIn Bootcamp