How To Drive Local Business Traffic With Pokémon Go

It may be just a fad, but the new Pokémon Go game is all over the media. Generously put, the game is very popular. As a business owner, what will you do to capitalize on this opportunity? For many, the answer is nothing. If you’re ambitious, there are ways for you and your business to leverage the mechanics of this game and use it to your advantage.

As a marketing agency in Ottawa, we tend to get curious with how to use new tools and strategies for our clients. When a new technology, app or game catches the world’s attention, it catches our as well. So we asked ourselves, what can we learn from Pokémon Go as marketers?

Although this is only a game, it is an augmented reality game which makes this very real for the players and the businesses that these players spend so much time at. As people congregate to a hotspot, businesses have the opportunity to increase promotions and direct marketing to the newly attained or potential traffic from the game.

Players tend to gather around places like Gyms or Pokéstops. Checkpoints, if you will. We noticed that these players would spend long periods of time at these checkpoints. Ka-ching! Any business has the opportunity to ring in new customers. Some places will get lucky and will naturally be located closer to these Pokémon hotspots and other will not be so lucky. There are ways you could swing the “luck” in your favour. There are reports stating that the game will be partnering with businesses such as McDonald’s to create sponsored locations. As you can imagine, it probably won’t stop there. McDonald’s is only one of many big name brands interested in this marketing strategy but only time will tell who will buy into this booming market.

Small businesses in Ottawa such as Kettleman’s Bagels and Kunstadt Sports have gotten their foot in the door by dropping lures at their location that will attract Pokémon and inevitably, the real world players looking to catch them. Apparently, the app allows each player only a few lures at a time (each lasts approx. 30 minutes). As an active player, you are able to attain more lures. Hint, hint. Theoretically, the more lures you have, the more people will show up. If you’re really looking to get ahead, you may start thinking about having someone from your team play the game to earn these lures a.k.a. traffic generators.

Bonus tip: Ingress is an app from the same people that developed the Pokémon Go mapping system. Ingress maps out the data usage in your area with small dots. So, as a business owner you might want to see if your location(s) is near these “data usage hotspots”. Logically speaking, Pokémon will go towards these high data usage zones. Essentially, data usage attracts Pokémon and Pokémon attract more people. Provided that you can keep people around, this would work very well for businesses that have free Wifi for their customers/visitors.

There is no recipe for success but thanks to Forbes, there are a few tips and tricks that you and your team may use to increase traffic and sales for your business:


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