Poke-marketing, or how to promote local business

Adult people running around in parks and looking for virtual creatures, multiple crashes on highways caused by rare species appearing, people knocking to foreign flats and walking into backyards just because the game led them there.
We have no doubts – Pokemon has, just like in early 2000s, became viral.

Pokemon GO is a game made by Niantic Project, based on another project called Ingress. Ingress was more of a niche game, also utilizing the AR (augmented reality) technology, based on searching for and taking over virtual portals. However, it did not achieve such a success as the more commercial version using the famed and loved Pokemons.

The game, just as everything that relies on memories and sentiments, turned out to be a huge success. People spend on average 43 minutes per day in the app – more than in WhatsApp and Instagram.The app has already beaten the hit game Candy Crush in terms of daily amount of users.


The primary target group of the app was the Generation Y, also called the Millennials, or the people who grew up with Pokemon – after all, Pokemon Go is nothing but tazos, just in a better edition. The game turned out to click with both younger and older users, who not necessarily were Pokemon geeks at the age of 10, but now know the content of their Pokedex by heart.

Turns out that Pokemon GO can have a revolutionary use in place marketing and promoting local business. How to use the app in order to attract customers to shops, shopping centers or restaurants?

1. 30% discount for the blue!
In Pokemon GO the users pick one of three teams: Mystic (the blue), Valor (the red) or Instinct (the yellow). How to use it in terms of marketing? It is possible to, for example, propose a discount for one of the teams – especially if our brand is associated with one of the colors or names. For example, a restaurant with a blue trade sign might propose a discount for the Mystic team, and a grocery store might offer a discount on bananas for the yellow team.

Char Pizza

2. PokeStops and Gyms
PokeStops are places where valuable items can be acquired. They are usually situated in well-known buildings, larger intersections, monuments and popular hangouts. How to utilize a PokeStop in order to increase footfall in your store or shopping center or to attract customers to a restaurant?
Most of PokeStops appears in places where Ingress portals used to be. Currently there is no possibility of submitting new PokeStops, however the producer is currently planning to launch a partner program which is likely to allow you to place a PokeStop in your business place.
Despite that, you can also use a PokeStop situated near your object. If there is a PokeStop half a kilometer away from your store, it might be a perfect place to leave promotional materials – flyers or discount coupons encouraging others to visit your store.
If for example a PokeStop is situated in a park or a large open space, you can consider placing a foodtruck there, or in case of a clothing shop, conducting an open-air sale there.

Mobile Arkadia

3. Lure Module and Incense
The Pokemon app also has a Lure Model option, which after launching attracts new Pokemon to the designated place. It can be launched in a close proximity of a PokeStop and is visible to all users in the area as a pink dust on the map. This action can attract even hundreds of Pokemon chasers to a specific place. A Lure costs 100 Pokecoins, or only 0,99 EUR, and return on the investment might be huge!

4. Advertisements in Pokemon GO
Rumors say that the producer is already planning first brand cooperations. Some say that soon, all McDonald’s restaurants will change into PokeStops. However it is not yet known what will be the costs of this kind of cooperation and whether such a partnership will be achievable for smaller, local brands.

5. Real time marketing
If you do not have a PokeStop nearby, you do not need to attract your customers to any particular place. You can always use Pokemon for real time marketing and include the topic in memes. A hot topic generates interactions, and interactions generate reach. Potentially, if a Facebook user sees your popular Pokemon posts, he might also get interested by other content on your fanpage.

Poke Drinks

6. Community action
Pokemon GO also has potential when it comes to community actions. An example might be a dog shelter which encourages people to go for walks with the dogs. During such a walk it is possible to hatch an egg in Pokemon. Perhaps such advertisements will find use in curing obesity and promoting healthy lifestyle. The potential is enormous.

7. Supporting Wi-Fi marketing
Pokemon GO players are extremely eager to use Wi-Fi. Sharing wireless network for clients is not only a convenience – in case of Pokemon Go the battery time of players’ smartphones is drastically reduced. It is a result of the necessity to simultaneously use LTE internet and a GPS module. By connecting to Wi-Fi, both of those functions become unnecessary, additionally making data usage a non-issue. Thanks to specific Wi-Fi marketing services, it becomes possible to identify Wi-Fi users, allowing for keeping in touch with them via email, private messages or automated opinion ratings.

8. Utilizing modern infrastructure
As we have mentioned, the battery use of Pokemon GO is extremely problematic. It is possible to keep the players close to a business by providing them with proper infrastructure. Perfect combination of internet access and power source might be achieved using smart benches, which are frequently equipped with solar panels allowing them to gather sun energy, and letting users charge their smartphones. Bench manufacturers (in Poland – SEEDiA link:http://seedia.city/) also provide them with Wi-Fi marketing modules, simultaneously attracting players and identifying them in an extremely efficient fashion.