Dig out your old Game Boy and holographic card collection – Pokemon Go has been labeled a global phenomenon and has people of all ages out trying to catch em’ all.
So, how does this latest craze affect businesses? For starters, the game has become a marketing powerhouse, mainly using word-of-mouth to gain players who are signing up in droves. In the U.S. alone, 21 million daily users are actively engaged in the game and many businesses are seeing the benefits. Pokemon Go requires players to visit Pokestops to virtually pick up items they need to play the game, and many of these Pokestops happen to be businesses. Since players must be directly outside, or in the business itself to use the Pokestop, businesses are seeing an increase in sales and foot traffic. The initial Pokestops and PokeGyms were chosen based on Google data as well as information from Niantic’s past game.
While being chosen as a Pokestop is currently luck of the draw, those businesses selected are able to purchase ‘lures’ to attract the actual Pokémon to their stop, drawing more players to go there. Another marketing tactic businesses have taken advantage of is the ‘team’ feature of Pokemon Go. Once obtaining a certain level, players are required to join one of three teams that battle each other for bragging rights. Retail Pokestops have learned to use this to their advantage by sponsoring promotions catered to certain teams.
Pokemon Go has finessed the art of data mining and have landed themselves at the top of the marketing game as a result. Once a player has joined this alternate universe, the maker of the game, Niantic, receives the player’s Google name, Gmail address, their physical location, IP address, and the most recent web page that user has visited. This big data is a major key to successful marketing campaigns, and has been attracting major tech and retail companies trying to acquire this information for advertising efforts.
Niantic has already signed a deal with McDonald’s in Japan to make 3,000 restaurants PokeGyms. If the partnership is successful, look for it to be rolled out in other markets. Another possibility for the future is sponsored in-game content. This would include something like new items users can acquire through Pokestops and use throughout the game, carrying the logo or some relation to the business.
Whether you’re Team Valor, Mystic, or Instinct, there is no denying that Pokémon has once again jumped into the spotlight and shown us why you’re never too young or old to become the greatest Pokemaster of all time. Get out there and catch em’ all!