Skip to content

The Lure of Pokemon GO and What It Means for Small Businesses

IMG_2597Pokemon GO has taken over.
The augmented reality mobile app and game that launched a few weeks ago has seen phenomenal growth rates, with engagement rates surpassing Snapchat and a higher percentage of daily active users than Twitter!
Armed with a smartphone and a sense of adventure, Pokemon GO users have made the streets and parks of America an extended playground with people actively searching for prized Pokemons to capture. I tried the app with my kids, and we spent hours running around outside capturing Pokemon together. It was a way to connect and engage with them in a fun activity that offered a competitive and physical activity, bridging both the digital and real world. It’s part nostalgia and part scavenger hunt, and has captured the imagination and the attention of both young and old.
The initial bump of usage has been surprising, and many suggest that it will likely be a passing fad. However, you cannot dismiss the appeal and possible opportunities it offers small businesses with a physical location that can capitalize on the attention by drawing customers to their doors.
In a recent piece entitled “3 Simple Ways to Pokemon Grow Your Business,” Dave Kerpen and the team at Likeable Media lay out three suggestions on how small businesses can leverage the popularity of Pokemon GO:
1. “Lure” Your Customers Through the Door
Provided your place of business is near a PokeStop, you can draw foot traffic to your doors by creating a “lure” to attract more Pokemon for 30 minutes, all for less than $1. Businesses can set up lures within the app, and start seeing the traffic roll in. I can certainly see where an insurance office or independent financial advisor could use a lure to draw attention and possibly new business at a very affordable price point. It couldn’t hurt.
2 . Pick a Team (or All 3 Teams) 
Once you reach a certain level on Pokemon GO, you have the option to be part of one of three teams, each with their own name and color: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). Dave suggests that small businesses can create special offers for teams and promote them on social media to help draw more traffic.
3. Use Social Media Content and Ads to Incite Pokemon Excitement
Part of the fun of Pokemon GO is how it has captured our attention, and while people are talking about it and participating, this is a good time to leverage social media content that is relevant and engaging and tied to Pokemon fever. Targeted Facebook ads can play on the search theme of the game, and you change the copy to reflect the kinds of products and services you offer. For example, insurance providers can relate the search of a Pokemon to the search for better insurance coverage.
Who knows how long the hype of Pokemon GO will last; however, what it has illustrated is how quickly a new application can grow in both adoption and utilization. This could only have happened now with the proliferation and widespread use of mobile technology. Once again, it’s an opportunity even for “traditional” industries and businesses to challenge the status quo and rethink different approaches to draw attention and people to your business.
P.S. Go Team Mystic!
[relatedPosts]

Victor Gaxiola

Thought leader, speaker, host of the #HSonAir podcast. Evangelist for digital tech adoption in financial services.

Visit the Resource Center

Download White Paper, Infographics, Industry Reports and More…

Visit Resources