The Effect Pokémon Go is Having on Targeted Marketing


Pokémon Go is quickly becoming the most talked about app on social media, and for a good reason. Not only has this app delivered exactly what fans of the series have been hoping for, it has also had a positive effect on the business world. If you are wondering why you should be embracing this cultural phenomenon, use this helpful guide to learn more.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that ties into the popular series with the same name. The object of the game is to capture, collect, and battle virtual monsters. Players need to purchase supplies, such as balls, to capture the monsters they find. While previous versions of the game used a third-person perspective, Go allows you to see the monsters in first-person view. It also takes it a step further, introducing the monsters into the real world.

The biggest difference between Go and other Pokemon games is that players need to walk around in order to find monsters. The monsters appear on different landscapes. In addition, players can only get the supplies they need by finding PokeStops. These areas are pulled from Google Maps data and usually consist of popular landmarks, restaurants or shops.

Why Pokemon Go is a Big Deal

On paper, Pokémon Go looks like just another gaming app. The difference isn’t just that it appeals to nostalgic adults and children; it’s that it has a huge user base. Within two days of its release, the game had been downloaded by 5-percent of Android users. A majority of the users are playing every day, making it very possible for the number of active users to surpass apps like Twitter, Instagram and Tinder. And to tell you the truth.. I have spent a good deal of the past 3 evenings involved in the game.

Users also aren’t limiting themselves when it comes to play time (nope.. I can attest to this). The game encourages people to explore the world around them. Players need to be active in order to take full advantage of the game. This means getting more people into local businesses, rather than keeping them online. Recent stats show Pokémon Go users have exceeded the userbase of Twitter!

The Effect Go Has on Local Business

Because players are highly engaged and have a need to get supplies or monsters, they seek out areas pulled from the Google Maps data. This means they are visiting local businesses in order to get what they need to play the game. While there is no in-game advertising, it is bringing flocks of people to pre-determined businesses.

Currently, businesses cannot opt in to be a part of the cultural phenomenon; however, they can take advantage of nearby locations that are. If your location was selected as a PokeStop or players are finding a lot of monsters inside, feel free to advertise it. Welcome players and encourage them to visit your shop while they look for what they need in the game.

Businesses who want to take their Pokémon Go and targeted marketing efforts a step further can consider including it in a special. For example, a coffee shop could run a Pokemon-themed special that entices the traffic brought in from the app.

Luring a Targeted Audience

While your business can’t select to have certain monsters in the area or become a PokeStop, it can use the app to bring in customers. The in-app Lure Module allows businesses to attract Pokemon – and the fans they bring – to a specific area for 30-minutes at a time.

The entire possibilities of using Pokemon Go for marketing are still unclear. As more features become available and more users download the app, opportunities will open up. A messaging system and in-game ads could change the way we thing about targeting people in this demographic.

The way we think about targeted marketing is changing. To learn more about how Pokemon Go and other apps are affecting your advertising strategy, please contact us today.


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