Marketing Bootcamp

Pokemon Go: You Don't Have to be a Gamer to Get into the Game

Pokemon Go: You Don't Have to be a Gamer to Get into the Game
Image credit: PG/Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the hype and sensation around Pokémon Go. You don’t have to be a gamer to know this game.

I’d like to suggest that you should also be in the game, regardless.

The Pokémon Go phenomenon seemed to come out of nowhere, almost like a movie premiere. You sort of hear about it in advance, sort of. And then all of a sudden it has a huge opening weekend and everyone is talking about it, leaving you scrambling to catch up on the hysteria.

Related: 3 Ways to Level Up Your Marketing With Pokemon Go

Granted, I’ve known about Pokémon since my son was a little boy with the trading cards and figurines. What’s not to love about Pikachu? But the fascination back then didn’t hit hysteria levels like it is now.

This is hysteria to the tune of 20 million users a day -- hysteria to the tune of people bumping into each other and causing all sorts of drama. Hysteria to the tune of reinventing the gaming industry.

Despite the hype, these kinds of pop culture moments are actually quite rare.

Pokémon Go represents a seismic shift not just in gaming, but also in any kind of entertainment. I predict we will see a lot of new ideas coming from all sorts of entertainment venues in the years ahead that have been inspired by Pokémon Go…not only from gaming but from movies, television and sports. I’m sure they’re be some from a few surprising places too.

Related: Why I Am More Excited Than My Kids About Pokemon Go

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, it’s important for us to keep abreast of these kinds of pop culture movements, whether it pertains directly to your business or not. I always say that “marketing is a spectator sport” and it’s important to watch and learn from what other brands are doing in the marketplace.

Pokémon Go is a good one to watch, and here are three reasons why you should pay attention:

1. To have meaningful conversations.

Let’s face it, most of the time we start conversations with our customers with talk of the weather, and we generally stay away from politics or religion. So why not talk about something current in pop culture to stimulate a more rewarding dialogue? Talk about the essence that is Pokémon Go. Your customers will be impressed with your knowledge of pop culture and they’ll give you bonus points for knowing a thing or two about technology. They’ll secretly think you’re better as a result.

2. To merge your digital and physical worlds.

While not the first, Pokémon Go has effectively merged the digital and physical worlds of entertainment like never before. While we knew that our mobile devices have become our lives, we now know that we don’t have to enjoy them in isolation from what we are also physically doing in the moment. So think about how you can create a merged physical/digital experience for your business, as a way to more deeply engage with your customers. They’ll remember you for it, and reward you too by sharing it with their friends and followers.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Are Cashing in on Pokémon Go

3. To seize local marketing opportunities.

Pokémon Go is like Four Square on steroids…the local marketing opportunities are endless. You can do local promotions to join the buzz and give discounts for participation. You’ll put your business on the map as a result.

With these things in mind, jump in and play the game, even if you’re not actually playing.