If you haven’t seen some sort of promotion surrounding Pokémon Go already, then you’re either a stubborn hermit, or you’re totally blind. It’s no secret that there is unlimited marketing potential to the craze. Even something as simple as throwing up a “Pokémon Go Friendly” sign could garner some attention.
Already there are tons of blogs and articles sharing ideas and tricks to promote your company using Pokémon Go. And since I've already seen my team roll out a few campaigns with some of our clients, I thought I'd sit down with our agency's resident Pokémon expert, Darren Faber, and ask him to share the best tactics a company can use to tap into the Pokémon Go craze.
Here are his top tips and tricks for getting in on the action.
Have team specific promotion or days.
1. “Blue day.”
Anyone on team blue gets a discount today! The promotion can be whatever you want, and you can switch up the color whenever you want. With only three team colors, you can certainly cycle through pretty quickly.
2. Whatever team owns the nearby gym.
Another way to make the team colors work is to offer an ongoing promotion to the team who owns the nearby gym. Then you can control to flow of customers by changing the promotion. The better the promotion, the stronger the competition, and the more competitors who will be coming to claim their prize -- and buy your merchandise.
3. Sell or give away sponsored team shirts.
You can push the team identity even further by helping people proclaim their color to the world! I would be willing to bet money that people would love a t-shirt with their team color and logo on it. Oh, and don’t forget to put your own logo on it as well.
Battery life problems.
4. Invest in some power strips.
Want to bring in customers for 30+ minutes at a time? Invest in a few power strips to help Pokémon trainers revive their dead phones and continue on their journey. If you happen to be a restaurant, you might as well fill their bellies at the same time.
5. Use portable power packs and banks as promotional items.
For those who don’t want to stop and recharge, their portable battery packs are their best poké-tool. For those that don’t have one yet, you can run a promotion to give some away, or put it in a package with some of your other merchandise. The battery packs don’t have to be terribly expensive, and even if they’re low-quality, people will take advantage of something that is cheap or free.
Join up with other store owners.
The more the merrier is the theme when it comes to Pokémon Go. You should combine forces with other local businesses, run promotions together and combine your budgets to host events. Here are some ways you can work as a team with nearby companies.
6. Make the whole area a destination.
Working together with other shops to make a pokémon trainer’s dream destination can do wonders for everyone. Put lure modules on every pokéstop in the area at specific promotional times.
7. Create Pokémon Go punch cards.
Ensure that everyone involved is getting increased foot traffic by creating a Pokémon Go punch/stamp card. That way people have to hit up every store to get the promotional item.
Host a Pokémon Go tournament.
8. The top trainers only.
One way to bring in tons of people is to put up a generous prize for the best Pokémon trainers around. Whoever holds the gym at the end of the given period wins the prize, with the holders of the second and third spots getting smaller prizes.
9. Who can catch the most Pokémon?
For something that is more friendly to beginners, launch your lure modules, and see who can catch the most pokémon in a given time period.
10. Have a Pokémon master in your business? Challenge people.
Instead of hosting a big tournament, have the best trainer in your business challenge other users. This will become more effective as the battle feature in the game is more built out, but in the meantime, have your Pokémon master place his best Pokémon in a nearby gym and have people duke it out. The winners get a discount or free item.
Pokémon Go social.
11. Share on social media when rare Pokémon are found nearby.
Nothing is quite as exciting as finding a new Pokémon that you haven’t logged into your pokédex yet. While luring pokémon to your location, you’ll undoubtedly find some rare Pokémon on occasion. Have people follow your social accounts to receive updates on when these Pokémon are sighted. Even if followers can’t get to your location quite fast enough, it will position your business as a destination spot for Pokémon trainers.
12. Creative photo contest with Pokémon/MEME challenge.
Everyone would love some more ammo for their social media game. Why not have your customers do the work for you? There have already been some pretty awesome screenshots and pictures taken from Pokémon Go players. Host a challenge with a prize, and you can get all sorts of funny/awesome pictures that you can use on your social media for weeks. Use a free editing tool like Canva to add your logo to each picture, and get your branding out there.
13. Collect emails for a chance to win.
A good email list can be a huge revenue driver for any business. Use the hype to collect as many emails as you can. Throw up a landing page that collects emails for a chance to win a cool prize, or collect them at the checkout counter.
Pokémon Go -- the new dating app.
14. Pokémon Go themed date promotions.
This is especially beneficial for entertainment companies. Putting on a promotion for Pokémon Go trainers to come and have fun with a date would be sure to boost customers. This has a nice ring to it -- 20 percent off your next Pokémon Go date.
15. Play Pokémon themed music at specific times.
Nothing makes your Pokémon Go date/get together more immersive than hearing the soundtrack from the old Pokémon episodes. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a group of grown people bust into an anthem of “I want to be the very best…”
16. Create Pokémon Go tour maps.
Is your business in a mall or other walkable area? Create a map that has both destination spots, as well as the locations of notable pokéstops. You could even couple that with coupons or other promotions for your business.
Get people to hang out.
17. “Pokémon of the Day.”
Offer discounts based on a Pokémon of the day. I’ve seen this work with people’s names, where if you have a certain name you get a free dessert or something, and it could definitely work for Pokémon. Pick a new Pokémon every day, and put a sign out front -- and on social media -- to let people know what it is. If they have it, they get the discount.
18. Pokémon Go Happy Hour.
Do you offer a Happy Hour? Turn one or two of them a week into a Pokémon Go hangout spot. Activate the nearby pokéstop, give 10 percent off some wings, and give the usual beer discount. I can’t think of anything better.
19. Offer your WiFi for data-free Pokémon training.
Not only is Pokémon Go a drain on your battery, but it’s also a drain on your data. So far, T-Mobile is the only phone carrier I know of to offer free data for Pokémon Go in exchange for downloading their T-Mobile Tuesdays app, so there’s a lot of potential with this offer, especially if there is a nearby pokéstop -- and you don’t mind people being in your store for hours at a time.
You get a pokégift, and you get a pokégift.
20. Have gifts for people who catch Pokémon in your store.
If people are actively playing in your store, the chances of them providing business can go way up. Offering small gifts for those that catch a Pokémon in your store can help bring people in. You could also set up like a leaderboard or point system, and then reward the ones that catch the most at the end of time period.
21. Pokémon Go gift card referral program.
Okay, in reality there are no real Pokémon Go gift cards. Eventually there may be an option for that, but for now, even a $5 visa gift card can provide a huge boost to a Pokémon trainer’s game. You can either do this in person, giving the gift card to a person who physically brings someone in, or you can have someone refer an email address to which you’ll send the card to. You could then use that email for marketing purposes later.
These are just a few Pokemon Go marketing ideas. I’m excited to see what businesses come up with as time goes on, as there are sure to be some genius ideas! If you have any ideas of your own, please tweet them to us.