Pokémon Go currently is the most popular app, breaking download records and surpassing some of the most popular apps in terms of users and time spent using it daily. When it was released, servers were crashing because of the number of new users signing up. It became an overnight success, but the game itself has been around for more than 20 years.

Their timing was brilliant, because the same people that played Pokémon back in the day are now in that Millennial bracket, consumed by their mobile phones (myself included, I was a huge Pokemon GameBoy player and card collector back then) . So, a location-based augmented reality game that featured a blast from the past that they instantly connected with was destined to be a huge win for the game maker.

Just like every major popular fad, it presents an opportunity to ride the wave and leverage it as a way to market and promote your business. I wanted to touch on this hot topic while the Pokémon Go craze is at its height. Remember MySpace or Bebo? At one point they were the most popular websites on the planet. Now they are a waste of server space and internet bandwidth. What I’m saying is this: Pokémon Go will eventually suffer the same fate as MySpace and Bebo. But, before that happens, dive into the information below and learn how you can use the Pokémon Go phenomenon to bring in sales for your business.


Pokémon: Proof Users Don’t REALLY Care About Data Security

Think about how hard it is to get people to subscribe to your email lists or enter their name and phone number on your website? They worry about you selling their email and phone number to other companies and worry about being flooded with spam. But then here comes Pokémon Go and that concern is thrown out the window.

When users installed the app, they basically gave over every single piece of data to the game developer. This is a perfect example of how consumers will completely forget about their data and the safety of their personal information as long as the offer is super appealing. Pokémon Go had so much hype built up around it that people were begging to play. They didn’t even acknowledge the reports that highlighted all of the data and security issues. They didn’t care. They just wanted to play the game.

So, next time you are thinking of an offer to use in order to attract customers and generate leads, or even foot traffic, make sure it’s something that simply can’t be ignored. This is why so many businesses are trying to incorporate Pokémon Go into their marketing strategy while the game is red hot. Consumers throw all logical thinking out the window when there is hype built up around something. They want a piece of the action, at any cost.


How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Pokémon..

There are a couple ways that you can use the popularity of this game to attract buyers with cash in hand, ready to buy whatever it is that you are selling. Seriously, they don’t care what you sell if your business is spawning Pokémon! Crazy, right?


Branded PokéStops

This is where the makers of Pokémon Go are going to cash in and take advantage of the game’s popularity. Its sheer user base is attractive to every major brand out there. For a local business, such as a McDonalds or a gas station to be part of the game, forcing users to visit in order to complete stages of the game, is a huge opportunity. It would constantly drive traffic, but the cost will surely be sky high, which will price out the mom and pop shops from taking advantage of this opportunity.

If the makers of Pokémon Go are smart, they will lock in corporate clients into long term deals to secure a branded PokéStop. The game’s popularity is eventually going to slow down and die off, so they are going to want to maximize their revenue by forcing long term deals. They big brands will jump all over it, because the short term gains will certainly make it worthwhile, overall.


Local Business Lures

Pokémon has a feature that allows “lures” to be dropped at PokéStops, which make Pokémon spawn at a much higher rate for a period of 30 minutes. This causes players to flock to the given area in an attempt to catch the characters. Since it’s a fairly new concept, lures aren’t all that expensive. In fact, this study shows that is only cost this particular business $1.19 an hour to attract players. That is a huge value.

All good things eventually come to an end, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the cost of lures go through the roof, and maybe even have geo-location blocks and restrictions. For example, if a store down the street bids high enough and purchases a time block of lures, it might prevent businesses in a specific radius from buying them. This is entirely speculation, but it could happen as a way to make them scarce and drive the price.

If you have a store, give it a shot while the price is affordable. It’s a very low cost option and the payoff could be drastic. Some will benefit more, but if your target market is anywhere in the 18 – 35 age range, then Pokémon Go could breathe life into your business and fill your cash registers quickly.


pokemon go players



How About FREE Ways to Market with Pokémon?

Not every business is going to be able to afford branded PokéStops and if the lures go to a bidding model, it will quickly be priced out of range for most. So, here are some ways that you can leverage the excitement of Pokémon Go and attract sales for your business.


Offer a Place to Play & Recharge

If your business location is in a heavy foot traffic area, then there are probably Pokémon Go players walking by your store all day long. Offer them a place to recharge their phones or just rest. This goes back to the “give to receive” way of thinking. If you do this, then there is a good chance they will patronize your business and buy a cold drink, if you are a café, for example.

This is such an ideal marketing option for a business on a sidewalk, with the ability to put a triangle sign outside. The Pokémon Go logo alone will stop traffic, and then if you have a nice offer for the players, it will really grab their attention. Players usually travel with a group of friends, so you have the ability to attract them in large numbers. Take a look at some YouTube videos, and you will see the commotion the game causes. Literally hundreds of players can be seen walking around Central Park in New York City playing all day, even at midnight. The game never sleeps, and there are always active players trying to catch them all.


Run Pokémon Based Contests

You could easily use social media to promote a Pokémon Go based contest. You could do something as simple as “show your Pokémon stats at the register for an instant discount” or you could get really specific if you are targeting hardcore players, offering more attractive discounts if the customer has caught some of the rarer Pokémon characters.

Throwing a contest like this won’t cost you anything, and it’s also a great way to get your social media following to engage with your business. While a regular vanilla contest might be looked over under normal circumstances, simply including a Pokémon Go element will cause people to take notice, and more importantly, take action and visit your business.

Afraid that you don’t know enough about Pokémon Go to create contests that will attract players? Poll your employees and assign “Pokémon experts” the task of coming up with the contests. They will take pride in it, and will use their knowledge of the game and figure a way to put together an attractive contest. There are most likely Pokémon Go experts working for you that you delegate this task to that will gladly accept it.


“Show Your Pokémon” Discounts

There are common Pokémon characters and there are ultra rare ones, which you can use to unlock special offers and discounts. Something as simple as “show us your (character name) and receive free soda refills” could drive customers into a pizza shop. There are so many options, from instant discounts at the register to free perks and upgrades.

This strategy can be used for any popular trending topic. Many restaurants that are located near stadiums and sporting venues will often have specials for free appetizers if the customer shows a ticket from the game. This is along the same lines; simply using something popular to attract customers.



Pokemon Go Players stampede on Central Park in hunt of Rare “Vaporeon” Pokemon.


Reasons Pokémon Go WILL NOT Work for Your Business

Ok, so I just got done talking about how Pokémon Go presents such a huge marketing opportunity. While this is very true, the reality is that it won’t work for everyone. But, in fairness, there isn’t a single marketing opportunity that has worked for everyone. Think logically for a minute.

Something such as mainstream TV commercials, for instance, aren’t ideal for every business. If you own and operate a local car wash, someone that sees your commercial isn’t likely to grab their keys and head to your business. Radio, on the other hand, is a much better option. The cost is lower and you are connecting with your potential customers while they are physically in their car. There are two main reasons Pokémon Go might not work for you.


1. Your Business Doesn’t Target Millennials

The Pokémon Go game definitely targets a younger crowd, although many well into their 40’s can be seen playing the game. Even with the semi wide range of age, there is always going to be a segment that misses out. For example, if you are marketing a senior care facility, Pokémon Go isn’t going to impact your business in the slightest way.

But, if you are a trendy and hip pizza place or bar, then yes, Pokémon Go could be something that increases sales ten-fold. The real hardcore users will do anything to catch the rare characters, including visiting businesses, and making a purchase, in order to check off a new conquest. In fact, S can be huge for businesses. Check out this article and this one to get some real world examples.

If your business targets the Millennial crowd, then there is going to be a way you can leverage the Pokémon Go craze to boost sales. You might have to get creative, but Millennials are addicted to this game and have proven to do anything to ‘catch them all.’ If you are working with an older demographic you need to really step back and evaluate whether or not your customers are playing.


2. Augmented Reality Isn’t for Everyone

Pokémon Go uses augmented reality (AR) elements and location-based game play, which is great for some businesses, like the pizza places in the example links above, but won’t be beneficial for a business that operates exclusively online. Businesses with a physical local brick and mortar location can use the game to attract customers, or even the children of their target customers.

The size of your market will also dictate whether or not Pokémon Go is a viable option for your business. If you are in a major city like New York, then yes, there are millions of players in the surrounding area that you can target. If you are in a very rural area with 10,000 people in a decent sized radius, then your capture potential is very limited.

The larger your local area, the more potential Pokémon Go players. The smaller the area, the harder it will be to attract customers using this craze.


pokemon go gif



There is no denying that Pokémon Go is the hottest crazy right now. If you want to take advantage of it and ride the wave, do it now, because it will eventually fade and the new hot trend will take over.

When riding a trendy wave, it’s important that you never overextend yourself or your budget, because when the fad dies, it will do so overnight. Trends and fads come and go, so strike while it is hot and be prepared to jump on the next bandwagon as soon as possible.

But, right now, today, Pokémon Go is a potential goldmine.

If you have any questions or if you have used Pokémon Go to market your business, please comment below. I’d love to hear from those that have successfully leveraged this craze to increase their business.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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