Believe it or not, Pokémon GO has actually proved to be a powerful influence on local
business marketing. The augmented reality game was released on July 6; it has since
taken the lead for downloads on both Google Play and the App Store. The free-to- play
location-based mobile game allows you to capture and train Pokémon with the assistance
of your phone’s GPS and camera. In other words, the player actually searches for these
tiny, monster-like creatures as he or she roams the streets and works to snatch them up
with a PokéBall, the special type of contraption that allows a user to catch and then hold
onto the Pokémon. So, what does all of this mean for local business marketing?
A number of businesses have reportedly enjoyed a sales boost due to the extra foot
traffic. Many of these businesses are conveniently located near Pokéstops, real locations
in cities where players can collect rare Pokémon and other items that allow them to better
train their Pokémon and improve their overall account, or Pokémon gyms, where users
can train their Pokémon and teach them new skills. In New York City, Italian restaurant
Maialino is the site of a Pokémon gym — a place where players can go to train their
Pokémon — and that’s evidently translated into a very welcome boost in sales.
If you already have a Pokéstop near your business, you can buy an in-game item called a
Lure Module to get Pokémon to your location. Where the Pokémon go, the players will
follow — which means more foot traffic outside of your store and, subsequently, inside
of it (hopefully). If there isn’t a Pokéstop near your store, you can request one by filling
out a simple form.
In addition, if there is a rare Pokémon found near or in your business, it can be
advantageous to let people know. “I imagine it would increase patronage,” explained
Polygon engagement editor Jeff Ramos. “I forget where I saw it in Brooklyn, but a venue
had a sign in front that basically said, ‘Come in, a very rare and strong Pokémon was
In conclusion, there’s no telling how long this Pokémon craze will last. Of course, this
local business marketing strategy won’t replace search engine optimization companies or
more traditional means of online lead generation. However, while it rages, you might as
well leverage the power of Pokémon GO in local business marketing!