Striking while the iron is hot.
When a craze sweeps your city, state, region, country or even the world, we need to take a step back and quickly think about how we can relate it to our business. The difficulty comes in not making it feel forced and creating a natural connection with your target audience.
The latest craze (and that might be an understatement!) to take over is Pokemon GO!
Yes, I said Pokemon. Now….GO!
If you don’t believe me, look at these mind-boggling numbers for a game that launched July 7!
- The average user is spending more than 43 minutes per day playing the game. That’s almost the same amount of time a user spends on Facebook and more than any other social app.
- If it hasn’t by the time this blog post was published, it’s on pace to quickly pass more users than Twitter on Android devices – in less than a week!
Now that we see the impact it is making into people’s lives, what the heck is it?
So What Is Pokemon Go?
I’m not into Pokemon (no really). Some of my co-workers are and tried to explain it to me but my head was just spinning. So I went to the Internet and found endless resources. For example, type in any phrase to Google and see how it fills in with something related to this game.
Anyway, Pokemon GO is a free game that was released at the beginning of July. It’s like a scavenger hunt where you have to physically travel around your city to collect all 151 of the Pokemon (short for pocket monster.) The “augmented reality” part is how the game interacts with the GPS feature on your phone and provides a real experience. (downside: it’s a huge drain on the battery right now)
How Can Your Business Take Advantage?
The Pokemon are located everywhere. If you’ve seen people aimlessly walking around popular locations with their phones in the air (even more than normal), they are probably trying to collect these Pokemon. In the game, a Pokemon will appear on the screen as the user walks around. Then you have to try and catch it before someone else does.
Now that we understand the very basics, what about your business?
That comes into play with something called a PokeStop. A PokeStop is a pre-determined point of interest (museums, graveyards, college campuses, churches, parks, etc.) where users can collect Pokemons or other collectibles in the game.
Your business probably isn’t going to be a PokeStop (although a co-worker had a Pokemon at his desk this morning), but we need to think about ways to connect with the game’s users. That’s where your business can become a part of this craze.
- If you’re a retail outlet, offer free cell phone charges for customers who come inside. Or is there something else you can offer players who are wandering around and playing the game? A coupon? A prize drawing? Maybe a free appetizer with a meal purchase?
- Create some social media marketing that plays in with the theme of the game. Connect with your followers!
- Purchase a “Lure Module” for $0.99, which lasts for 30 minutes (even cheaper if you buy in bulk). The “Lure Module” will attract Pokemon to a PokeStop. Maybe your location isn’t an official PokeStop but the restaurant next door is. For $20/day, you could attract more of what every game player wants. Think about how much you make off of a couple more walk-in sales and that sounds like a great investment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Chance
I have no idea how long this Pokemon craze will last. I do know you can’t get away from it right now. Turn on your local news broadcast. Open a newspaper. Scroll on your social media timeline. Talk to anyone who plays games on their phones (especially the always-desired millennial generation).
It’s been less than a week and more than 7.5 million downloads have taken place.
Remember, strike while the iron is hot. It’s not a long-term solution but it just might bring you a little more business in the coming days and weeks.