Pokémon Go is a mobile app that has launched itself all the way to the number one spot in the app store in very little time. With over 70 million daily users already, this augmented reality game that allows players to walk around in real life and catch Pokémon characters has caught the attention of everybody, especially entrepreneurs and marketers. Although they didn’t intend to, Niantic may have created just the location-based app that businesses and marketers have needed in order to get more people into their stores.
Why have other location-based apps struggled?
Marketers have been trying to come up with a location based marketing strategy for a while now. In 2009, the mobile app Foursquare came up with “check in,” which allowed its users to “check in” to local businesses, earn “badges” and even become the “mayor” of locations
This was great for marketing because it provided business owners a unique way to market their business to consumers by making the process of discovering new businesses and checking in fun.
Many businesses since then have used Foursquare to offer specials, discounts, and rewards to users for checking in as a way to help incentivize more people to get through the doors of more businesses. Despite the giveaways however, most brands and businesses still fail at successfully getting more people into their stores. This is because consumers just simply don’t care enough about going to a specific business location just so they can swipe their phone and get a 10% off discount.
Pokémon Go works because it changes player behavior
According to a recent study, Pokémon Go is outperforming every other social network such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat on the amount of time people spend daily on the app.
A normal player on Pokémon Go is spending on average 33 minutes a day on the app. At any moment, you have millions of people walking around going wherever the game tells them to go. Depending where certain Pokémon, “gyms”, and “lure modules” are, people will swarm to these areas.
With that much control, innovative marketers and businesses are going to be investing in Pokémon Go in order to bring hundreds of these Pokémon Go players into their own stores.
Pokémon Go is already helping businesses
Many businesses have already seen the positive effects such as an increase in revenue as a result of being lucky enough to be located right next to key points in the Pokémon Go app. Others have quickly taken advantage of it by buying “lure modules” that attract virtual Pokémon characters to their store.
After spending just $10 on these lure modules, L’inizio Pizza Bar saw its sales jump 75 percent over the weekend.
“We had people come down, sit down, and get a couple beers and play the Pokémon game,” manager Sean Benedetti said.
By attracting virtual Pokémon characters to the store, it also brought in nearby Pokémon Go players who wanted to catch them.
Local businesses and national brands will most likely invest into the culture of Pokémon Go, but it’s too soon to tell the impact that Pokémon Go will have in the future. If more and more companies buy locations, though, “gyms” and “lure modules” may eventually simply become a google maps for advertised businesses. Knowing this, many players may be turned off from going out of their way just to walk to a McDonalds.
“Good marketing offers us a view of the world. Bad marketing offers us a product to buy” – Simon Sinek
What do you think about this? Is Pokémon Go a potential threat to companies like Foursquare, Groupon, and LivingSocial? Do you think sponsored locations on Pokémon Go will be effective for more expensive brands such as Apple or Best Buy? Comment below, I would love to hear your opinion.