Full disclosure, at the time of publishing this article, I haven’t even tried this game myself. And yet, I hear about it so much every day – and I can’t help but imagine all the amazing marketing opportunities sitting out there – just waiting to be captured. Seriously, the analogy writes itself.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock, or just too busy doing actual things, you may have missed how this whole thing works so from my own ignorance, this is what I’ve gathered. It’s all based around the old Pokémon franchise – the cards, the characters, the catching, the training, the battling. (If you need a quick overview, Wikipedia is always good for that.)
Anyway, the thing that’s making this game explode with popularity is the augmented reality aspect. Short and simple – you look at the screen on your phone and you see the world as it really exists in front of you – with the added fun of animated monsters appearing to be hanging out with you. And you can catch them (and apparently battle them.)
— Megan Knight (@Knightfromabc2) July 15, 2016
And the thing is… Pokémon hang outat hotspots, but those aren’t just advertised. You have to go out and FIND them. Apparently they are based on popularity and where people tend to gather and hangout. And of course, players of the game share with fellow players what they’ve found and where.
So with that synopsis – let’s get into why it should matter to your business.
It’s Your People
Of course, I’m making a generalization, since I don’t know your exact demographics – but Pokémon Go users are far more diverse than you might assume. It’s not just “the kids these days” walking around with their phones up, trying to catch some Pocket Monsters. According to SmartApp, as reported on Vox, 40% of the game users are over 25 years old and 1/3 are women. Yes folks, there are moms playing Pokémon – a fact which is also substantiated on my social media streams.
It’s Happening Now
The numbers are crazy. Check out the charts from SimilarWeb to see how many have downloaded the game – and how much more time they spend on this game than just about any other app. But like so many fads, the newness will wear off. Small businesses, who don’t have corporate hoops to jump through, can grab the popularity now – like a rare little monster who may not show up again.
It’s Mobile and Local
The craziest thing about this game, and instant popularity, is that it forces you outside – and makes you exercise! You have to get out and interact and walk to places all over town. It’s a gift to anyone and everyone who has been charged with marketing and repopularizing local hotspots, landmarks, and locations. Apparently, you can actually Lure Pokémon to certain locations. Throw out a sale and you’ve got yourself a sensation!
Or provide what game users all always need – wifi, charging stations, and maybe a bottle of water during the hot summer.
OR just get super creative and get in on the fun.
It’s Iconic and Colorful
Maybe you, like me, didn’t collect these cards, or play this game, or really know anything about this game – aside from the cuteness of Pikachu. But lots and lots of people did. It’s a worldwide phenomenal brand that suddenly (what seems like) everyone is talking about. This is the perfect opportunity for creative types to make stuff celebrating and commemorating the characters, teams and storylines surrounding the brand. Whether you sell items, give them away, or just create for social media – you can definitely take advantage of the popularity while it’s here.
A good percentage of my friends and family are LOVING this game – and a good percentage think its ridiculous and have no problem reminding us of that. Grab a side and get marketing. Maybe you love it and want to encourage others to have a great time (and be safe doing so.) Maybe you find it ridiculous and want to encourage people to get back to work, to exercise with purpose, etc. Whichever side you choose, there are plenty right there with you – the marketing opportunities abound.