By David Lee | Dec 29, 2017
If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go by now, you’ve truly been living under a rock. This smartphone location-based augmented reality game is the latest and biggest craze to hit the markets in recent years, surpassing some of the largest apps – including Facebook and Twitter – in engagement, downloads, and popularity in the short amount of time since its release.
The basis of the game is simple. Users are given a personalized Pokemon trainer, reminiscent of the earlier Pokemon franchise games, and are told to travel around to collect Pokemon, with a small twist – they have to travel in real life.
While some have attempted to bypass this requirement, the reasons not to are simple. The game utilizes the smartphones’ capabilities well – almost too well. They track users by GPS, utilize the phone’s internal accelerometer and gyroscope to count distance travel and location of the Pokemon, and uses the phone’s exterior camera to capture Pokemon that appear in the real world if they’re close enough to be captured.
Individuals attracted to the game are drawn by a sense of adventure, exploring regions in order to find Pokestops – places where they can replenish their stocks of Pokeballs and other supplies – and lures, or locations where Pokemon are plentiful. In major cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, players gather by the dozens at these locations as well as gyms, where players can battle one another to take over gyms and prevent their enemies from accessing the Pokemon they’ve stored there.
Stories have also cropped up recently regarding how Pokemon has caused major accidents, and how they have forced users to commit dangerous acts in the name of collecting the most and the rarest Pokemon. Unfortunately, in the midst of this virality, one important aspect of the other side of this phenomenon has gone strangely missing.
There is a distinct business value for Pokemon Go.
Of course, this is not just true for the creators of Pokemon Go, who are assuredly ecstatic for the global success of the app. There is a very real monetary reward available for business owners as well.
For one thing, something many people don’t know about Pokemon Go is that it was created by a company called Niantic, the same company that created Ingress, the predecessor to the worldwide sensation. It utilized input by users on local landmarks and buildings – sites that often host real businesses and marketplaces. As a result, it led more users to these hotspots than any other locations based on the geography of the game, an augmented version of the geography of the real world.
Because of this, Pokemon Go’s business owners have been noticing a crazy amount of increased track to their locations, especially those who are located at the spot of a Gym or Pokestop.
Nonetheless, what does this mean for your business? Is it a call for increased advertising through Pokemon Go, or something else entirely?
Unfortunately, Pokemon Go doesn’t allow direction advertisement solicitation – after all, who wouldn’t want their company to have ad space on the app. However, what they do offer may arguably be better than any direct advertisement.
In Pokemon Go, features known as lures are used to attract nearby Pokemon to a certain location. What results from this is typically an influx of Pokehunters to that same area, all eager to catch their next Pokemon before their friends.
Business that utilize this feature can easily attract dozens of new customers to their stores each day, generating far more value than the cost of the initial lures, especially if they set them strategically.
Utilizing your company website to handle this, as well as advertising lures for business wide events online can increase this return on investment even more, allowing you to generate far more traffic to your website and your business.