You have most likely heard about Pokemon Go. The app developed by Niantic with a licence to use Nintendo’s pocket monsters (= Pokemon) has now eclipsed the likes of Tinder, Twitter and SnapChat. To name a few. The speed at which the app has conquered the world is unprecendented.

The augmented reality mobile exploration game has sent thousands of gamers in the streets. A dream suddenly come true for so many parents trying to send the kids out to play. At the same time, many parents are among the crowds of players. All generations are playing Pokemon. And people are now exploring their neighbourhood, meeting people, in a few words, being social.

Business luck and mapping

The game mixes virtual world with real life. As such, some real locations are being used for the game as gyms or PokeStops. Specific places with specific roles where players meet in real life. These locations are massively taken from Niantic’s prior game, Ingress.

With real life, come real shops. Hence some businesses have suddenly seen hoards of players come their way, on a quest for glory – and Pokemons.

Some showing wariness and some smart businesses catching on and cashing on. The Pokemon game drives massive amounts of foot traffic – and potential conversions. Businesses can make the most of it with very simple in-app purchases and creative marketing campaigns. Individuals are also beginning to leverage the game by launching their own “businesses”.

To make the most of all the players roaming around you, you just need to learn the basics of the game. And put it to work for you.

Is your shop a gym or PokeStop?

Not really familiar with the lingo? Nevermind. Pokemon Go is not a game played in one’s lounge. People are out there, catching virtual Pokemons in real locations.

Gyms and PokeStops are also virtual locations actually geo-located in some real locations. There is no specific decision process, so far, for deciding on these locations. Hence some shops did end up getting flooded with players just by being randomly chosen as a gym.

Others would love to attract such traffic too. If your business is not a gym or PokeStop, Niantic, the company behind the game are currently looking into sponsorhip options or opportunities to nominate new locations. A form was available for a while but was taken down.

Beyond getting the actual tick, as long as you can identify these locations, consider making your business “mobile”. Take your business on the road, assuming you can, and sell where players are.

Some smart “entrepreneurs” have done just that with their pop-up shop 🙂

Bring your marketing game

Lucky enough to “be” a gym or PokeStop? Throw in a few special offers or discounts for players. If you business has a “social” side to it (café, restaurant, …) gamify the experience by putting up a leaderboard to keep track of the top team(s) – or who owns your gym.

Pair it with special offers for the leaders and you have a nice game on your hands. A little advertising or communication about it on social media (just taking a snap of your cool board is also nice social media material) and that is a crowd headed your way.

As for social media, make use of the Pokemons strolling around your place. Take snaps and post them on social media. In any case, it will allow players to identify what Pokemons are around and may actually complete their collection.

If your presence on social media is not yet massive, that may be your chance to go viral too. No need to go big. Rather go targeted. Use criteria based on geographic location for example to target your local customer base – and players – who are more likely to show up.

Incentivize by adding a giveaway (of Poke goods) or even by luring Pokemons to your shop at a set time. And letting the crowd know about it.

Assuming you have a website – and/or a blog – make sure to spice up your SEO by publishing Pokemon Go related content.

Attract Pokemons and customers by using lures

Pokemon Go offers a range of in-app purchases of which the most important for business is lures. A lure module “attracts » Pokemon (and Pokemon Go players) to the area, around a PokeStop, where it is placed, for half a hour.

A lure costs $1.49 – for 30 minutes. That is a mere $15 for ten hours if you want to run it for a whole day or so. As a matter of example, a local pizza shop did it for a hour and brought in 30 customers. Easy maths, right? If your business is lucky enough to be a PokeStop and able to use lures, that can be an amazing way to go through low hours of business. Trigger some communications and use lures to draw hunters/customers outside peak hours.

A quick trick, create your Pokemon account with your business name. Hence, people can see who dropped the lure and identify your business too.

Cater for Pokemon Go players

Everybody plays. Or not. Some are playing but for money. As an individual, even if you do not have a shop or business, new opportunities have arisen.

It is the sharing economy after all.

People are now offering their services as Pokemon hunters. Most likely to cater for the sore legs epidemic the game has triggered by sending gamers away from their couch. You can hire hunters who will do the dirty job of chasing and capturing the Pokemon for you for about $20 a hour.

They could even make their own life easier by using the “Pokédrone” launched by a (smart) Dutch startup, TRNDlabs, to help Pokemon hunters in their quest.

Play from your couch, fly the drone out to catch them all!

Pair a paid hunter with a fleet of drones and you have an empire 🙂

What if you are not tech savvy? Nor a Pokemon lover?

Go Uber for Pokemon Go players. Craigslist has seen a solid rise of Pokemon Go driver ads. In other words, people are now offering their paid services to drive players around on their hunt for monsters. At costs of $15-$20 per hour or more.

And what about the lemonade stand? If you know where the hot locations are, get there with some juice. Literally. Set up shop (warning, could be illegal to sell stuff without a license but hey) providing drinks and actual juice (power). The game sucks up a lot of battery so get your Mophie (or else) game on and sell juice to dried up players 😉

These are only a few examples but opportunities are there for the taking.

Get out there and catch them all (opportunities)!

Y aller