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Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Using Pokemon Go to Attract Customers

By now you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the Pokémon Go craze. Have you been hearing about how it’s helping businesses get more foot traffic in their stores but you’re a little confused about how it works? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! The good news is, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to use this new game to get more current and potential customers into your store!

First and foremost, Pokémon Go isn’t a game just for kids. Adults are enjoying the game too, either with their kids or even by themselves! It’s an free app you can download on your phone that accesses your phone’s camera and uses your geographic location so you can “find” Pokémon characters that are nearby. The app is an “augmented reality” game so it will superimpose images of Pokémon characters on your camera when you have the app open. As a player, you have to “capture” the characters to get points.


Pokemon Go ScreenshotThe game uses an algorithm to place these characters in certain locations across the globe. Some locations have more characters than others, which tends to draw the more active and involved players to those locations. This is where local businesses are using the game to attract customers.

Not only does the game use an algorithm to place characters in certain locations, but some locations are “PokéStops” or “Gyms” within the game, which means more characters are at that specific location. A business owner that’s interested in using the game to attract customers should check to see if their location is one of these pre-determined locations or if there is one nearby. Additionally, users can pay to set “lures” that entice Pokémon Go users to go to a specific location, which you can purchase in the app for 100 Pokecoins (or $0.99). One lure will attract Pokémon to a PokésStop for 30 minutes.

The most important thing to remember when using the game for business purposes is to promote it on your digital properties, especially on social media. Give your customers a few days advance notice about Pokémon promotions so you give them time to prepare to come to your store. Also, try to be strategic about when you set up these promotions. Think about setting up a Pokémon promotion during times when you’re having good sales and you want more customers in the store to see them. Or maybe you want to attract customers during slow days/times to increase foot traffic and possibly sales.

Some of you might still be concerned about your lack of understanding about this game. No need to worry! As long as you can find an employee or a family member who plays the game, you can set up these lures and promotions very easily. The simplicity of the game allows you to be very nimble and move quickly to start drawing in customers. This won’t take months of prep work!

For example, AWG retailer Rouses has taken full advantage of the Pokemon Go craze and have been seeing the benefits of it almost immediately. They quickly figured out where the PokeStops were by their stores and likely even set up some lures in the stores, then started promoting it with fun posts on their Facebook page.

Rouses Pokemon Go Facebook Post
You’ll need to be in the store to determine how many of these characters are in it or are nearby. Same with setting up the lures. But if you work with AWG on your digital marketing, we can help you set up any online promotions of the game that you want to implement. Even if you still don’t completely understand it, or are maybe still a little intimidated by it — give it a try! Take a chance and have a little fun with your business and your customers.

Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie