Pokémon GO and the future of geomarketing

pokemon go changing geomarketing

Everyone on the planet is playing Pokémon GO right now. If you don’t know what that is, I assume you don’t have access to the Internet. Thus begging the question: How are you even reading this blog?

Pokémon GO is the new location-based online sensation where you hunt down and catch cute little monsters, Pokémon, that vary based on your location. You can essentially create your own adventure by collecting all 150 Pokémon, or choose to only collect strong Pokémon that you’ll use when battling against other players. It sounds like a computer-generated form of animal fighting rings, which is more or less correct.

This game combines two of my favorite things: hunting animals, and wandering aimlessly throughout town with my face buried in my phone.

Why am I telling you about this game? Because Pokémon GO is revolutionizing the way businesses can reach customers.

Enter geomarketing, stage right.

Geomarketing and Pokémon GO

Geomarketing, or location-based marketing, is the process of attracting potential customers that are within the vicinity of your office. People are becoming less receptive to traditional forms of advertising. This new style of geomarketing could prove to be a seamless integration of native advertising that people don’t really mind.

Brands are using Pokémon GO to their benefit by purchasing what are called “Lure Modules” in the game. These Lure Modules attract Pokémon to the location they are implemented. Small and large businesses alike are investing money in Lure Modules because, if we’ve learned anything in the past few days, people follow the Pokémon.

Eh. Sounds weird. How does Pokémon GO work in the real world?

Just two days ago, I was at a brewery washing down my existential dread with a cold pint, when a gaggle of middle-aged women walked in screaming about how excited they were that the brewery had a Lure Module. Within minutes, everyone had their phones out catching all types of Pokémon. The brewery is now advertising 10 percent off your meal if you catch a specific Pokémon. How genius is that?

The downtown area of my town is riddled with chalkboards displaying Pokémon GO-related offers at their business. My favorite New York-style pizza joint is offering cell phone charging stations and one-dollar slices for individuals that purchase and implement a Lure Module at their location, reeling in more customers.
A bar just a stone’s throw from this pizza joint is hosting nightly Pokémon GO events, where people can talk about Pokémon, catch Pokémon, and receive drink specials after purchasing a Lure Module.

Where do Poké Stops and Poké Gyms come in?

Poké Stops and Poké Gyms could also prove to be effective forms of marketing for your brand.

Poké Stops are popular landmarks in your city that are marked on your Pokémon GO app. The designated landmarks could be popular statues, restaurants, or even known water towers. People are encouraged to physically approach these landmarks in real life to earn in-game rewards and items.

Some businesses got lucky and were randomly selected to be a Poké Stop, where other businesses are hoping for a future where they can pay to host their own Poké Stop.

Poké Gyms, similar to Stops, are found in locations throughout your city (not necessarily gyms) that can only be accessed by physically being there. Once the individual is there, they can battle the Pokémon in the Poké Gym and claim the gym. In the future, businesses may be able to designate themselves as a gym, attracting players from all over town. Being able to claim a gym as a business would display your name in huge letters over the landmark on people’s phones. How’s that for brand awareness?

Associating your brand with Pokémon GO is an excellent way to attract new customers. There is an overwhelmingly positive connotation with this game that can reflect on your brand. This game has been out for a short period, but shows signs that it might stick around a little longer than your average viral pop song. But this app has bigger implications for the future of geomarketing. This game has started a huge movement — all in the name of virtual miniature monsters. Our ancestors would be so proud.

Here at AGENCY H, we are embracing the ever-changing landscape of marketing platforms. We specialize in inbound marketing practices, but if your business would like to brainstorm about future marketing avenues, then drop us a line! AGENCY H Inbound can help you develop a comprehensive strategy that will help you attract new customers, retain current customers, sell more products and services, and develop the tools necessary to create a steady flow of new business.