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Using Pokemon Go for Local Marketing

Using Pokemon Go for Local Marketing: Strategy Roundtable

By Britt Bischoff on July 27, 2016 in Digital Marketing

As the world continues its obsession with Pokemon Go, it’s no surprise that businesses are jumping on board by including it in their marketing. We’re seeing things pop up like Pokemon events, signs, social media posts, and more. But should you hop on board? Is there any value in including Pokemon Go in your digital marketing strategy and how do you take advantage of it?

I asked our team of strategists about their thoughts on Pokemon Go and what advice they have for using it in your digital strategy:

Sarah Mueller:

Sarah Mueller“I think it's a great opportunity for local businesses to get more foot traffic if embraced. One great example was this past weekend's Here's What's Popping and Hatchlings and Hens downtown Cedar Falls Pokemon party where kids were invited to create Pokemon crafts and enjoy popcorn. I think that it's a great way to create a connection between the local business and a virtual reality.

Some businesses are taking an opposite approach and discouraging players from "hunting" at their business. I think that you are better off to embrace the trend in a relevant and engaging way in order to appeal to this large pool of potential customers.”

Kiley Skadburg:

Kiley Skadburg"From a marketers perspective, my take on this is that it's great to take advantage of trends as long as you can do it real time (read: not 2 months after the craze hits because your legal team has concerns) and it feels organic to the brand. Oreo is a great example of a brand that capitalizes on trending topics in a way that doesn't feel off brand. 

So, if a brand is clearly marketing to millennials and can do something quickly, creatively and in a way that is in alignment with their brand and doesn't feel too forced, they should absolutely try to take advantage. But this should just be one example, and shouldn't be a one-off thing. It should be a part of their strategy to do this on a more ongoing basis."

Here's my own take:

Britt Bischoff"My personal take is that it's more beneficial for brick and mortar local businesses that rely on the physical experience or businesses that do well with impulse purchase behavior. But that doesn't mean businesses that aren't publicly focused  have to miss out. However, if you don't want a bunch of random people in your lobby, I recommend you don't set a lure. Poke stops could be an excellent use for building your brand in the community, especially for businesses that have a difficult time being found (physically, not on Google). Of course, location is everything, but it forces people nearby to look up from their screens and see your building / brand logo. 

Some interesting suggestions for businesses include using discounts for setting lures, sharing photos of Pokemon recently spotted / caught in your location, service promotions. For other businesses, it's makes a better branding push by highlighting company culture with social media to show what Pokemon has been caught there, behind the scenes images, etc." 

What do you think? How are you using Pokemon Go in your marketing strategy? Chime in from the comments below:

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