The division between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar has historically been a source of friction for retailers, with apps being viewed as an ally to the online world. But Pokémon Go came along and changed all that! Never before has an app pushed users to really get out and pound the pavement to visit real-world locations. Sure, some have tried, but none have ever been this successful.
As with anything new, marketers are clamoring to learn how to take advantage of this new phenomenon to drive sales, which leads many to wonder, “Is Pokémon Go just a fad? Will my efforts be worth it in six months?” Only time will tell, but consider this: Once you’ve gained a new customer, they may be yours for the long haul, regardless of whether they’re still playing the game next year!
To help you consider how your brand might use the popular app, I’ve rounded up a few of the best ideas and examples for Pokémon Go marketing opportunities.
Promote Your Brick-and-Mortar Location
Create Products That Play On This Trend
I subscribe to a lot of newsletters that promote design freebies around the web. This week, one designer was selling Pokémon Go PSD mock-ups. A real estate agent I subscribe to sent an email promoting a post he wrote, outlining all of the Pokémon hot spots in the city he holds listings in. I also received an email from Trulia promoting a cheat map they’d created for their site.
Complement Your Social Media Outlets
Since the release of Pokémon Go, Foursquare, which had largely declined over the last couple of years, has seen a sudden resurgence in check-ins. While playing, people are out and about with a “check-in” mentality. These check-ins increase visibility of businesses on social media when shared with friends, which may also generate some additional foot traffic.
Withings also created an Instagram campaign related to Pokémon Go that featured a contest, asking subscribers to post and tag photos taken with the Pokémon Go app that included any of their products.
I’ve seen tons of examples of brands trying to use Pokémon Go to their advantage, from the creative and thoughtful to the downright stupid or irrelevant. One email preheader I saw referenced Pokémon Go, but the email itself made no reference to the app whatsoever. Creative subject lines that play off of the game are one thing, but shallow click-bait is another.
Use tactics that complement your brand and make sense. Get creative, have fun and don’t forget to take things lightly; it is a game after all! And remember: Even if Pokémon Go has peaked, those customers you gain can end up lasting longer than their player level. No matter what you do, try to ultimately get that email subscription or social media follow so you can create a connection that will really last.