A New Virtual RealityNever before has there been an app, game or piece of technology that does the work for you in such an easy and fun way of getting people to your local business, at little to no cost, until now, and it’s called Pokemon Go.

The PokeStop can get people to your business, lures can keep them there and effective marketing strategy turns those visitors into paying customers.


Fast Stats:

  • July 5, 2016: Pokemon Go Mobile App began rolling out for download in the US
  • By July 13
    • The App surpassed Twitter’s Daily users
    • Surpassed the average time spent daily over time that users were spending on Facebook
  • As of 7/19/2016
    • Over 20 million US downloads and counting
    • Approximately 10 million active users in the USA daily

Pokemon Go, may be a fad, or it may give way to a more permanent trend and evolve how we interact with apps (many people once believed that multi-billion dollar companies Twitter and Facebook were just fads too). Regardless of whether it’s a fad or becomes a trend, there is a real opportunity for your small business right now.

What makes Pokemon Go unique is that it’s the first mobile game application of its kind that requires players to be up and out of their homes to participate. The game promotes community by requiring players to join teams and convene in public places that serve as gyms, and at places of business that are Poke-Stops.

  • What is a Pokemon Gym: A gym is a place where players go to train their Like a real life gym where you go to build physical strength and skills. In order to participate at a gym, players join teams and battle their Pokemon against other teams at the gym.
  • What is a PokeStop: A PokeStop is a public place, typically a unique landmark or a place of business such as a restaurant, pizzeria or coffee shop where players’ go to catch more Pokemon. To attract more Pokemon a player can drop a lure which will draw in more Pokemon for 30 minutes, and a lure can only be dropped at a PokeStop (your place of business).

What this Means for your Business: Your business has the opportunity to draw in additional customers simply by embracing the growing Pokemon Go audience. You might be getting additional customers already without doing anything, imagine how you might grow business, including in off-peak hours, if you do something.

There is a theory that the more people playing at a PokeStop, the more likely that the harder to find rarer Pokemon will appear, thus adding appeal to hosting Poke-Parties and dropping increased lures. Your business may be one of few locations that has the ability for players to drop lures, therefore, you may be the key to the rare Pokemon. Check out these examples of crowds of fans gathered to catch rare Pokemon:

3 things your business should do today to tap into the Pokemon Go opportunity

1: Find out if your Business is a PokeStop

  • Download the game and open the app at your place of business, or enlist the help of an employee or friend
    • If your business is a Poke-Stop it will appear within the game like this:



  • If you are not a Poke-Stop or Poke-Gym, you may be able to submit a request to become one (note: at the time of writing this article, this submission form was working on Friday 7/15, by Monday 7/18 the form was not working with a note that Niantic Labs is currently not accepting submissions for new PokeStops. I recommend checking back frequently: https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/221968408)
  • Note: If your business or location is currently a Poke-Stop or Gym and you wish to be removed, you may use that form to submit a request to remove your location/home/business

2: Drop Lures: If you are a PokeStop, congratulations! You have a ticket to opportunity that other businesses can only wish for! By dropping lures you will attract Pokemon to your business for 30 minutes. Players of the game will see the beacon indicating that Pokemon are at your business, which attracts people to your business. To see how this works check out the video here.

3: Creating a Marketing Promotion: The key to making money with Pokemon Go is developing a creative way to get customers to spend their money with you. Just getting them to your business is not enough as the players could stand outside your business and catch Pokemon without spending any money. If you create a welcoming space such as reserved tables, “Reserved for Poke-Players,” or devise a special, “Pokemon & Pizza $5 all day every day!” this makes it more likely that users will become your customer.

  • Pokemon Hot Spot
  • Catch em all here!
  • Poke-Party daily 5-7p!
  • Pokemon & Pizza only $5! Catch ‘em all over a slice!
  • Pokemon & Pie $5 special

There are many reasons that so many people are engaging with the game: for fun, for parents they might appreciate that they are out walking around their neighborhood with their kids rather than sitting indoors playing games. For youth it may provide a sense of belonging and an opportunity to make new friends as the game gives them something to bond over and creates community by being a part of a team and convening at parks and restaurants. For millennials who grew up with Pokemon trading cards, it may bring back their childhood. Think about how your business can tap into those things that matter to your customers and create a welcoming and engaging space for game players.

For more creative marketing ideas check out this video where I share promotional ideas and show you exactly how to make money with Pokemon Go!

Now go all you Poke-Stars and catch ’em all!