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Previously this month, Niantic Inc. (previously an internal start-up at Google) released Pokémon Go– a free-to-play, location-based increased reality mobile game– sparking a cultural phenomenon on a worldwide scale. Considering that its release, the app has actually been smashing records and logging unmatched usage metrics. To call simply a few:

Fastest rise to the top of the iOS App Store and Google Play store
21 million active users
More day-to-day users than Twitter, more user engagement than Facebook, retention rates and profits that are twice the market average

With all this interest, it’s no surprise that companies are integrating Pokémon Go into their marketing efforts. To comprehend the marketing potential behind the app, it assists if you know the essentials of how Pokémon Go works.

Pokémon Go uses Google Maps API and the gadget’s GPS to track the player’s movement relative to the real life. To play, users explore their neighborhoods and cities trying to find three things:


  • PokéStops– visiting these replenishes a gamer’s in-game items. Their real life corollary are public art pieces, parks, and comparable gathering areas.
  • Pokémon Gyms– players battle Pokémon here for prizes and magnificence! Much like PokéStops, gyms in the real world are represented by monoliths, museums, and other locations of cultural significance.
  • Pokémon– gamers got ta catch ’em all, and they can appear anywhere while players explore.

In regards to marketing, McDonald’s is perhaps the most prominent example as the game’s very first business sponsor. As part of the partnership, about 2,500 McDonald’s locations in Japan will become PokéStops and around 400 places will end up being Pokémon fitness centers for a minimal time– potentially drawing in the foot traffic of thousands of players (all working up their appetites searching for Pokémon).

Other businesses are doing the same– particularly ones at or near the PokéStops where gamers tend to gather. Anecdotally, I’ve seen several of the following examples:


  • Free gifts or discount rates when gamers reveal the app at checkout
  • Shop signage and social networks posts marketing distance to PokéStops, gyms, and uncommon Pokémon found on the properties
  • Companies establishing “Lure Modules” (a $.99 in-app purchase that triggers Pokémon to appear more frequently near a PokéStop for 30 minutes) on a schedule to draw in gamers after peak hours
  • Ecommerce and email marketing for products that gamers would be particularly thinking about, such as external batteries, fitness gear, travel gear, and even data strategies

Pokémon Go marketing trends are ending up being so extensive, Yelp produced a new search filter to show users businesses that have PokéStops nearby. At the same time, Placed, an area analytics company, used opt-in user data to assemble a list of companies that are the most likely to succeed from teaming up with Pokémon Go, ala McDonald’s. Chances are, Pokémon Go attract a minimum of some part for your target audience. Considering that the app’s popularity continues to grow, it’s worth thinking about how you can leverage it to engage with your customers

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