What is Pokemon Go?

If you’ve not heard of Pokemon Go yet, where have you been?! For those that already know their Zubats from their Poliwags and are just wanting to know how it can be used for business then I suggest you skip to the next section. For those that are still confused about it and are wondering what all the fuss is about, here is a quick low down on the Pokemon Go craze.

You may have seen hordes of teenagers walking round with their heads in their phones (whats new?) in a particular location. For example in my local area, down at West Kirby prom you can often find streams of teens walking aimlessly catching as may Pokemon as they can. The reason they are down here is because West Kirby Prom is classed as a Pokemon “hot-spot” as there are lots of points of interest here for Pokemon Go users, which we will get into below.

  • Pokemon Go is an Augmented Reality (AR) game which uses GPS and Google Maps.
  • The aim of the game is to collect the Pokemon monsters that appear as you walk around (some are very common, some are very rare).
  • As well as collecting (and evolving) Pokemon you can use them to fight other real-life user’s Pokemon at places called “Gyms”. These are usually at major landmarks such as train stations.
  • There are also things called “Pokestops” where you can collect items in order to catch Pokemon and keep them healthy.

There’s a more in-depth guide on this BBC article by @thisisFoxx if you’d like to learn more.

Pokémon GO by edowoo, on FlickrImage by  edowoo 


How can Pokemon Go for marketing my local business?

Now to the main purpose of this article, how can I, as a local business owner use Pokemon Go to attract customers to my business? Before we begin it’s a good thing to consider what type of person plays Pokemon Go. Whilst you may think that its a game for kids, you’d be surprised how many adults play it (most probably won’t admit it). However you probably wont find too many of the older generation playing it. Your best bet is to take a walk and try and spot the type of person playing the game in your area, do they fit your target audience?

I’d suggest downloading a copy of the game on your smartphone and have a play with it to get to grips with the system. Then we need to familiarise ourselves with the “lure module”. The “lure module” is something you can attach to a Pokestop in order to lure Pokemon to it’s location, take a look at your map and look for the blue squares, these are Pokestops. The lure will show up on other peoples phones and they will naturally want to go there as there is a higher chance of catching a rare Pokemon. The closer they are to your front door the better, however don’t fear if there aren’t any nearby, there are still things you can do with Pokemon Go. Take a look at this list of ideas and see how they may fit your business.

  1. Use lure modules to entice customers to your location
  2. The simplest method is to place a lure module on your nearest Pokestop and watch the Pokemon hunters flood in to your area. Couple this up with a clever street sign and you can profit well. You might consider offering prizes or free items for anyone that can show you their current Pokedex. Consider your market and how your products are services may help people playing the game.

  3. Organise a Pokemon Go hunting party
  4. Use your social media platforms and local connections to organise a hunt for Pokemon, a fun way to get a group of people together and build your Pokedex together. Offer something free for joining, such as snacks or discount vouchers for your business. If your business centres around children it is a great way to keep them busy but make sure you take into account any safety precautions. Organising a hunt can be a simple as starting a Facebook event and inviting friends and their friends, make it public and allow people to invite their friends too.

  5. Show us your Pokemon
  6. Another simple method to target Pokemon Go users is to offer prizes for the best Pokemon. Run an event and encourage users to come in and show you their best Pokemon, give them a prize if theirs is better than your best or simply give a prize to whoever came in that day with the best Pokemon by encouraging them to leave their social media details or emails. The great thing about this method is that you don’t need to have a physical location for it to work as you can encourage people to message you on social media with screenshots of their best Pokemon for the chance to win.


These examples are just a few of many that may work for you.

If you have any examples of methods your own business has used or are looking to discuss some ideas with me that may work for you then please get in touch with me via email or on twitter via @PUnitt