Since the start of July you might have noticed an abnormally large number of kids and college students strolling around Huntsville, Texas lately and are starting to wonder what’s causing such a stir. People aren’t just wondering around to get new scenery while they text. It’s the newest game by Niantic called “Pokémon Go” and it could be putting more customers through your doors if you know how to take advantage of the opportunity.
Pokémon Go is a game designed for smart phones that encourages people to browse the real world in an attempt to catch Pokémon (virtual creatures). While you might not be in the business of selling smartphones or Pokémon merchandise, you can still benefit from the influx of people walking around town and exploring places they otherwise wouldn’t venture off to see.
Two local business have already recognized the potential of the game and have taken to social media to advertise specials that correlate with the game.
12th Street Bar, formerly known as Smokin’ Jozees, is the spot to be at if you are looking to sing karaoke in Huntsville, Texas. The atmosphere is relaxed and it’s the type of place where you wouldn’t be offended if you saw someone playing on their phone for a few minutes. It’s the kind of place you go to have find and have no worries about being judged. It’s a karaoke bar, after all!
It turns out that 12th Street Bar just so happens to be conveniently located next to a mural that got its very own Pokestop (a place in which you can replenish items needed to play the game such as Pokeballs). The bar also is in range of a gym which players of different teams must fight to control.
It didn’t take long before someone came up with the idea to incorporate the bars ideal location for Pokémon with the game itself. In mid July, the bar decided to have a competition in which the team that controlled the gym at a specific time would get a drink designed after them. Team Valor (red) took control long enough to seal the deal and that weeks special drink was the “Muscle Wing, a salt dressed citrus shooter.”
The competitions flier and photo of the new drink are some of the bars most engaged with posts and have surely brought them some extra business. The first competition was a major success for the bar and the had another competition the next week. Team Instinct won and it looks like 12th Street Bar is going to make this a weekly thing, at least for awhile.
EZ Pawn of Huntsville also realized that this was a great opportunity to get the attention of the college student body and followed suit. While offering a much simpler approach, they were still able to attract customers of the game by creating a promotion that offers 10% off anything for Team Mystic players. Surely they will change their sign to offer this deal to Team Instinct and Team Valor players in the coming weeks as not to miss the business of the red and yellow teams.
While this marketing approach wasn’t the most engaging it definitely got people talking and was even shared within a group of over 250 players on a Facebook page for Team Mystic players of Huntsville, Texas.
How Can You Apply this to Your Business?
Familiarize yourself with Pokémon Go, even just a little, and you will have enough of an understanding to offer a special discount for players. Whether you own a book store, a restaurant, or even an insurance agency, Pokémon Go is a way to create awareness for your business and draw in new customers of a demographic that you might not regularly reach.
Your campaign can be as simple as “we will give you 5% off our services if you show us your Pokedex!” Post the campaign on the social media pages of your business and you are bound to get shares and retweets.
While the initial buzz of the game has started to fade, there are many devout players still roaming the area looking to “catch ’em all” and Niantic plans on updating the game with the release of 2nd Generation Pokémon. This means you can expect another surge of pedestrians walking around town playing the game in coming months.
My name is Travis Motl and I fell in love with the internet at a young age. It didn't take long before I figured out that internet marketing is what I am passionate about and wish to do with the rest of my life.
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