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Take Advantage of the Trend: How to Catch All the Pokémon Go Users

Posted by cirvine on July 27, 2016


There’s not much else on this entire planet more popular right now than the mobile app, Pokémon Go. Whether you’re a player or a hater, you can’t deny the facts: like the study from 7Park Data which revealed that during its first week, Pokémon Go’s daily usage was twice as high of the Facebook app on Android. As any good marketing rep knows, when something is this popular, you can’t wait for in-app advertising or sponsored content to arrive. You strike while the iron’s hot in any way you can.

Here are a few creative ways businesses are “catching all” the Pokémon Go users:

  • Yelp added a feature to let consumers find restaurants or stores that have nearby Pokéstops, where players pick up random in-game goodies.
  • Simon Property Group addressed the decrease of mall shoppers by promoting mall Pokéstops via social media. Because many players use the mall’s Wi-Fi and are often asked for their email address to do so, there’s an extra benefit of data collection.
  • The car repair chain Service King updated their billboards to read, “Let’s not meet by accident-- #DontCatchAndDrive”. 


Local businesses are also taking advantage of the app’s popularity. TWH Social, a restaurant in Kitchener, sets lures (will get into those soon) everyday at noon and 6pm, and each time a table of Pokémon hunters spends $30, they’ll set another lure! Also, if you check in on your phone at The Social and show them your caught Pokémon, they’ll give you a free bruschetta!


So let’s get into some ideas that you can possibly use for your own business.

Become a Pokéstop or Gym

This is easily the best way to get players to your business. People travel in herds to Pokéstops and Gyms to get items and battle. The problem is, Niantic isn’t accepting submissions for new Pokéstops or Gyms anymore due to the overwhelming influx of requests. For now, you’ll just have to be patient and keep an eye on the situation.

In the meantime, you can still find ways to take advantage of nearby Pokéstop or Gyms with local advertising or by providing free Wi-Fi, charging stations or other real-life items people need on their hunt (“water, anyone?”). Any way you can connect your business to a popular Pokémon locale is good.

The Lure Module

If you are one of the lucky Pokéstops out there, the easiest way to get Pokémon Go users into your store is to purchase Lure Modules for your customers. A Lure Module is a community item you can purchase in the game which attracts Pokémon to your area for 30 minutes. Unlike Incense, which can only be used by whoever dropped it, a Lure allows all nearby users to see and catch the attracted Pokémon.

Here’s the breakdown. For your money’s worth, you’re going to want to purchase the most Pokécoins at once, which is 14,500 Pokécoins for $140.00. That will buy you 21 8-packs of lures, which is 84 hours of lure-time.  This makes each hour of lure time cost about $1.67. Not bad at all.

Social Media

Another easy way to change up your marketing techniques is to use social media. Even if your business is nowhere near a Pokéstop or Gym, you still probably have Pokémon in your area. Get people excited about rare Pokémon (find a handy rare Pokémon chart here) in your area by posting a screenshot on your feed.

Or better yet, use Pokémon Go like a referral program:

  • Tell users you'll pay for their Incense in return for some screenshots of any rare Pokémon that pop up in the vicinity of your shop.
  • Have them upload the picture and tag you on social media, so that their followers know about you too.
  • Promote the fact that you're rewarding users who find rare Pokémon at your business.


You don’t have to get actively involved in Pokémon Go to attach your business to it. There are plenty of local events and gatherings that you can sponsor.  Here’s one that’s going on in London tomorrow that has already racked up a ton of sponsors.

The Breakdown:

  • Use a luring strategy to bring players to your business.
  • Create a charging station to take advantage of how the game drains battery power on user’s smart phones.
  • Promote how your business has free Wi-Fi for players to use.
  • Take your business on the road to popular Pokéstops or Gyms (great for fast food trucks).
  • Sponsor teams, events and tournaments.

Of course, in doing any of these tactics, you’re sure to run into naysayers who will inevitably point out the fact that this is all just a fad that is likely to go away soon. Although this may be true, it’s also worth noting that no marketing technique is evergreen. The best business marketers stay on top of trends and capitalize on them when they are at their peak. This one app is seeing an unprecedented amount of traffic that has rarely ever been seen before. Not only that, but when you connect with its players, you are creating a strong emotional bond with them by saying, “Hey, we’re into that too!” So even if you don’t see Pokémon Go driving sales in six months from now, the customers you make that connection with today are going to remember you tomorrow.