Pokemon Go: Catching Fake Monsters and Making Real Money

As Pokemon Go takes the world by storm, businesses are leveraging the game into their marketing plans (if they’re wise.)

Pokemon [image source: YouTube], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Pokemon [image source: YouTube]

If you’ve recently noticed a bunch of people walking into walls, bumping into fellow pedestrians, or roaming the streets in packs wearing baseball caps with noses glued to their mobiles, you’re not alone.

Pokemon Go is swiftly taking over the globe. A whopping 5% of American Android users (roughly 6 million people) have downloaded the GPS-based game and it only launched in the US 6 days ago.

What Is It?
Pokemon Go is an App released by Nintendo that allows users to create an avatar and find Pokemon (fictional creatures that were pretty darn popular in the 90s) in real locations. The game uses GPS and animated versions of real-life maps to walk user avatars through a world filled with Pokestops (locations that give items), Gyms (locations where users can “battle” each other), and “wild” Pokemon (creatures waiting to be “caught”).

The trick to the game is that you have to actually be close to a pokestop, Gym, or “wild” Pokemon in order to interact with it. This is where the GPS connection comes in. If you’re too far away from something, you’ll be unable to interact with it in the game.

How Does This Affect Businesses?
Pokestops and Gyms are supposed to correspond to real-life landmarks and historical or tourist destinations. However, users have noticed that this isn’t always the case. Some Pokestops are pretty arbitrary businesses. And users are so keen to interact with the game that they’re looking up from the app and realizing they’re in a Dairy Queen, cinema, or art gallery.

And maybe they’re now hungry, ready to see a film, or keen to purchase some art.

Half of a sale is getting your consumer in front of the product or service you’re selling. Pokemon Go is making that easier than ever for businesses. Consumers that would normally pass on by this Dairy Queen, for example, are rushing in to grab Pokemon or items at the Pokestop.

How Can Businesses Leverage on the Trend?
Two Words: Lure Modules. There is an item in the app called a “lure module” that makes a 500 meter radius a hot-spot for Pokemon for 30 minutes. If businesses really want to attract the Pokemon Go enthusiasts to their venue, all they need to do is download the game themselves and use lure modules near the premises.

Alternatively, businesses can offer real-life monetary incentives for other users to use lure modules near their venue.

Like these guys:

And then there’s spreading the word about Pokestops, Gyms, and rare Pokemon that are naturally close to your business.

Like these guys:

Even libraries are getting in on the action:

Finally, A Friendly Reminder to Users:

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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.