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Pokémon: Go Market!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been swept up in the Pokémon Go craze that’s taken the mobile gaming world by storm. And before you haters out there write in to tell me about how I’m taking my life into my hands, I’m here to tell you that not only is this a good thing for everyone’s overall fitness, but it’s also a great use of augmented reality (AR)—and therefore a great opportunity for marketers.

AR has been in use for years, with many brands using it to get people to have more engaging experiences with their ads or to enhance their products with further information outside of the company website. But up until now, there hasn’t been lots of business adoption around location-based marketing.

Enter Pokémon Go. The basic premise is this: you download the app, walk around, and your phone buzzes you to tell you when you’re near a Pokémon to catch. As you wander, you are also notified when there’s a Pokéstop nearby—a place where you can restock your supply of Pokémon traps (called Pokéballs) and get other things you need to progress in the game.

For businesses who happen to also be a Pokéstop (like we are at CLM), you can expect that people will be wandering into or around your location. And with a little cash investment, you can lure Pokémon and the real-life people hunting them to your location for 30 minutes at a time. Many have then been offering those Pokémon Go trainers special deals on products, or free things with purchases, so that they’ll physically enter the store. Not a Pokéstop? Look into places nearby that are, and see if there’s a way to advertise on-site. (Flyers, posters, and sidewalk chalk advertising comes to mind.)

Rumor has it that the company, Niantic, will also soon be rolling out sponsored Pokéstops so that you can, literally, put your business on the Pokémon Go map.

Of course, there must be a demographic alignment, as with any marketing tactic. The good news is that the vast majority of Pokémon Go players are in the coveted millennial demographic, with two-thirds between the ages of 18 and 24.

So if you’re a business that thrives off of foot traffic and wants to bring in more young millennial customers, try out a Pokémon Go lure or a Pokémon-oriented promotion. You might find that this is the kind of gaming craze you can get behind.

CLM | Jul 28, 2016