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How Pokemon Go Marketing Can Boost Your Business

Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm and unless you have been staying under a rock for the last few weeks, you should know the business opportunity it presents.

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is a smartphone application, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic in partnership with GameFreak and Nintendo. In the game, players use their smartphone’s GPS capabilities to locate, capture, and train Pokemon.

Group of Pokemon Go players
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that is catching the world by storm.

Ever since its launch in 1995 for the popular handheld GameBoy, Pokemon has since seeped from the gaming world to popular culture. From the initial 151 Pokemon, it has spawned seven generations of games and various spin-offs for a total of 721 cute monsters. One such spin-off is Pokemon Go which currently includes the original 151 Pokemon.

That’s basically the reason why Pokemon Go marketing is boosting small business sales—nostalgia.

Being a Pokemon fan myself, I grew up wishing that Pokemon were real. Every eleven year old in my circle of friends wished we’d get a call from Professor Oak to give us a starter Pokemon, a Pokedex, and leave to explore the world. I wanted to travel the world raising my own Pokemon friends.

Screenshot from the original Pokemon game
Like the original games, you can catch cute monsters in Pokemon Go.

Today, the advanced technology has provided us the means to go out of our own homes and explore places that we probably would not go normally. Pokemon Go encourages users to travel across town and visit landmarks like signs, murals, local stores, and restaurants. It would be a mistake to not capitalize on this opportunity with a creative marketing campaign centered around this app.

To start, here are a few tips that you can do to start leveraging Pokemon Go marketing to boost your business.

1. Play the Pokemon Go game and catch ’em all!

I think the best way of using the Pokemon Go app to market your business is to actually play it. First of all, it’s free with optional in-app purchases so it won’t cost money. Second, it would familiarize you with all the features the game has to offer. These features are crucial if you want to form a marketing campaign using the application. Finally, it’s just plain fun to play the game and interact with patrons who do. Oh, and by the way, choose #TeamInstinct.

Cafe employees enjoying the Pokemon Go game
Catch em all!

2. Advertise your PokeStops.

In the game, players search for stations called PokeStops where they could find various resources to play the game, such as Pokeballs to catch Pokemon or potions to heal them after battle. If you’re lucky, your physical store might be chosen as a PokeStop. If not, don’t worry, there is a certain radius where players can still use the PokeStop and you’re lucky if you’re close by one.

But if that doesn’t work for you, well, tough luck. Niantic, the company that developed Pokemon Go, accepted requests for PokeStops before, but they’ve temporarily halted the submissions. They might bring this back in the future so watch out. Meanwhile, you can do other useful promotions such as…

3. Promote your store as a WiFi and charging station.

If you have WiFi and some extra electrical outlets in your cafe or restaurant, then you’re in luck. You basically have the bread and butter of Pokemon Go marketing. The game takes a lot of battery since it uses GPS and mobile data, so much so that dedicated Pokemon Trainers actually buy high capacity power banks to support their hobby.

Local business advertising Pokemon Go Pokestops
A local business promoting their PokeStops.

Let your patrons know that you offer both by putting a window cling or banner outside your physical store and advertising it on your social media. Make sure that you place them where a lot of Pokemon Go players pass by for maximum visibility.

4. Schedule a weekly lure party.

In the game, a Pokemon Lure is a device that attracts Pokemon to a PokeStop. Pokemon will appear more frequently than usual at that PokeStop. By frequently, I mean a lot. Pokemon is scarce and they only appear more often in populated areas. Lures remain the best way to catch Pokemon.

Advertise your lure party in social media and invite people to stay and catch Pokemon while comfortably enjoying the food or services on your premises. You can even create a special Pokemon themed menu during your lure party to please the fans.

Olive Garden Twitter account responding to a Pokemon Go player
Olive Garden responding to a Pokemon Go player

5. Extend your Pokemon Go marketing to social media.

Pokemon Go is generating a lot of buzz on social media. If Niantic’s rumored plans are true, then we could expect more social features from the game including battling trainers or catching legendary Pokemon. Social media would be the best channel to capitalize on. Boost your engagement with your local community by encouraging people to tag you in social media. For instance, they could take a picture of the Pokemon they found within the store premises. You could even ask them to share lure parties if you are hosting one. A simple check in on Facebook would go a long way.


Pokemon Go marketing might just be the first of many opportunities to boost local businesses. It only takes an accommodating experience from small businesses to create a great gameplay experience for fans of the franchise. It’s a simple marketing principle really. Create a great customer experience and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Now, let’s go catch that Pikachu!

Which Pokemon Go Team did you choose for your business? Tell us why #TeamInstinct is the best in the comments below!

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