Unless you’ve been fully disconnected during those last week, you cannot have missed the recent Pokemon phenomenon. With more than 20 million downloads in two weeks, we witness a real craze for these little POcKEt MONsters, reactivating 20 years of love, sending phone-clutching players into the streets to catch virtual monsters in the real world.
Beyond mere witnessing, as a tourism stakeholder you can easily benefit from this fever with very low budget. Build a small game-ification strategy for your property.
Check if you are a hotspot
The easiest way is to download the app and connect from a Google account. Launch the game and you will quickly discover the nearby Pokestops (places where players can get some useful items) and the gyms (places where virtual battles take place)
Should your property be located close to one of these virtual points of interest, first of all, communicate on it! Shake your community manager for your social presence, update your content on the inflight entertainment systems, display it on your front door…you do need to let players know that you’re a hot spot.
You can also create some special offers for Pokemon GO players and include them in your communication. This will create a positive experience for this potential guests.
Do not forget to educate your staff, enabling them to be able to answer to your new guests, and also provide them with some hints and tips.
Should you want to create social engagement, organize a contest relying on your hashtag when sharing out pictures of Pokemon caught in your vicinity, and be prepared to re-share the best pictures.
If you want to boost nearby foot traffic you can spend a fistful of dollars, just like pizza restaurant in NYC L’inizio, and buy some lures. They are items that are added to Pokestops in order to attract the pixelated creatures, and thus the swarms of players. The property owner just spent $10 in the “shop” section of the app (corresponding to 20 hours), and saw a 75%-increase of his turn over during the operation!
Finally, keep an eye on Niantic’s (the game editor) statements, since their CEO recently hinted in The New York Times that retailers will soon be able enjoy another perk: in-game advertising, allowing them to sponsor some locations.
You need to fill a dedicated form here. It is free, but be sure that Niantic will not miss new opportunities to increase their meshing, and by the way…their indirect incomes
Meantime, you can prepare some maps of the surroundings, educate your staff, and generate some social engagement for who comes to your property.
Nobody knows how long this fever will last, but for sure it generates new marketing opportunities for the tourism players. For the moment, keep in mind that for the moment players spend a daily average of 33 minutes on Pokemon GO versus only 22 minutes on Facebook and 18 on Snapchat…
The take-away of this phenomenon, is that marketing teams have to be really aware of such upcoming events, agile and reactive in order to take benefit in real-time of such opportunities.
We wish you a good tourists season!