So it’s about time we addressed the Snorlax in the room… Pokémon Go.

The Augmented Reality App has taken the world by storm, accruing over 65 million users in the USA alone, surpassing Twitter in just a week!

Marketers are quite rightly watching the phenomena unfold with intense interest, realising the opportunities for monetisation are enormous. With Nintendo making $1.8 million a day from in app purchases and business deals already, the chances for data enrichment, geo targeting and customer loyalty are as numerous as the Pokémon everyone is trying to find. And like the players, marketers really should be trying to catch them all!

How can marketers get involved?

The app is a great example of utilising social proof, with users identifying fellow Pokémon Masters out and about, and banding together to create distinct teams. You can find any number of Pokémon teams on Facebook groups already, as well as Pokémon Go events taking place in key hotspots in cities around the world.

The utilisation of trending #tags and photo posts to share locations of the rarest Pokémon is a tactic businesses should be quick to exploit, driving footfall to stores alerting players to the location of Pokémon nearby and incentivising them to make purchases while they are there!

This offer by a local pizza place is a fantastic example of how to encourage players to spend money with their business.

Pokemon Go

Another local pizza place was able to increase its revenue by 75% by using a $10 poke lure. Essentially setting a beacon on their premises to attract Pokémon and in turn attract players.

Any retail store could take advantage of an app such as this as a way to reward certain consumer behaviours, or even to entertain children and/or partners while the parents happily spend, with incentives being presented for future visits.

This type of model has seen great success in terms of lead generation and brand loyalty. Our own tool, PurePromotions, has really helped many of our clients increase and enrich their database whilst increasing engagement with their brand.

Copycat apps are sure to come to light and many retailers have been experimenting with beacon technology since the advent of passbook (now known as Wallet) on iOS with limited success. However, this kind of marketing is growing in prominence and is now being used by Waitrose (loyalty app and product reviews) and Nisa (analysis of footfall in store, average time in store etc.) to gain more insight.

Do you want to send the very best?

Taking advantage of this craze to create fresh and relevant content is a great way to maintain relevancy with email subscribers. It’s not hard to see how franchises and companies with multiple locations can drive footfall to store in conjunction with Pokémon. However, if you’re looking for some quick wins here are some examples of poke-puns that could be used to amuse your subscribers and grab their attention with that killer subject line!

“Come in store and Pikachoose a free topping!” (pizzeria)

“Work Charizard. Play Charizard” (bars and pubs…or gyms)

“Got an extra Miaowth to feed? Mewtwo for the price of one!” (restaurants)

What does the future hold?

Pokémon Go is in many ways the launch party for Augmented Reality as a legitimate marketing channel. And with the increase in wearables such as Google Glass, its influence is only set to increase.

As another weapon in the marketers’ increasing armoury, the challenge now is to make sure that all marketing channels are working in support of one other. Email as always is the linchpin here, able to support and enhance the customer experience at every point of the customer lifecycle and allowing new and exciting channels such as augmented reality to be as effective as possible.

We for one are excited to see the see how the wealth of opportunities marketers have to engage with their customers in new ways grows and develops.