How businesses may use Pokemon Go to drive their profit up

The world has gone crazy about Pokemon Go – an augmented reality game. People play the game on their mobile devices but have to move in the real world to catch Pokemons, collect goodies at Pokestops, train and fight in the Gyms.

So how can you benefit from this new trend if you own a café or a shop or run a museum, exhibition or other place of interest?

Location, Location, Location

First, the game gives you a perfect opportunity to increase pedestrian traffic to your place (hopefully you know how to convert visitors into customers).  Go online and check whether you are lucky to have a Pokestop or Gym at your place. The chances are good, since Pokemon Go locations are eventually ex-Ingress portals, which marked almost any big and small point of interest. The spot would attract both returning visitors (if you happen to be near their home or work place) and random passing-byes.

Lure Them In!

A powerful method to increase the appeal is to use Lure device at your Pokestop. Lure is a goodie which draws Pokemons to a particular location for 30 minutes. The players may recognize Lure on the map by pink flower petal falling on the spot.

How do you get Lure? First, you can pick them up at Pokestops as any other goodies, but this is a long and inefficient way. Second, you may buy them as an in-app purchase. The game shop still seems not to be available outside the U.S. or other countries where the game was officially launched, but I am sure this is just a matter of time. To the best of my knowledge, if you have an iPhone and a U.S. credit card, you can buy goodies already from anywhere in the world.

Third, you may motivate your customers to use their Lures in your location by giving them freebies and discounts – a win-win deal. Note that a Pokestop is actually an area rather than a single stop, so you can unite with your fellow business owners from the area and share the costs of Lures.









Treat Them Well!

Even if you do not have your own Pokestop or Gym, but there are some of them nearby, you may try to benefit from the traffic anyway. Place your advertising stand or billboard near the game spot or introduce special offers for the players. For example, “every player get a free cookie with any order”, “your discount increases with your level in Pokemon Go” or “anyone who catches a Pokemon in out location receives our loyalty card for free”. Cafés and restaurants may even invent new dishes and drinks – how about Pikachu shake? (just be aware of intellectual property protection rights in your country).







Converting visitors to customers is a tricky part. Some American businesses with Pokestops have already experienced an inflow of random visitors, which resulted in zero conversion or even negative conversion, when paying customers started leaving the place because it was overcrowded with schoolchildren and students hunting for Pokemons. So making a right value offering to visitors is as important as getting these visitors to your location.

Some businesses try to prohibit playing on their premises unless a visitor buys something. Do not do this. First, you really cannot control what do people do on their phones. Second, you look like a jerk when you expel people from your place.

Track Niantic News

Niantic, the creator of the game, has already recognized huge marketing potential of business partnerships. As of now, the company is too busy trying to maintain the servers alive, but it has already announce a possibility to request a PokeStop or Gym at your business location by filling in this form.

Niantic also considers introduces sponsorship packages, in-app advertising and special branded Pokemon types which would appear only in certain locations. So watch out for the company’s announcements and use the new features to your benefit.

The Power of Social Media

You may use this Pokemon fever to your favor also online. Put some relevant content with #pokemon, #pokemongo or similar hashtags on your business page. Look at this brilliant example from Manchester NH police department.











Boast a rare Pokemon found at your location. Broadcast your Gym battles. Launch a contest on Instagram or Facebook and ask your customers to post the pictures of Pokemons caught at your museum or cafe.

Good example comes from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum staff took photos of Pokemons next to various pieces of art in the museum and blogged about it. They got mentioned in Forbes for this!

Another idea for open-air concerts, museums, libraries, etc. is to announce on your social network pages that you would launch Lures at your place at certain time. Schedule it right before a concert, a street performance or a lecture.

Do It Now!

If you have an idea of using Pokemon Go as a part of your business promotion, then do not wait, act now! The first one who implements the idea picks all the cherries. Try and test. Catch them all (customers AND Pokemons)!


  1. I'm just starting to learn about the Pokeman Go craze. I agree with the end, businesses should jump in now. No one ever knows how long something will last. It would be great to take advantage of it now.

  2. Hmm could be an interesting marketing application, but I have a feeling this is going to be a fast fad. Businesses will need to get on it quickly!

    • Elena Nemets

      My best guess that after some time only the fans would play and the public would switch to something else. 

  3. I'm not into the game, but I could see these tips benefiting businesses. 

  4. Vicki Louise

    Businesses would do well to get in quickly, I fear that the game may loose it's appeal once the players get their first months data bill!

    • Elena Nemets

      My local data package is generous, but this indeed may be a problem while travelling!

  5. I've never played but I see that many businesses are cashing in on this! It's really timely and smart. 

  6. The Pokemon Go thing is so funny. I haven't tried it but I love geocaching and it seems similar! Good article for folks wanting to capitalize on the trend!

    • Elena Nemets

      I think Pokemon Go is even more addictive than geocaching! They did a great job developing this game.

  7. I think businesses will capitalise on this definitely. Cafes, bars and pubs should make a killing if they advertise around Pokemon Go!

    • Elena Nemets

      True story! But they need to be quick, if everybody does the same thing, it stops being effective.

  8. Im having a hard time with my thoughts regarding this game. On the one hand, its great. Get out of the house, meet people, visit your town. But on the other, people are blaming the game when they walk out into traffic or fall off a cliff. I agree that if your business falls on a pokestop, take advantage of it, but I would hate for the game to  be blamed so theft or destruction of property due to the sudden influx of traffic… see, torn. 

    • Elena Nemets

      I agree, the game has its dark side. A player needs to be careful. I am glad that most stops are in parks, not near the roads.

  9. Seems interesting. Just catching on the whole Pokemon Go euforia but I love that it's not only digital.

    • Elena Nemets

      You can’t imagine! Children are going outside to the parks instead of sitting at the computer during summer vacations! I can’t believe my eyes!

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