While the majority of smartphone games these days get their revenue through in-app advertising, Pokemon Go is different, making money through mini transactions and that's it. Gamers download and play the augmented reality game for free but money can be made via in-app purchases instead. This is certainly an excellent strategy, one that's proved to be a winner in the past for other businesses.
But Nintendo and Niantec aside, how can brands actually tap into this game to make it win for them as well? Here are a few marketing tactics you could all try to get Pokemon Go working for you as well.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Sick of having people showing up on your doorstep looking for Pokemon? Sign up as an official sponsor and help bring people in to locations of your choice. If you run a franchise, this is obviously beneficial since you can send gamers off to train and battle their Pokemon characters in gyms that you've set yourself - your own sites and not your competition's.
Come up with ways to target the Pokemon-playing demographic so that you can market special offers more effectively. How, you say? Take a look at the likes of Virgin Active gym in London, which is now offering Pokemon workouts so that people can train themselves and catch characters at the same time.
It's all about lateral thinking.
How can you tie your goods and services in with Pokemon?
Interestingly, it doesn't have to be a big mention either. Even a little spin on Pokemon Go can help with publicity.
If you're lucky enough for your business to be made into a Pokestop, then you're going to see footfall increase. But you can give this a quick and easy boost by buying lures and advertising them on social media... then sit back and watch as even more people flock to your shop.
Gaming is the new norm when it comes to marketing. Pokemon Go has proven this. Take the lessons learned from this and apply it to your own brand. Get your copywriting team on board to come up with your own game.
Have fun with it. Think about what your target market will engage with. Then roll with it.
Need some inspiration?
Play around with Domino's Pizza Hero app for mobile (where people can compete against each other to make their own pizzas). Or Nike's social game Nike+ where runners can compete with friends, monitor their own progress and earn fuel points. The latter is particularly impressive since running and exercise can be a solitary activity. Yet here's Nike, making it super sociable.
Bring teams of Pokemon hunters in through your doors by offering different teams special discounts or services on different days. Just have a look to see what teams there are in your local area and start catering exclusively to them. Even after the Pokemon boom is over, they're more likely to keep coming back to your establishment.