Building a PokémonGo App for Your Business

August 15, 2016

Posted by: Peter Marcum

Building a PokémonGo App for Your Business

By now you’ve certainly heard of Pokémon Go, and you’ve seen the crowds of people walking around, noses in their phones, excitedly chasing Pikachus and Charmanders across Nashville. Did you know that businesses are profiting from it?

Sure, the Pokémon Company itself — a subsidiary of Nintendo — is making money from this game, but that same technology can be used to build similar apps for businesses. To understand how you need to understand a fundamental part of the PokémonGo gameplay.

The game centers around a real world map with various locations marked as PokéStops. These locations can be local landmarks, art installations, churches, murals and certain businesses. Think of these stops as steps in a game to receive an incentive or to win a reward or engage with others who have a common interest.

When you play the game, you can see PokéStops on the map from some distance away. However, for the low cost of about $2 an hour, players can purchase lure modules to install in a stop. These modules last for 30 minutes at a time and turn the stop into a beacon. This beacon attracts both players and Pokémon to the area, as well as making it light up on the map. The original PokémonGo Platform cost millions to build—and the creators made this money back, and more, in the first week. Now, similar platforms can be built for pennies on the dollar and can be designed specifically for business purposes.  Mobile applications just went to a new level of engagement.

That’s where Pokémon-type applications for businesses come in. With this kind of technology, any business niche can build or use platforms that engage buyers within the range of their business with designed incentive or messages that engage participants using location based technology and mobile device targeting. It is a matter of creating incentives and messages for your target market, drawing in customers from around the area, and engaging them in some kind of incentive based game. There are countless examples of businesses that could do this and create significant differential, and revenue, from this kind of technology. For instance:

♦ Retail Pizza stores can create location-based mobile virtual reality games to entice people into their stores during certain times of the day. In New York City, pizza stores that used this technology and their investment in gaming modules led to a 30 percent increase in food and drink sales throughout the weekend.

♦ The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden — as well as many other museum and art gallery locations — recognize that they could lure visitors and trainers to their locations using similar mobile technologies. Reportedly over 60 percent of their visitors in one day were lured in via mobile gaming.

♦ Bars and Taverns in California have just begun to use similar mobile technologies, offering those in close proximity free drinks, mixology games. Guess the craft beer with rewards and 2 for one special as lures to come in with friends. Reports so far say that there is a 25% – 35% increase in sales and traffic.

There are many, many more examples to boot. Any business with this kind of technological capability can take advantage of 64% of American adults that own a smartphone and reach them in unique ways using just a little creativity and imagination.

There are almost as many ways to take advantage of PokémonGo type technologies as there are businesses. Some options include giving discounts to buyers, discounts to people who purchase lures for your business, or discounts to players in specific teams. Even just promoting your specially designed game gets people in and active. If you want to dig into serious marketing through Pokémon Go-type technologies, you certainly can—and should!

It is a new world in the Mobile space and it is all about location-based engagements, virtual reality, and user rewards driven by social incentives. DevDigital has examined the space and the technologies—and we are prepared to assist you if you want to “play”.

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