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Catch ‘Em all with this mobile marketing strategy

Have you been seeing swarms of people gathering in random locations, with their heads tilted down on their phones (yes, plural, I’ve seen some with 4 phones) and their fingers vigorously swiping? They’re not zombies that are mind-controlled by their phones (but aren’t we all?), they are just avid Pokemon Go players.

You may see that as just a group of people having some fun with a mobile game, but as a marketer, I see that as a marketing opportunity.  Given that Pokemon Go’s is time & location-sensitive, it would be considered a space-timer app based on Kaplan’s descriptions. 

According to Inc, 82% of the Pokemon Go players visit a business while on the game, 51% of them are first-timers, spending $11.30 on average. 68% of them were attracted by a Lure Module with 51% of them re-visiting the location at least twice a week. With such numbers, marketers should start to consider making use of Pokemon Go to run mobile marketing campaigns

Source: Inc

Here is how mobile marketing can be done with Pokemon Go using Kaplan’s 4 I’s framework and SMS :

1. Integrate

First, we have to integrate our marketing strategy into the Pokemon Go app. Set up a Lure Module, costs $0.99 (actual money) and lasts 30 minutes. Apply it to the location of your shop and a bunch of Pokemons will start appearing nearby, attracting all the “trainers”. You can buy & use more Lures if you want it to last longer.

Source: Android Authority

2. Individualize

Once they are within range of your shop, it will trigger an SMS. It will inform the trainers that there is a promotion going on nearby, prompting them to visit and make a purchase at your shop. 

Image result for lure on pokemon go
Source: WikiHow

3. Involve

Get the shop staff to be involved. Prepare them to engage and facilitate the redemption of promotion with ease and ensure customers are pleased. 

4. Initiate

Should the trainers find the products or the spot good, they will talk and share about it with their family and friends in & out of the Pokemon Go world. Generating word-of-mouth.

That is one way you can run a mobile marketing campaign at a low cost with Pokemon Go and be able to catch ’em all! 


What would you buy when you’re out catching Pokemons? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by: Azrin Hamdan

11 thoughts on “Catch ‘Em all with this mobile marketing strategy”

  1. Hi Azrin! I had never play Pokemon Go before, but I saw many people crowded in areas to catch the characters in the game. After reading your blog post, I had a better understanding of how Pokemon go utilise mobile marketing strategy. And with the examples, I had a better understanding of the Kaplan’s 4 I’s framework too. Indeed, it’s really important to utilise well the marketing strategy as it would bring great success to the company. Looking forward for your next post!

    1. Hi hanrui8282,

      Glad to know that I helped you discover something new. Yes, there really is a big audience on Pokemon Go which is why I think marketers should consider using it as a mobile marketing channel. Even Pokemon GO creators are realising it that they are introducing advertising in the game.

  2. Hi Azrin,
    The use of Kaplan’s for I’s are indeed quite interesting. However, the Pokemon Go app is based on the idea of a ‘freemiun’ strategy and I would like to know how does this 4 I’s actually work for a brick and mortar store instead of just any apps.

    1. Hi Alloysius, thank you for the question, appreciate the interest to find out more.

      Yes, the app uses a freemium strategy, which makes it more valuable, as more users will be on it due to the low joining cost. The 4 I’s is a framework that can be used for any kind of business or purpose that aims to do mobile marketing using social media. A brick and mortar store first have to choose their marketing objective, then decide on the many apps to use. Once those 2 are decided, it should apply the 4 I’s to generate an effective mobile marketing strategy.

      An example would be a bubble tea shop looking to run a “1 for 1 promotion” for a few hours targeting Pokemon Go players nearby. It could apply the strategy that was mentioned above. When they are playing the game near the shop, it will trigger an SMS to the players and inform them of the promotion. Some of them will take action and make a purchase and some will go a step further and share it on their social media with their family and friends.

      Let me know what you think?

  3. Hi Azrin, interesting post! Keen eye on spotting that marketers can utilize the Pokemon Go craze as a marketing opportunity, very smart. In-line with the Pokemon Go buzz, perhaps an idea would be having Pokemon-themed merchandises or having Pokemon-themed interior decorations of the shop to attract business for the locations these Pokemon trainers visit.

    1. Hello beccaraphaela, thank you! That’s a wonderful suggestion, I love it. It would further integrate the brand with Pokemon GO, making the campaign more concrete.

      Cheers for the Idea

  4. I’m curious about how local business owners could also benefit from this idea. It makes sense for ‘big businesses’ (or maybe a better way to put it is a business with knowledgeable people about this game and marketing) to use Pokemon Go to their advantage, but what about locally owned and/or locally sourced shops? I guess I’m thinking about people who are not as technologically capable or up-to-date because for millenials it seems straightforward, but for others they may not have the hardware or know how to do it.

    1. This strategy may be a bit difficult to be implemented by smaller, less tech-savvy businesses. The most important part for these small businesses would be to understand why and how it will work for them and not worry about the technical aspects. They just need to get someone to execute it for a bit of a fee. Should they have a tight budget, they can execute it themselves, it is quite simple. Here is a useful step by step article on how they can do it.

  5. Hey! Interesting post in relation to PokemonGo that you have got here. Never knew that PokemonGo could have such an impact on the marketing world to this extent! Also with lures being so cheap, I am sure that these places would not mind spending a bit just to attract customers to their shops ad it may be totally worth it with the number of people that actually play PokemonGo! Your post really made it simpler for me to understand Kaplan’s 4I’s that you talked about!:)

  6. Nice blog about using Pokemon Go in your favor to get the attention of trainers to the shop owners. I have been playing Pokemon Go since the first day it released but most people lost interest after the game wasnt innovating much. It was later Niantic added new features such as Raids into the Game that make people to go out and play again. I see alot of players these days are either in their 50s and 60s as the game itself is time and place sensitive as you mentioned above. So people who are really busy will not be able to really enjoy the game that much as they might have school and work. Do you think that the marketers should target to those audience or all age and should they market on weekends?
    Thank you for a very interesting blog!

  7. Hey Azrin, very informative read!
    After reading your post I can see why mobile marketing is so effective compared to other forms of marketing!
    While businesses leverage on a popular activity such as Pokemon Go as a marketing opportunity, perhaps my question would be on how should marketers reach out to the consumers as people involved in the Pokemon Go craze of all walks of life and different age groups?
    Looking forward to hear from you, have a good week ahead?(:

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