Pokémon Go Finally Gets Augmented Reality Right
This is a little heartbreaking, but you cannot request, suggest or purchase a rare pokémon, pokéstop or pokégym — physical places players visit to collect items and complete challenges in the game — for your store location.
The groundwork for Pokémon Go's mapping was laid by another Nantic game called Ingress. Ingress players visit significant real world locations to open and control portals, and it has a function that allows players to tell Nantic what spots are interesting. It also gathered a ton of data about locations players commonly visited. That data now feeds the mapping logic used to place all this pokéstuff all over the world, and Nantic isn't taking requests to alter that at this time.
However, there is a good chance you have some sort of pokéstop near you ...
4. There Is Still a Marketing Opportunity in Pokémon Go
Many, many storefronts have Pokéstops near enough that players can access form inside the store — stops have a radius of about 50 feet, so it doesn't necessarily have to be in your store to benefit your store. A lucky few have pokégyms, which are even bigger draws. Some marketers are already taking advantage of these places.
Forbes has an interesting story about Huge Cafe in Atlanta, which actually has access to two pokéstops from inside its coffee shop. The owner spent real money in the game to buy lures, which allow those pokéstops to attract more pokémon, and Pokémon Go players. So far he's spent $50 on lure, and couldn't be happier with the investment.
Eater.com has a broader article about how restaurants in general are dealing with the influx of Pokémon players, including some good and bad habits from multiple locations.
Whether you start baiting pokéstops, add a menu item or swag for Pokémon players, or even just hang a sign saying they're welcome (or that pokémon and the bathrooms are for paying customers only), retail locations have a lot of opportunities to capitalize on this gaming trend.
5. Native Advertising Is Unexplored, but Potentially Huge
Nantic's games are generally free to play and funded through optional in-app purchases of things like the lures I mentioned above. They don't do a lot of in-game advertising, and to my knowledge Nintendo has never done in-game advertising.
But wow is there a native advertising opportunity being missed here.
The advertising could take a few forms, and they don't need to include any in-game sponsorships, which might ruin the player experience. Simply being able to apply to have a pokéstop or pokégym on your site could be a huge money maker for them and the marketers using it.
There's an even bigger opportunity in being able to pay to have a rare pokémon show up at your location. Pokémon are collectible, and the best ones are hard to find. The chance to tell people they'll be able to catch one at your grand opening, black Friday sale or other event could bring in a lot of on-demand foot traffic.
There's no guarantee Pokémon Go will continue to be a hit next year, or even next month. But the concept has been proven. We can have augmented reality experiences people actually want to experience, and they offer ample marketing opportunities.
The only question is, will you be able to catch them all?