Last week Pokémon Go launched worldwide and quickly become the most popular mobile game ever. Within three days of launch, it had more users than Twitter and more engagement than Facebook. What’s surprising a lot of businesses is they already see a boost because of this game. Whether or not a lot of Pokémon Masters are visiting your business, there is a way you can take advantage of the obsession and see benefits. After all, don’t you want to be the very best?

How Pokémon Go works

The location-based game uses the GPS system and cameras, on Androids and iPhones, to send users on a digital scavenger hunt. The phone screen displays a map of the player’s immediate surroundings. This helps users find characters featured in the game and anime franchise so that they can capture them in a limited supply of Pokeballs. Players can either make an in-app purchase or visit designated locations, known as Pokéstops, to get supplies. Players visit Pokégyms to do battle and help their team gain prestige.

Pokéstops and Gyms are superimposed on real-world landmarks. Typically they are located in places such as: historic buildings, museums, public parks, places of worship, and other points of cultural significance. In some cases, the app has caused ambitious trainers to seek out their local pizzeria or coffee shop.

Gotta catch ‘em all.

In such a short amount of time, Pokémon Go has changed the advertising game. Some businesses pay the app a fee to purchases lures or items that attract users, for their store to drive foot traffic.

At L’iniozio, a pizzeria in Long Island City, Queens, manager Sean Benedetti did just that to attract Pokémon to his establishment. “We had people come down, sit down and get a couple beers and play the Pokémon game,” Benedetti told the New York Post. As a result, business spiked by 75% over the past few days.

Other businesses are offering discounts, or other promotions, to Pokémon Go users. One Orlando business even advertised that it was a Pokégym on a billboard, to drive business. Because people can take pictures of the Pokemon they capture, businesses will then offer more incentives if users share them on social media.

As if the phenomenon wasn’t crazy enough, Hillary Clinton is hosting a campaign stop at a Pokégym. Will it be super-effective?

Prepare for Trouble

Pokémon Go will soon feature in-game advertising from sponsored locations. Since the game requires a smartphone, there’s a good chance that players will call businesses. Is it worth the investment or is Pokémon Go a flash in the pan?

One way to find out is by tracking the number of calls that come in from your advertising channels. Our white paper will help you learn more about fine tuning the effectiveness of your campaign.