Sep 2, 2016

Boost Sales by Making Your Hotel Pokémon Go Friendly

Pokémon Go is a fad, craze and passion that is crossing all boundaries and transcending generations. While users are going mad playing this enormously popular augmented reality game, there are marketers who are making all efforts to cash in on the popularity. As the game demands players to move from one location to another, hoteliers too are chasing Pokemon Go users as their potential guests and luring them with sops, discounts, free internet and more.

So, whoever thought that Pokémon Go is just a new fad that will disappear over time it is time to think again. The game franchise is popular all over the world, having made various video game platforms, and selling millions of copies since July 2016 when it was first launched.

Pokémon Go

What is Pokémon GO

Pokémon Go is a Smartphone game (available for both iOS and Android phone) which has diminished the gap between real and virtual gaming. People playing this game are the players themselves who traverse the real world to hunt and capture Pokémon (also called pocket monsters). These Pokémon are then trained to engage in battle with other players for control of the various locations in this game. The game is a similar to augmented reality wherein the digital content is layered over the real world. For instance, the fountain at the entrance of your hotel may act as an in-game landmark or Pokestop, where players can pick up items.

With more than 100 million downloads, Pokémon Go is more popular than Twitter and Tinder. The statistics suggest that this app is used 15 minutes more than average Whatsapp use per day. With so many users already playing the game and the demands and buzz around it growing, it is evident that Pokémon Go is an all out success and will continue to grow further.

How Can Hoteliers Benefit from Pokémon Go?

In order to monetize this craze, first thing you as an hotelier should do is to join Pokémon Go to determine whether your hotel has an in-game location or anywhere closer to it. If your hotel is 40 meters in the vicinity of a game landmark, it significantly increases the chances of Pokémon Go users coming through your property.

Hence, you need to understand how the game works, the poke stops, gym and lures that it has. Educate your staff about the same and explain how they can make the gaming experience more comfortable and enjoyable for the hotel guests by helping and directing any wandering Pokémon players. With Australian hotels leading, the hotel chain Mantra is already staking claim as the first hotel to be Pokémon Go friendly. Similarly, make the people aware that you allow people who play this game and they are more than welcome to access the in-game locations within your property.

Create a Caring and Courteous Ambiance for Potential Customers

Pokémon Go is a GPS based application that makes the phone battery runs out faster. Make sure the public access area for this app has electric plug points for the users to charge their phones and wi-fi access so they don’t have their data consumed. There must be enough open space for the users or players to walk around comfortably without disturbing other guests. The game uses GPS coordinates without elevation. So, there is no need to access different floors of the hotel. However, make sure the area you have dedicated for the players steers clear of pools, staircase, fountains, etc. as there have been instances of users tripping, toppling and falling while hunting for Pokémon.

Social Media Advertising

Social media has a great impact on today’s millennial generation. Encourage visiting users to spend some time finding Pokémon in the hotel rooms, sitting in the restaurant or the front desk and post these images on social media or your hotel’s website. Encourage the guests also to tag the hotel name when they post their Pokémon Go images on their social media. To keep the buzz alive, give various offers to customers, for example, 10% discount on meals if they find a Pokémon in the restaurant and post its image on the social media with hotel’s name mentioned. This will show other players that your property has a rare Pokémon, enticing them to stay with you or spend money in the restaurant, at the very least.

Lure the Customers with Lure Module, Pokestops and Gyms

One thing is for sure, in this game, “Pokestops”, “Lure Modules” and “Gyms” attracts a big deal of Pokémon players. Pokestop is a location on the map where users gather free items such as eggs, potions and PokeBalls to increase their score. If there is a Pokestop in your hotel’s vicinity, you’d see higher number of pedestrians in that area. Players can place special add-on items on Pokestops, called ‘Lure Module’. This Lure Module, once activated, attracts the Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes and gets benefited from it. Since buying these lures is as inexpensive at $0.60 for 30 minutes, you can buy lure modules for your hotel and advertise on social media or hotel’s website about hosting it every day. A lure module remains activated for 30 minutes only, so you can consider buying multiple lures in succession to create longer events.

A Gym is the second fixed location in the game, where the players can make their Pokémons battle with other players in order to take control of the gym or that location. Another way to monetize on this game is by promoting a gym battle tournament. You can organize and host a tournament in your hotel and advertise the same, offering discounts or incentives to the battle winners.

Make Your Hotel Pokémon Go Friendly

Advertise your property to be Pokémon Go friendly. You can advertise via your website and social media and put up a signboard outside the hotel to welcome players in your hotel premises. With the hype this app has created in media, declaring your hotel Pokémon Go friendly will certainly attract media coverage, which is free publicity for the hotel! You can add information about the facilities setup for Pokémon Go users, various discounts offered on playing the game and the activities involved in it, organize Gym battle and friendly Pokémon Go hunt tournaments that would definitely draw a lot of users.

Support Pokémon Go Users Visiting your Hotel

At the moment, the in-game locations are strategically placed, and the option to become one isn’t available. However, Niantic, the manufacturers of the game have announced that they are working on advertising and in-game landmarks, which will boost the infrastructure for any hotel, restaurant, café, etc to partner with the game app. Whether or not your hotel has the in-game landmark, make sure you support your guests in every which way.

Educate the hotel staff about the game and its functionality. Have a map available at the concierge showing the location of various Pokestops and Pokémon Gyms within the hotel or at the places nearby. The more locations you have in the vicinity, the more potential customers your hotel shall get. Re-share the pictures posted by Pokémon Go users on social media that have your hotel name tagged in them.

Final Call

While enjoying the very popular game, make all efforts to cash in on the hype and attract as much foot traffic as you possibly can. This app is just one of the examples that show how you can grow business with the help of technology, by taking it in your stride. So, embrace it and make the most of it before your competition does!

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