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Pokémon as a Marketing Strategy?
three red and black balls on a gray surface

We have all heard of Pokémon Go by now. Whether it be folks doing unusual things like, stepping into the street to catch a Pokémon or using it as a form of exercise and getting kids to enjoy the outdoors again, Pokémon has come back in a way us 90’s folks never imagined.

I recall having to go to Burger King to get the Pokéballs with the “gold” Pokémon card inside it for my little girl. I had no idea what these things were and thought the cartoon was less than entertaining. But for that year, it was a popular item for a four year-old. 

Fast forward 16 years to 2016 and Pokémon is now digital. No trips to Burger King, just trips around your local neighborhood, or favorite resort! Yes, Pokémon on vacation is a thing and the hospitality industry is using it to their advantage. 

I have actually seen Pokémon included in reviews as you can see by my screenshot. We have used Pokémon in our marketing for our various vacation destinations as well as shops and restaurants. Example, no signs of the Zika virus, but we have plenty of Pokémon and a Pokémon gym. We actually had responses such as this one, “This is great! I will get to go hunt Pokémon with my grandkids and not leave the beach. I’ll be the coolest grandma.”

Our restaurants and shops are doing what the resorts are doing but they have an added feature, due to the nature of their business, called proximity marketing. When you check-in to a hotel, free WiFi is usually the standard these days. We all want our free Wi-Fi as data is expensive. Did you know that Pokémon uses a lot of data? Customers realize this and as they are on the hunt for Pokémon, but they are also on the hunt for free WiFi. These clients are using beacons to offer Free WiFi, but are also collecting customer information, e.g. their email address and getting them to connect via social media. 

These are just a few ways that the hospitality industry is using the Pokémon trend  to their advantage. Just because we might think it’s corny, doesn’t mean your guests or other clientele won’t find it super cool. So give it a try and see what your audience thinks about Pokémon. You might even want to ask yourself, “Is my business a  Poké stop?”

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