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Power up your digital marketing with Pokémon Go and location services

25.07.2016 - by Ric Rodriguez


Pokemon Go

Unless you’ve been living under a moonstone for the past week or so, you’ve probably noticed the success of Pokémon Go, Niantic’s latest augmented reality mobile game. It amassed nearly 26 million active players across the world in under a week after launching.

In the game, users navigate their real world surroundings to discover new types of Pokémon and add them to their roster. Time of day and location type (beach, forest, open plain, and so on) are key factors affecting which Pokémon appear and when. Niantic has also turned local landmarks into Pokéstops which, when physically approached, drop resources such as Pokéballs or Gyms. Here, players can do battle on behalf of one of the in-game factions.

Central Park photo - Wikipedia

If a business finds that its physical location has been designated a Pokéstop, embracing visits from avid players can offer great marketing opportunities. One restaurant in London has already been nailing this. There have also been some handy articles floating around with advice about how to make the most of Pokémon Go to increase footfall to shops and businesses, whether your location is or isn’t a designated Pokéstop. Check out Search Engine Journal and INC for a couple of examples.

Aside from the opportunity to engage game players in physical locations, the massive uptake of Pokémon Go has another implication that should catch the attention of digital marketers. It means many more people are walking around with their mobile phone location services turned on.

Location services, provided by smartphone GPS systems, offer a wealth of possibilities for understanding consumer behaviour, and targeting prospective customers based on the places they visit and their whereabouts at a given time.

Location is an additional layer of data that can help marketers serve the right message at the right time to consumers

Timing is a key component to successful advertising. Location based advertising lets you target consumers when and where they are best placed to engage with your campaigns. One application is using location as a factor in programmatic display advertising – for example, choosing to serve display ads for your car rental service as users browse websites or social media in or near large city airports.

Marketers can also combine location data with in-store activities or other out-of-home adverts through the use of beacons and geo-fences, to engage target consumers at key moments with offers or adverts. For example, data collected through geo-beacons could let you serve offer based advertising on social media when you know users are near one of your restaurant locations.

Another application is instore messaging. Users often conduct online searches while they’re in shops, to compare prices with other retailers. Using your own cookie data combined with real time location data, you can fire an offer to a user to encourage them to buy from you there and then, instead of going to a competitor.

Google Maps pin

Location can help marketers attribute conversions across devices

Location data can be used as part of a probabilistic attribution model to understand the different devices that belong to an individual user. This allows advertisers to identify one user across multiple devices, so they can target customers in the best way at different points in their purchase journey; and take steps to ensure no individual is overexposed to their messaging.

Location data can also help marketers understand the role each channel plays in driving conversions, empowering them to make better-informed, more strategic decisions around how to allocate ad spend.

These are just some of the ways location information can help marketers get more from their online (and offline) marketing efforts. As the world tries to catch them all, marketers can be taking the opportunity to engage customers through the added insight offered by location data.

To find out more about how using a range of different data sources can help to grow your business online, why not get in touch at

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