As well as being up-to-date with the principles of marketing, the modern day marketer also needs to be aware of the ever-evolving technological landscape and the opportunities this can bring. In recent years, digital and social marketing have led to huge changes in the way brands market themselves, but now there’s a new challenge. With today’s consumers placing less value on material items and more on memorable experiences, experiential marketing has come to the fore.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are the two immersive technologies at the forefront of today’s experiential landscape. If implemented strategically, these technologies can help brands increase the ROI of their experiential marketing efforts and strengthen brand loyalty. But how can augmented reality be used to improve the experiences of consumers, and what do marketers need to know to implement a successful AR campaign?
Augmented reality can:
1. Add digital elements to the real world
Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world (think Pokémon Go). That gives marketers the chance to create experiences users can interact with in every aspect of their lives, from education and medicine to sports and games.
2. Blur the lines of traditional advertising
AR can be used to help customers as well as sell to them. Brands can display their products or services in a new way, whether it’s clothing retailers using AR to create a virtual fitting room, or furniture stores that place virtual furniture inside real homes so consumers can see how different items look.
3. Be viewed on mobile phones
Unlike virtual reality, there are no bulky headsets to contend with. Instead, a smartphone is all the user needs to access AR applications. Although that will likely change to VR headsets and glasses in the future, it makes AR applications more accessible to current consumers.
4. Solve multiple pain points
As well as being a tool to market to consumers, AR applications can also help to support other business operations. For example, customer service can be enhanced with technicians able to demonstrate processes by overlaying instructions through AR on real-life products. This enhanced level of engagement can create brand affinity and loyalty.
5. Help brands collect information
As AR is used on an individual’s mobile device, it can also become a valuable source of consumer information. Various data tracking methods can be used to gather those all-important customer insights.
So, those are five ways AR can be used by marketers, but what do they need to know implement a successful AR campaign..?
1. The best AR experiences are useful as well as fun
As a marketing tool, ‘fun’ is not always enough to succeed. The real mission for commercial AR is to enhance the customer experience by making it easier and more convenient. To succeed, the usefulness of AR applications is key.
2. Give consumers the help they need
Depending on your sector, it’s likely some of your consumers will need a little help. When it comes to AR campaigns, make sure you provide the necessary guidance and instructions so even the less tech-savvy consumers can be part of the experience.
3. Always test the campaign
This will sound like common sense, but testing the AR experience with your target market before launch will help to ensure your campaign is a concept users understand. If it can be used easily and resonates with them then that’s an excellent start.
4. Track the interactions
As with any form of marketing, augmented reality has to deliver, whether it’s in terms of engagement or ROI. An AR campaign will not survive on hype alone. By putting some effort into the analytics, you’ll be able to prove success and sell the idea time and time again.
5. The market is growing
The global augmented reality market is growing for marketing and advertising and is now worth more than $1.09 billion. That’s twice the value of other AR applications such as gaming and education.
Now’s the time to get started
Marketers that are starting to experiment with augmented reality are stealing a march on the competition and shaping the way their brands are seen in the future. Are you ready to get started? Read more about our services, take a look at our case studies and get in touch with our team today.