The hidden world of Augmented Reality
Some say the key to a highly-effective marketing campaign is having the ability to see through the eyes of the consumer. Marketers using Augmented Reality (AR) technology take that approach – literally.
AR merges the digital world with the physical, creating the opportunity for marketers to interact with consumers one-on-one in a unique and uniquely engaging way. It could look like a hyper-targeted ad through a smartphone camera. Or viewing information on a historical landmark that’s been augmented (pun intended) with Facebook friends’ comments using Google Goggles. Either way, AR is attracting attention – and dollars – with its ability to communicate with the constantly-connected consumer who spends more time on the phone than on the couch in front of the TV.What is AR?
It’s simpler than you think. It’s the yellow line that marks first downs on your TV during football games. It’s a digital layer of graphics or animation over real video seen on your smartphone, computer or device. And the market for AR in the United States is expected to hit $350 million in 2014.How can you use it?
Many companies, including Stella Artois, Esquire Magazine and Axe are using Augmented Reality to form relationships with their customers using GPS tracking and customer interaction. You could use a consumer’s phone to point them to your store location(s), or let them use their smartphone camera to interact with your advertisement. You could even set up an invisible pop-up store, like Airwalk did, selling 600 limited-edition shoes through their AR app. The possibilities are limitless and largely unexplored.Why should you use it?
It’s smart. AR determines your consumers’ buying patterns and locations, allowing you to create a highly customized brand experience for them, wherever they are.
It’s affordable. With an AR campaign, you’re looking at a lot more consumer interactivity at a fraction of the cost of a print ad.
It’s innovative. With the right approach and effective execution of an AR campaign, your company will be seen as innovative. Being viewed as an innovative company, especially in the technological age, is always good.
It’s emotional. AR is sensorial and engaging. The consumer has the opportunity to connect with your brand in a totally personal way. Plus, the positive personal experience keeps them coming back.
It’s effective. AR turns virtual experiences into online sales by enhancing the brand experience and visibility.
It’s the future. Right now, AR is not a primary sales driver. It’s necessary to begin including it in your marketing mix, however, because with the advent of AR glasses, traditional print and video marketing will become subtext to the layered virtual world.