Augmented Reality Marketing


Picture it! It’s Friday night and you’re scrolling through the Ikea catalogue on your smartphone. You stop at a chair that’s caught your eye several times. You love it but are not quite sure if the classic lines fit in with the room’s modern aesthetic.

With the flick of a thumb, you select the image and position the phone’s camera. Then instantly, as if by magic, the chair of your dreams virtually appears right next to your favourite bookcase. And you know what? It looks fantastic! With a few additional clicks the order is complete. Your flat-packed treasure is on its way!

Feeling extremely confident in your decision to purchase the STRANDMONW Wing Chair – light beige, you decide to celebrate with a glass of wine.  While allowing it to breathe, you become intrigued with a unique image on the unfamiliar bottle. A quick internet search leads you to the Living Wine Labels app. You focus your phone’s camera as directed and the character begins to speak. Over the next 30 seconds, you are transported to an AR version of the vineyard where you learn the story behind the brand from the winemakers, firsthand. Or, so it seems. Delighted, you immediately share a video of the experience with your followers on social media and add a few bottles of your new favourite wine to your Vivino cart.

While many still believe that augmented reality marketing experiences are nothing more than a kitschy party trick, those who dig deeper know that the real proof is in the numbers.

According to Digi Capital, revenue from mobile AR could see revenue of $85 billion to $90 billion in the next five years.

And insane revenue is only the beginning!

In reality, consumers are seamlessly interacting with products and brands via AR each and every day. And marketers? Well, the ones who leverage the technology well are reaping the rewards.

How you ask? Let’s take a look!

Engagement

It’s not surprising that immersive experiences have a more impactful effect on an audience than traditional digital ads.

In fact, blippAR reported that a recent Neuro-Insight study found that the part of the brain responsible for memory coding sees almost three times the level of activity when engaging with AR versus non-AR experiences.

Three times the level of activity? That’s pretty astounding.

But even more remarkable is the deeper emotional connection that augmented reality marketing experiences can foster between a user and brand.

In 2013, the WWF partnered with Coca-Cola to create an immersive campaign called Arctic Home.  Leveraging the beverage giant’s pre-existing relationship with polar bears in its advertising and the public’s emotional connection to these rare and endangered giants, the experience provided the opportunity for people to “interact” with a mother bear and her cubs on a slab of Arctic sea ice.

What were the engagement metrics you ask? I think that the look of wonder and excitement on the faces of participants pretty much says it all.

Content and Function – The Perfect Combo!

Content is king when it comes to digital marketing. But even the most compelling AR experiences should offer a function that the audience perceives as valuable.

Sephora’s Virtual Artist is a perfect example of augmented reality seamlessly merging content and function. The AR experience lives on the company’s online shopping app and allows users to virtually try on cosmetics before they purchase them. While the customer surveys their new look, a handy “buy” button allows them to instantly add the item to their cart. They are then prompted to move on and try a similar product. Pretty cool, right?

Whether it’s a simple online game that rewards players with a time-sensitive discount code or a complex visual experience that allows customers to interact with a product before they buy, including a functional element is a great way to ensure you get the best bang for your AR marketing buck.

Data

While the fictional “you” interacted with real-life AR apps in the story above, augmented reality technology produced high-quality engagement, collected valuable consumer behaviour data, influenced purchase intention and prompted the creation of user-generated content.

Whether executed via an in-store app at the point of purchase or through an e-commerce platform from the comfort of the customer’s home, augmented reality marketing experiences have the potential to collect next-level quality data. And all in real time.

Even better news? Data collection capabilities for emerging technologies are still in very early stages. As creators continue to expand their abilities to build markerless, GPS-based experiences and cloud-based tech continues to evolve, marketers too will benefit from an exciting new sub-set of data.

Return on Investment

While basic ROI for augmented reality marketing campaigns is measured using the calculations typically applied to traditional ad campaigns, the interactive nature of AR provides several value-added features that should not be overlooked.

Augmented reality experiences have the potential to deliver the most accurate and useful data sets for digital marketing to date as all interactions on an AR platform are measurable. In turn, that accuracy allows marketers to tweak campaigns as needed, replacing that fly by the seat of your pants guesswork with a whole new level of confidence.

And the best part? Because the data is received in real time you can even tweak the tweaks!

Good ROI? I think so!

Learning Curves and Bumps in the Road

Is augmented reality technology currently perfect? No.

In most cases, users must download an app to participate in the AR marketing experience. This can pose a barrier as some people may be reluctant to sacrifice storage on their phone for yet another limited use app.

Is it still a useful marketing tool? Heck, yes!

Unlike its more immersive big sister, virtual reality, AR only requires a smartphone and a data connection to engage with an experience.

If your augmented reality marketing experience is compelling, useful and well-supported through an integrated marketing strategy, you will discover a whole new way to engage with your brand’s audience.

Still not clear on how you can use augmented reality to boost your brand’s marketing moxie?

Contact the experts at Didjet today!

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