The Scope of Augmented Reality in Marketing
Augmented Reality is an innovative technology that enhances the way we perceive the world by generating an additional dimension that layers information in form of sensory experiences. Although augmented reality can be compared with virtual reality, there is a clear distinction between them. While virtual reality engrosses the user in a different world, augmented reality engages the user by altering one’s perception of reality to a certain extent. In other words, augmented reality assimilates digital data into real-time experience, and there is no necessity to use bulky headsets to perceive it unlike virtual reality. An early example for augmented reality can be found in watching a football match, where the yellow line highlighted the distance between the ball and first down mark.
Augmented reality is gaining popularity because of its ability to add extra dimension to the reality in terms of sounds and visuals. In fact, giants like Google have invested in Google Glass – that has developed gadgets integrated with augmented reality. This means, a new ‘dimension’ itself has been created for marketing domain. As of 2018, more than 1320 Augmented Reality start-ups have been identified that ranks with an average assessment of USD 5 million. The increasing fame of AR suggests the expanding demand for marketing. A new area in marketing termed as AR marketing has emerged which is predicted to transform into USD 117.4 billion market by 2022.
Avenues in AR Marketing
Augmented Reality itself has become a medium, which has opened doors for several marketing strategies. AR marketing is going to dominate the future arena. According to Vibrant Media, nearly 70% of the media planners and buyers seek to include AR ads into their digital marketing campaigns due to increasing demand for customer engagement, Some of the major prospects in AR marketing are listed below.
- Content Marketing – There is lot of opportunity in content development in AR, as you can upgrade or customise your existing content with the use of filters and visual stickers to suit the medium.
- Advertising – As AR is a new medium by itself, you can integrate “try before you buy” tactic in ad-campaigns. Due to the depth in interaction and immersion that AR provides, advertising can be done very differently. Imagine selling apparels, where the users can actually ‘try it on’ before they actually buy it. This also reduces the product return rate.
- App Development – If you can develop an app that incorporates AR, then your customers can engage with your brand more deeply and directly. Apps have the ability to engage the users to constantly. A good example for AR app is Pokémon Go, which has proved its success by seeing more than 100 million downloads and grossing revenue of USD 268 million within a year of its launch.
Creative Aspects for using AR in Marketing
There is no doubt that AR marketing will offer unique user experiences that was not possible previously. However, marketers are still in the process of discovering more and more methods to utilize AR for marketing effectively. Some of the potential features of AR marketing are mentioned below.
- Until now, ads were displayed only in a two dimensional interface. However, with AR technology – newer ways of displaying ads in three dimensions are possible. Also, higher pixels and display size ratio of AR technology enables more detailed presentation for ads.
- Storytelling will become more prominent. For marketers and advertisers – who are basically storytellers, connecting with the target audience and bringing them closer to the brand through AR technology is going to be an enthralling experience.
- Unlike online marketing where users go through product catalogue to purchase items, you can use AR to create virtual stores and give tours to interested customers. This will definitely increase sales rate, as AR marketing provides personalization.
- AR technology can be incorporated with social media marketing. As companies have realized the power of social media, using AR to develop creative filters, animations and user interactivity could be an add-on to increase brand value.
Things to Consider before Embracing AR
Although Augmented Reality appears to be THE technology of future, you must evaluate its pros and cons before investing in AR marketing. Not all types of businesses may be ready for it yet. Hence, it is feasible to test it repeatedly, until you are sure that it provides an appealing and pleasing experience to your audience. If you can manage to create excitement in your audience from the beginning, then it will intensify incrementally. Hence it is better to ensure that AR can be effectively utilized in different ways before investing in it. The best way to do it is to focus on user testing to know how well your audience will receive it.
To Sum it Up
Although AR marketing is still in its budding stage, it is deemed to be highly beneficial on the long run. Given that digital marketing has already proven to be successful, integrating AR technology to it is undoubtedly going to take marketing to newer heights. As digital media and smartphones are being increasingly popular among all the generations, AR marketing will succeed in dominating the world in the years to come.
A Digital leader with experience in Media and Technology domain having worked with super brands such as Times Group, Larsen & Toubro and The Manipal Group. My expertise lies in domains such as digital, digital media, media-tech, print media and broadcasting.