Augmented reality (AR, for short) is becoming more common by the day. It gained major popularity with Pokémon GO and now many other brands use it to promote their products and services. We’ll discuss some of the possibilities for augmented reality marketing, plus where we see it heading in the future.
What is Augmented Reality Marketing?
Augmented reality marketing is a form of marketing that mixes the digital and the actual to create an interactive, immersive, more memorable consumer-brand encounter. It allows companies to personalise their brand offering and deliver a truly unique experience to their customers. This experience would simply not be possible without the existence of AR.
What is Augmented Reality Used For?
As we mentioned, it first rose to the public’s attention in 2016 with the overwhelmingly popular mobile app, Pokémon GO.
For those who don’t know, this game was essentially a location-based ‘hunting’ simulator that relied on AR and people would navigate the real world in the search for Pokémon. Occasionally, one of the creatures would appear onscreen for the player to catch. Sounds simple, but this little game brought over $7.5 billion in revenue to Nintendo’s market value after just one week in the app store. The creators certainly saw the value in AR!
Aside from games, augmented reality also has a lot of practical uses. For example, some furniture shops use it so that customers can see how a piece of furniture would look in their homes. All the customer has to do is download an app on a camera-enabled device, select their furniture, and ‘place’ it in their home. This makes the consumer feel more secure in their purchasing decision since they can actually see the item in the space. With AR, they no longer have to visualise it.
Furthermore, AR can be used to get people talking about your brand. A fantastic example of this is Burger King Brazil’s ‘Burn That Ad’ campaign. Hilariously funny and utterly genius, Burger King invites you to virtually burn their competitors’ ads in exchange for a free flame-grilled Whopper. This campaign generated massive buzz and likely brought in a lot of new business for the company.
As you can see, augmented reality has a variety of uses in marketing. You just have to be strategic.
The Future of AR in Marketing
Right now, augmented reality is a novelty and so it easily impresses consumers. However, once that novelty runs out, AR campaigns will have to deliver real value in order to be successful. With that in mind, there is a real opportunity for a range of different companies to start using this exciting new technology.
The main benefits of AR are in assisting consumers with location, size and appearance-based queries. For example, property developers could have 3D models of their off-plan homes so that prospective buyers could see the exact size, features and dimensions of their potential new home as if it were already built.
Beauty brands could hop on board by recommending products to customers based on their selfies. This could use something like skin undertones or eye colour as a basis. And for companies with hand-to-locate premises, AR could literally lead people straight to your door with map integration.
These are just a few ideas as to where AR could take us, but one thing’s for sure: It’s here to stay.