Augmented Reality Benefits
Marketing strategies are aimed at ensuring a product is being ‘sold’ to the right customer, and a way of doing this is to identify a target customer base and use your product to fulfil a need and build a long term loyalty. Technology is increasingly allowing this to be done quicker, easier and smarter. The latest form of marketing that comes into this bracket is known as Augmented Reality. This delivers a persuasive message to technologically-minded customers by allowing them to take control themselves, add personalisation, create a social media identity and by making the product more accessible.
Augmented Reality (AR) is an innovative and creative medium, and a concept that has limitless potential. But after the success of Pokémon Go in 2016, AR is now being quickly developed and widely used in a number of consumer markets, particularly those whose target audience are tech-savvy, avid mobile users and social media-conscious.
A broad definition of AR is any type of visual or interactive experience that is overlaid onto what you are currently doing on your smartphone, ie. the experience is ‘augmented’ and made better by adding something. An AR app is therefore integrating the digital world with the real world, but must connect to your current environment to work. So far, the main use of AR has been in gaming, but it does open up opportunities for brands to better engage with their users and promote themselves and their products by providing an immersive and memorable experience. This allows organisations to be quicker, reactive, on-trend and to potentially tailor messages and campaigns to attract a new audience.
Promotion and advertising techniques using AR include:
Showrooms and virtual changing rooms
AR provides the ability for a user to visualise a product in their own environment, ie. a bathroom unit or a chair for the living room, even a picture decoration or a wall in a certain paint colour. Technology is advancing swiftly to allow 3D visualisation and it is safe to assume that soon pretty much any product you buy you will be able to visualise in its intended environment, or via an app you will be able to visualise yourself wearing an item of clothes or an accessory like a watch or a pair of spectacles.
An extension to the above is an app then giving you the ability to customise or personalise a product to suit your requirements or the environment you are in, which is a natural addition to online shopping.
There are new apps available that are an extension of Google Maps and offer an opportunity for brands to present themselves to users as they investigate their surroundings. So as long as an organisation is logged as a presence on the sites the information is drawn from, they will appear on the app, by category, as a suggested place to shop, eat, visit etc. effectively making a user’s desires a reality.
This is a way that AR apps can introduce new information or options to a user as they shop, either online, in print or in a physical shop. As an online experience, for example, make up brand Maybelline were able to run a campaign where users could try up to 40 different nail polish colours via an app.
AR is a tool that applies to all demographics, and it is a novelty, so marketing campaigns will have the ‘wow factor’ and the way that technology is improving there is long term potential for building a brand, getting a name known and allowing target markets to use products, use their imaginations and build that all-important loyalty.