As a marketer you might have heard of Augmented Reality (AR) and are curious about how to use it to create breathtaking marketing campaigns.This curiosity is well placed as the latest industry statistics, published by Hidden, show that for digital marketing campaigns augmented reality delivers on average 55,000 unique users per month with onsite dwell times averaging seven minutes 45 seconds. Or you might be one of the early adopters who are benefiting from these outcomes and are putting the technology to good use.
‘Mobile augmented reality to generate
1.4 billion downloads by 2015 as major
brands embrace the concept’
Juniper Research, Mobile augmented reality
OK, let’s get the definitions out of the way. Augmented reality is a term for a camera enhanced view of a physical real-world environment, where virtual elements are merged with the real-life scene creating a ‘mixed reality’ of virtual elements and the real world. The ‘virtual elements’, given their nature, can consist of anything. This could be 3D models, video, web information…anything. The point here is that your mind is the only boundary. Imagine pointing your smart phone’s camera down the road and in return being presented with information or data relative to nearby interest points such as shops and attractions.
How about entering a department store and having instant access to a guide to all the individual contents and a personal, virtual concierge that directs you to their location. Another example might be you sitting at home in front of your webcam, trying-on augmented luxury watches. Lastly, how about bringing a brochure or other marketing document to life and putting your product in the hands of your potential client thanks to a 3D AR experience. All this and far more is possible with augmented reality technology. (Hidden Creative Ltd)
As a marketing and sales tool, the scope for augmented reality is endless. Any sales person will tell you that the ability to put a self-demonstrating version of your product in your client’s hand is crucial, but not always possible, or is it? AR makes it possible for clients to visualize any products regardless of size or location. There is scientific evidence that shows by simply touching a product for a few seconds, an attachment is created that often leads to buying or even paying more for the item. Marketing and sales teams assisted by augmented reality are able to achieve this type of connection. This is especially powerful as research into the psychology of sales indicated that people become personally attached to a product within the first 30 seconds of contact when presented with a physical or virtual item (Hidden Creative Ltd)
Augmented reality has a place in almost every business.
It depends on how you communicate internal and external messages or reach out to your potential clients as to how you approach the use of AR.
There is nothing more conducive to a sale than putting your product or service right in the customer’s hand. The basis for the technology is to immerse the audience in the subject. Sticking to this core value will keep you on the right track when developing the idea for your experience.
The immediate uses come in many forms and are evolving quickly. (Hidden Creative Ltd)
Augmented reality is a fast growing technology and the ‘must have’ marketing tool which is helping transform the way we engage information. AR is already being used as part of marketing communication to help bring brand experiences to life; it has also been used to drive traffic to digital campaigns or as part of coupon or redemption-led sales promotion strategies.
Marketers are driving growth in AR and data from ABI Research has proven that the market for augmented reality will reach $350m (£218m) during 2014 – and that is just in the US alone. Augmented reality has undergone a period of fast growth and thea adoption of the first wave of market-based technology is now being used productively.
Recent research by Hidden Creative demonstrates just how marketers are embracing the technology. Fig below shows that events, conferences, brochures, online campaigns and pitches are the most popular uses of AR. The technology has the ability to bring to life intricate architecture and engineering designs. In these markets, putting the product in the audience’s hand is typically costly, difficult, dangerous or impossible, but not when done through augmented reality.
Marketers are also using the technology to add a visual representation of the product or service to their collateral through AR, and consumers can access richer and more immersive information via their smart devices, laptops, PCs and webcams (Hidden Creative Ltd).
INDUSTRIAL: Industrial augmented reality is improving manufacturing and production processes, along with increased efficiency and quality. For example, augmented reality can provide the means to instantly visualise and inspect components for defects or other imperfections without the need for human intervention.
COMMERCIAL: Commercially, augmented reality is already being used as a way to visually present the content of a tenders or business proposals. The construction sector is using AR to review architectural drawings in the real world environment.
EVENTS, EXHIBITIONS AND ROAD-SHOW CAMPAIGNS: Using augmented reality on large screens at events has yielded staggering results, often quadrupling the on stand dwell time. There is a massive amount of competition among exhibitors and creating an intriguing and immersive experience on your stand can draw record crowds and help build the new business pipeline.
INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION: Kiosks or screens are another way to attract the right audience and allow them to immerse themselves in your product or service. Many products are disinteresting from the outside but become very interesting once you get beyond the surface.
CONSUMER: The consumer audience is using AR to locate and visually digest information related to their wants and needs, no matter their location. People are able to obtain information and immerse themselves in an augmented experience. For example this might be a distant location (e.g. a holiday resort) or alternatively use the technology to inspect products or explore services wherever they are in the world.
POINT OF SALE: Retailers and FMCG brands are using augmented reality to bring to life point of sale. AR can be used as part of elaborate sales promotions and loyalty schemes helping drive footfall and sales at bricks and mortar outlets.
WEBSITE & DIGITAL MARKETING: With an average linger time of seven minutes, the advantages to using augmented reality on a website is obvious. Sales conversions, downloads or even total page visits increase as linger time increases. Being able to physically demonstrate your product or service conveniently over the internet will directly increase sales.
MOBILE MARKETING & M-COMMERCE: Smart phones and tablet devices are quickly becoming the new PC, and as of February 2011 more mobile devices have been sold than PCs and laptops. The expanded view and functionality that tablet devices provide make this an ideal platform for robust and immersive augmented reality experiences.