With the announcement of Meta from social media giant, Mark Zuckerberg, it’s no surprise that there has been more talk surrounding augmented reality recently. It sounds very Science Fiction still – like flying cars and holograms. However, it’s a marketing technique that’s being cemented into reality more and more.
What is it?
Augmented reality, or AR, is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information (so high-tech!), such as visually and auditory. When it comes to marketing, this means brands can provide their customers with unique, engaging experiences that combines their real-world and virtual interactive elements.
It’s becoming a fast favourite for marketers as it’s cutting edge, high-tech, and just plain fun.
How is AR being used in marketing?
With the majority of consumers shopping taking place online, the use of augmented reality brings the browsing and try-before-you-buy aspects of shopping in real life, to online. When it comes to purchasing items like clothes, makeup, and even hair dye on the internet, there’s not a lot of room for error. Online shopping is a gamble more often than not. Consumers would rather not have the hassle of going through shipping labels and the post office to return something that doesn’t fit or that they no longer like.
It also gives brands the chance to showcase their entire range of products for a consumer to wade through, rather than not being able to see everything in a store because of stock levels. This goes especially for furniture companies. Through AR, customers can see what an item would look like in their own living space without having to imagine it in a shop.
This is nothing new when you think about it. People have been taking advantage of Google maps for years now to discover the streets of places both near and far from them. Being able to tour a place through AR that you wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise is exciting, and brands can definitely leverage this in their favour. Whether it’s a special experience, like a pop-up event, or they want the opportunity to ‘walk’ around your space, AR is a great option.
Injecting creativity in branding materials
We all thought there was no way to better the business card or the brochure, and then they’ve mostly disappeared from existence in most spaces. However, with AR, they’ve been making a comeback. With this new-fangled technology, recipients can scan the branding materials to reveal an interactive element. Once they’ve scanned it, a whole wealth of information and ways to get in contact with the brand is shown to them.
What are the benefits?
Another fabulous question!
Everyone will want to know about the brand that have implemented AR into their marketing strategy. As we said at the beginning of this, it still feels like an incredibly futuristic concept, so users will want to join in the fun. An example of this comes from Pepsi. They allowed users to access a virtual window alongside a bus station’s wall where they could see a wandering tiger and UFO’s, amongst other images you would not expect to see at a bus station.
Accessible to practically everyone
Users no longer need expensive and fancy equipment to enjoy AR, all they need is a web browser or a smart phone. Though it has not dampened the wonder of it in the slightest, in fact, it being so accessible to a brand’s audience is a positive.
Increased engagement and communication between brand and consumers
Use of AR means engaging with a brand’s content. It’s hard to resist the promise of an augmented reality with a single click – who doesn’t want to experience a different world? Or see themselves with a hair colour they’d never choose? Or how those sunglasses will look in the comfort of your own home?
If you’re using AR to create more communication with your target audience, getting to the communication method through something like augmented reality will make the task more interesting for the user. Maybe they’ve tried a few pairs of glasses and now want to know more about how the frames are made. Through AR methods, consumers no longer need to talk to someone in person and won’t need to make the trip to the shop to do so.
Using augmented reality in your marketing strategy will provide your brand with unique opportunities and experiences for your consumers to change their world.