What is Augmented Reality marketing?

March 17, 2020

avo blog

Augmented Reality has the opportunity to be the next marketing channel in advertising. We started with display ads, PPC, Social, pragmatic, and now advertisers are looking for new channels as old ones become saturated and expensive.

As every new marketing channel AR marketing has it's skepticism. Will people use it? How will they use it? How do we set up a test campaign? These are valid questions but hopefully, after reading this you'll be ready to test Augmented Reality as a marketing channel.

What is AR?

Augmented Reality is the ability to add digital elements in consumer's physical surroundings. Simply put it allows you to see and interact with digital experiences without taking you out of your physical environment. Some easy examples are the Pokemon Go app where it put Pokemon in parks, streets, buildings, and greenways. The other popular use case so far has been Ikea where they put furniture in people's homes so they can see it before they buy it.

The Rising Trend Of AR

According to a survey, the likelihood of a successful online sales conversion is about 40% if a consumer can view the product in AR. Furthermore, the AR industry is expecting to see revenue growth of $120 billion by 2020 as technological infrastructure begins to expand globally.

The primary reason behind it is the customers’ readiness to customize and personalize their shopping experience using AR.

About 63% of customers believe that augmented reality in marketing will add great value to their shopping experience. On the flip side, traditional retail stores are likely to see a 22% decrease in customers because they lack the competitive advantage of providing an AR experience. Within the ecommerce industry, AR integrations have helped businesses reach major milestones in the last 5 years.

What's most surprising is companies with revenue between $100 million - $1 billion are already implementing AR in their strategy. As Augmented Reality continues to grow and shape up to be the next marketing strategy it's important to start testing and experimenting sooner rather than later.

How to use Augmented Reality in your marketing

If we look at AR as a whole there is only a handful of campaign formats that most marketers will be looking for.

Image recognition

3d Model

Face Filter

Here is how to use each campaign format and when it makes sense for you to implement each.

Image recognition

Image recognition is a great campaign format usually used in print. Direct mail, flyers, books, magazines, POP, tradeshow collateral, etc... pretty much all things print can be enhanced by image recognition. How it works is when the camera on your smartphone recognizes an image the camera starts playing the AR content.

For example, if you get a direct mail piece with AR you can point your camera at the mail piece having it come alive with video, buttons, call to actions to buy now and other digital information. Why it's important is because it allows marketers to tell a story in cramped spaces. Direct mail, magazines, flyers, etc... only have so much space for text and imagery but when coupled with AR it opens the door to reveal a much more powerful story.

3d Model

3d models are great for businesses that have physical products and would benefit from customers seeing their products in real life before buying. Ikea has found great success because of this. Consumers can view the navy couch in lifelike size right in their living room making sure it looks great and fits before ordering.

If your company sells any physical products 3d models would be a great campaign to create for your marketing strategy. It's important because it allows the customer to be more confident buying, increasing sales and decreasing returns. It's working so well at Houzz a marketplace for furniture has implemented over 100,000 3d models.

Face Filter

I'm using face filters as a bit of an umbrella but face filters allow customers to try products on, get creative in the camera, and share fun face filters with friends. Snapchat has gotten this campaign format down and it's not surprising millions of people engage with face filters daily. This campaign format is great for B2C companies who understand the importance of brand experience.

Face filters are some of the most powerful content because you're having customers deliver social proof of your business. They are having fun with your filter and willing to share that experience with their friends and followers.

The Takeaway:

Augmented Reality marketing with enterprise brands and slowly growing with SMB businesses. It's important to test and experiment with AR campaigns and remember not to get frustrated as this is new for everyone and people are still figuring it out.

A perfect use case is being able to combine all of the above campaign formats into one experience. For example, at AVO Insights we can use one URL (e.g. mywebsite.com) to power image recognition, 3d models, and face filters. That means one URL powers your AR campaigns making it incredibly easy to manage and measure AR within your organization.

Hopefully, this helps understand how to use AR in your marketing strategy and gives actionable advice! If you have questions, need help or want to tell us about an AR campaign, shoot us a message, we would love to connect!

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