Technology and marketing are very similar industries in that they’re both always hungry for that “next big thing.” Whether it’s a new trend, app, social platform, invention, or a better way to structure a strategy, marketing and technology leaders are early adopters, sharing the same drive to stay ahead of the curve.
Right now, experts predict the “next big thing” is augmented reality.
What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances a real-life environment by layering three-dimensional artificial objects on top of it. An example of AR is the popular Pokémon GO app that allows users to visit real-world locations to capture computer-generated exotic monsters.
How is AR enhancing marketing campaigns?
Marketers are always seeking out better tactics to engage their target audience and boost brand awareness, and AR can help achieve both objectives in a few ways:
- AR technology can provide prospective customers with a more lifelike and realistic impression of a product or service.
- AR-focused campaigns create worlds that completely engross and engage users. Pokémon GO users, for example, can be spotted in massive crowds meandering throughout city landmarks and even private property—all in the name of “catching Pokémon.”
- At the moment, AR is still a new and unique technology, and consumers are more likely to remember an AR-focused campaign because of the limited number of brands developing them.
How are brands using AR?
The furniture, clothing and cosmetics industries have all already caught on to the potential of AR.
- Last year, cosmetics giant L’Oreal acquired AR startup ModiFace and has since developed a variety of virtual “try-on apps.” Through the different AR apps, consumers can see what they’d look like with various hairstyles, lipstick shades, and the use of other cosmetics.
- Zara, a Spanish fashion retailer, has incorporated AR displays in more than 100 stores worldwide. The technology lets customers point their smartphones at the stores’ mannequins and instantly buy any of the clothing items being modeled.
- Online furniture retailer Wayfair developed a mobile app with an AR feature that allows customers to see virtual furniture and décor in their homes at full scale. The app ultimately helps customers determine whether a piece of furniture will fit within a space before buying it.
Can your company benefit from AR?
In determining whether AR technology is right for your campaign or marketing strategy, it’s important to ask yourself, “Will this idea provide a clear value to customers and prospective customers?” and “Will that perceived value trigger action or a behavioral change?” Competitive research is also key as it will help you learn from other brands’ successes and failures.
Ultimately, use of the technology must be strategic—otherwise, it can appear gimmicky and go unused by your target audience.
Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing news and trends through BPM’s Baer Necessities email newsletter. Sign up for free today!