Getting on Board with Augmented Reality
Despite the sci-fi-sounding nature of Augmented Reality, AR is rapidly transforming into an indispensible marketing tool.
Over the last 20 years, the developing tech has allowed brands to reach their customers in unique and engaging ways, and is evolving from a digital marketing buzzword into a powerful branding necessity. The learning curve of this new innovation has been steep, however, and its impact hinges on the right kind of implementation. If you’re considering branching out into augmented reality, here are a few strategies to start you on the path to success.
Before you can begin programming an AR experience, you must decide what it is that experience is meant to accomplish.
What is the intended outcome of your AR tech within the larger scheme of your marketing campaign? Is it a tool to bring people into your brick-and-mortar stores, or to ensure they get everything they need to make a purchase from a purely digital format? Are you attempting to boost online sharing of your product via an interesting AR experience? Deciding where your intention lies is step one of a successful AR marketing campaign. Without this understanding, it’s a lot harder to design an experience that makes sense to your customers.
Focus on the User
The emerging tech is a fun new toy, but it should only be employed if it can appeal to your customers in a real and useful way.
It’s not called an AR “experience” for nothing-- your programming needs to offer people something tangible that will overcome behavioral barriers and fulfill people’s category drivers. Consider brands like Topology Eyewear, whose AR allows its customers to virtually try on glasses before making a purchase. Unlike previous similar schemes from eyewear companies which simply transposed glasses over a static picture of your face, Topology’s tech creates a 3D scan of your head-- this allows them to show you side views in addition to forward views, account for any asymmetry, and adjust the fit of the glasses you order. This kind of experience immediately hooks users, who can now have a nearly in-person experience without actually having to visit a store and try on pair after pair of glasses. Scanning shoes, cars, food products, etc. and seeing relevant details pop up immediately empowers customers to find out more about the product they’re scanning. It also boosts the reputation of a brand by providing an experience that is both easy and memorable.
Make it a Journey
Your AR experience itself is only one of the steps between a customer and their purchase.
To get people to engage with your augmented reality programming, you must first educate them about both the value of the experience and how to use it. This will deliver the content they need, and put them in the right headspace to continue down the sales pipeline. You must also consider your user’s experience post the AR section of your marketing campaign. What needs to happen after, say, an augmented reality tour of the inside of a car? Immediately following the experience with the opportunity to request a test drive will keep the purchasing process flowing. As part of a multi-step process, AR enhances the touch points in the marketing funnel, driving not only initial attraction but also ongoing engagement. In other words, the AR gets their interest-- what happens afterwards gets their attention.
The development of AR tech gives companies a powerful and cutting-edge way to reach their customers by combining digital and physical touch points. In a marketplace driven by mobile devices, brands will need to adapt to this new mode of consumer interaction. Implement augmented reality mindfully, and you will dazzle your target consumer.
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