It's Time for Marketers to Hedge Their Bets on Augmented Reality

Once thought of as a gimmicky approach to advertising, augmented reality is rapidly taking the marketing world by storm. Previously relying on klutzy QR code use cases, augmented reality campaigns were limited to simplistic video launches from a poster or product. In 2016 and 2017, however, we have much more to look forward to.
Immersive Experiences are the Way Forward

Augmented reality is all about bringing digital objects into the “real world.” This is a little different to its cousin, virtual reality, which transports the user into a different space, serving as a distraction rather than the sought-after immersive experience so popular at marketing events today. Currently, advertisers seem to operate on a principle of consumer distraction – an approach that is rapidly becoming passé.

According to Text100, “The augmented reality apps market is expected to generate revenues in excess of $3.2 billion this year.” The reason for this is simple: most SmartPhones are ready for this type of technology, making the entire development process much less of a hurdle than it would normally be. Generally speaking, augmented reality apps rely on behaviour that modern mobile phone users are completely familiar with. Watching a video, listening to a song, or taking a photo are intrinsic parts of every user’s daily life.

Consider the benefits of launching a marketing event for a range of products, attendees simply lift their phones in the motion of taking a photo and are instantly immersed in an interactive shopping experience?

Visual Search is the Next Step

“Visual search” is a subset of augmented reality allowing SmartPhone users to snap a picture of a television screen or static advertisement, instantly receiving the full range of information they would need before making a purchasing decision.

At events where immersive experiences are all the rage, screens could easily be set up to allow for an attendee’s journey of discovery. There is something infinitely more rewarding about discovering pertinent information oneself instead of being talked at or read to from a stuffy podium.

Immediately Measurable Results

One of the greatest benefits for marketers is the fact that augmented reality campaigns are immediately measurable. Some quick investigation from their desktops will show results regarding in-app camera click, the type of device used, the gender, location and time of engagement. This is the type of brand-owned insight that enables marketers to track certain behaviours that until recently have remained a somewhat “closed book”.

Essentially, with the right approach, augmented reality can turn modern marketing its head – in the best possible way, of course.