Businesses all over the world are trying to figure out how to make the most of their digital marketing campaigns. The rise of influencer marketing is quite significant, and many celebrities that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per Instagram post. However, many companies are already interested in figuring out how to use augmented reality (AR) for their future marketing and advertising campaigns. While augmented reality might not be as prevalent as some have predicted, there are still powerful corporations interested in utilizing it to their advantage.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that consumers will start purchasing products and/or services simply because they enjoyed an augmented reality commercial or advertisement of some kind. Augmented reality offers some incredible use cases in the digital marketing space, regardless of whether it’s “trendy” or not. Here are some ways that augmented reality will revolutionize the digital marketing space shortly.
One of the most incredible aspects of augmented reality is that it lets customers “try out” the product without actually purchasing it. One of the most well-known examples of using AR as a marketing tool is the fact that Ikea allows customers to actually see what products would look like in their home. Ikea - for those who don’t know - is a European multinational group that sells billions of dollars worth of furniture annually.
In fact, Ikea rolled out an app in 2017 that allows users to see what different furniture would look like in their home, thanks to augmented reality. The app was built thanks to Apple’s ARKit, a toolkit designed specifically to help develop apps with AR technology in mind. It’s easy to see how this was incredible for potential customers - as they could find out whether certain products matched the aesthetic of their home, or fit in a specific space or corner. In fact, the company claims that the app is 98% accurate, with respect to scale, lighting, texture, fabric, and many other metrics.
Fashion companies have been interested in AR technology for some time now. After all, if customers could actually “try on” clothes without trying them on; it could save larger fashion companies a significant amount of time and money. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that two of the most well-respected fashion brands in the world, Dior and Gucci, are looking to AR to increase the consumer’s sense of connection and ownership with respect to clothes. Gucci also utilized AR extensively in their 2018 “Hallucinations” campaign, as well.
Augmented reality has a tremendous amount of potential, but the truth is that it isn’t as well-known as other emerging technological trends. Specifically, 70-75% of individuals aged 16-44 are actually aware of AR as a concept. There is still work to do when it comes to awareness, but this also means that there are some concrete growth opportunities when it comes to impressing consumers and creating a buzz around brands, companies, and organizations. Regardless of who is aware or not - there is a good chance that you’ve already seen an AR ad before. There are already billions being spent on AR ads for two of the most popular social media companies in the world, Facebook and Snapchat.
We are all aware of how many pitches start with a Powerpoint presentation, and this has been the case for some time now. While there is nothing wrong with a Powerpoint presentation - what if you could actually see the product in front of you, in 360 degrees, thanks to AR technology? It’s easy to see how this might be a more effective way to sell to businesses, and could potentially revamp the way that B2B marketers operate and engage with their prospective clients.
Technology has allowed more information to be available around the world, and more information is demanded by the consumer in modern times. There are customers that want to know what exactly is in the products that they purchase, whether we are talking about a cardigan at a retail store or a salad in the local supermarket. Augmented reality can offer an information overlay that can allow consumers to learn more information about what they are purchasing, and in a more innovative manner.
In fact, AR is already being implemented in a space that you might not expect - museums. In fact, the Museum of Modern Art in New York already utilized the technology in 2018 for a Jackson Pollock gallery exhibit. In fact, AR technology was used to “remix” some of Pollock’s most famous works, for a completely new experience for the museum-goer that would not have previously been possible. This was all accomplished through an app called MomAR Gallery, and museums around the world have reportedly been interested in the technology since.
Ultimately, technology is not just about a new experience that makes a consumer feel better, even if that might be part of its intention. Technological trends often serve to offer the consumer more personalization than ever, which makes a lot of sense in an age where we filter our own pictures before we post them on Instagram, and customize our smartphones to look and sound a way that brings a bit more pleasure to our lives.
Augmented reality will be a huge force in digital marketing, even if it might not have the kind of buzzword recognition of “IoT” or “blockchain”. While there are some that might be drawn to AR because it feels as though it’s futuristic; the truth is that AR can be used for training and educational purposes, as well. An AR startup by the name of Red 6 is already figuring out ways that AR can be used to make the military more effective, for example. Augmented reality might not be limited to the world of digital marketing - but it certainly feels like it will revolutionize it. It will be interesting to see how corporations and small businesses utilize it from there.