Like many technological leaps before their “arrival,” augmented reality was once considered by most marketers to be gimmicky, not functional and engaging. But as advanced technology continues to play a larger role in most marketing strategies, many marketers are now taking advantage of augmented reality’s enormous potential for interactivity.
Augmented reality gives customers a fun and entertaining new way to engage with your campaign. Sure, the beginning phases may be marred by failed marketing experiments, but more sophisticated applications definitely have the potential to become incredible additions to any company’s marketing efforts.
“Augmented reality is still very much in the experimental bucket for most brands, and most of the implementations so far are still gimmicky,” John D. Fauller, of Snipp Interactive, Inc. recently told Mobile Marketer. “We’re starting to see more focused brand building campaigns using AR and eventually will start seeing truly utility applications using AR – that’s when you know it’s officially here to stay.”
Not surprisingly, some companies are still relying on the gimmicky aspect of AR because that is all they know, and it allows them to build their understanding of what will work best for consumers. However, more marketers are now testing different applications, finding new ways to use the technology that will lead to greater utility for the consumer. Instead of using it just to show a funny little video, brands are in search of ways to use the technology both practically and creatively.
“At its core,” Fauller says, “AR provides all types of information such as location, heading, visual, audio and acceleration data, and opens an avenue for real-time feedback. You’re starting to see a profusion of different ways in which AR can being used, and a true blurring of the lines of what actually constitutes AR – which to me is exactly what AR is about in the first place.”
Promisingly, mobile users have warmed to the idea of augmented reality, opening the door for more unique and complex applications. For example, companies with a physical product line can use augmented reality to give their customers an immersive, 360-degree buying experience.
To that end, Ikea has implemented a highly effective augmented reality campaign, allowing customers to see how pieces of furniture would look in their home.
Mobile marketing experts and industry watchers believe the holiday buying season will be especially big for AR this year and next, allowing companies to incorporate for the first time those classic holiday characters into their promotions in a more realistic and engaging way than ever before.
Are you in favor of more augmented reality in mobile marketing?