It may be a bold statement, but no technology is going to have a greater impact on the future of marketing than augmented reality (AR). While virtual reality gets most of the attention, augmented reality will soon garner even more mainstream adoption, and business owners who understand the technological advances of AR are well positioned to get ahead of the coming shift in AR marketing.
While some may view AR as a passing fad, good for youth-oriented interactive entertainment like “Pokémon GO,” it’s an extremely viable industry with a vast amount of untapped potential. In fact, thanks to Snapchat and Instagram, which have a combined user base of over one billion active monthly users, most people experience AR without even knowing it on a daily basis in the form of filters and stickers. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that analyst projections suggest the augmented reality market size will exceed $165 billion by 2024.
For brands and business owners to truly harness the power of AR, here are some key points to be aware of:
- Smartphones are not the only option for those wanting to incorporate augmented reality applications into their daily lives. Wearable tech will play a vital role in the tsunami of AR apps. Think smartwatches, smart glasses and smart rings. As more consumers and businesses realize the potential of AR technology, expect to see more devices being used to create a bridge between realities.
- Automotive technology is a chief industry integrating AR in its forward-looking strategies. From dashboards to windshields, AR will make its way into multiple facets of transportation. For businesses in the travel, transportation and hospitality fields, augmented reality marketing can not only entice potential clientele, but also help maintain satisfaction and encourage repeat customers.
- AR technology will have a significant impact on commerce. Brands incorporating augmented reality into their customer acquisition strategies will have a huge advantage over their competitors as AR interactions will significantly affect purchases. Pointing to a product on a shelf or screen and experiencing it in augmented reality will have a notable effect on sales since consumers will have detailed information at their literal fingertips, making informed buying decision seamless.
- Augmented reality makes for a powerful add-on to traditional direct marketing initiatives. The ability to integrate additional information into everything from coupons to mobile-accessible vouchers means businesses have another opportunity to connect with customers on multiple levels. It is no longer enough to think of consumer outreach regarding social media marketing, content marketing and direct mail marketing. As augmented reality explodes in popularity, brands will need to have a clear AR marketing strategy too.
- The combination of mobile gaming and AR marketing is ideal for businesses wanting increased engagement. Incorporating augmented reality into a website will turbocharge time-on-site rates, thus drastically improving SEO. Integrating gamification and AR into websites will also lead to improved search engine results page (SERP) scores.
Augmented reality marketing offers an abundance of creative opportunities for brand builders savvy enough to realize its potential. From increased revenue generation and audience engagement to market share expansion, the opportunities for brand marketers using augmented reality marketing are numerous. As more AR tools become available to business owners, there will be a myriad of ways to incorporate augmented reality within a brand’s growth plan, with early-adopters reaping the rewards, leaving conservative competitors in the dust.