How Can AR be Used for Marketing Today?

28 Oct 2022

Marketing strategies have been undergoing tremendous changes since more and more consumers are shifting to digital shopping. AR has been one of the most sought-after technologies by brands to boost their digital marketing endeavors. AR makes use of the limited screen space to create endless marketing and advertising opportunities. 9 out of 10 brands are planning on using AR in their campaigns, with reports suggesting ad spends of $2.4 billion by 2022 and generated revenues of $15 billion.

Why is There a Surge in AR Marketing?

In recent years, AR has advanced considerably in terms of accessibility to people's daily lives. Little did anyone anticipate that augmented reality (AR) would begin to take shape this soon when Apple CEO Tim Cook said that it will one day be as essential to our daily lives as eating three meals a day. Although the use of augmented reality in marketing is still in its infancy, some well-known companies have already set the bar high by ingeniously integrating technology into their marketing efforts. Consumers and beneficiaries need not always be aware that they are using Augmented Reality, even though brands consciously incorporate and invest in it for marketing. For instance, if there are currently around 300 million people actively using Snapchat, how many of them can actually name the technology that is at work? AR has been effortlessly building an organic familiarity with people, which is being utilized by brands to optimize their marketing games. AR has spread to various dimensions of our daily lives and this is why users confide in it to simplify their day-to-day activities; be it learning, shopping, or working. The casual approach of people towards AR substantiates the fundamental, off-hand, and at the same time effective nature of this technology which has been making it suitable for everyone, irrespective of their technical knowledge. This accounts for a major reason why AR marketing has been gaining momentum, fetching significant gains for investing companies. With AR, companies have been able to drive their marketing directly to the target audience.

What Difference Does AR Make in Marketing?

Incredible User Engagement & Popularity

By combining the digital and real, AR provides a unique sensory experience that prevents it from drowning in the sea of commonplace marketing campaigns. It evokes curiosity in its viewers and has been successful in compelling more attention from them. AR ads and marketing campaigns are relatively new and have something vibrant to offer in return for the viewers’ time. The Pepsi advertisement video that reached 4.5 million views on YouTube in less than four weeks in 2014 is an example to sight when talking about AR in marketing. The video shows how an AR device installed by the brand in a bus stand creates an illusion of different animals and objects coming out of it toward people. It became the object of everybody’s fascination in a matter of few days. Along with the popularity of its innovative campaign, Pepsi also became one of the most talked-about brands.

Increased Customer Conversion & Sales

E-commerce platforms use AR to provide buyers with an experiential shopping experience. Virtual try-on facilities and 3D displays create better impressions and also help consumers arrive at purchase decisions with more clarity. This ensures both a larger conversion rate and reduced returns and exchanges. Leading e-commerce platforms such as Sephora, Nykaa, and Purple which mainly sell cosmetics and fashion products, now allows their users to try on different shades of lipsticks or foundations to choose products that best suit them. AR mirrors which enable users to try on clothes virtually are now becoming a thing in retail shops as well.

Popular Product Launches

According to Facebook, 78% of people consider AR a fun way to interact with brands. AR still holds an element of surprise and curiosity that instigates viewers to look into what they see. Brands can put this to good use while launching a new product or campaigning for a product. Interesting AR campaigns can make brands become the talk of the town in no time. An AR avatar or fun games that come along with the product packages can help the product stand out.

Loyalty & Emotional Connection

Interactive campaigns and demonstrations help people connect to the product in a much better way. It makes the product more memorable for the users, just like how certain jingles from childhood resonate in the mind for a long time. A few years back, Coca-Cola and WWF together organized a fund-raising campaign in London for the conservation of polar bears in the Arctic. They let visitors interact with a virtual family of polar bears and the sympathy that ensued made the visitors contribute generously, which might not have happened otherwise without such impactful campaigning. Further, by providing a more sophisticated user experience, AR helps brands maintain customer loyalty. The quality of service provided will remind them about the brand in time for the next purchase as well.

Marketing in the Post-Pandemic World

The changes in lifestyle that have been brought in by the pandemic are here to stay for a long time if not forever. When people are less likely to venture outside their doors on most days of the year, marketing campaigns have to reach out to them in their preferred spaces. This is possible via email and social media marketing. Communication via a digital device often comes out cold and dry, but with AR it becomes a living, breathing experience. Back in 2020, OnePlus introduced its new smartphone with an AR filter on Instagram and did a successful job of launching it. The filter showed customers how to safely unbox the product at their houses. For both brands and customers, augmented reality has thus become a convenient and economical marketing solution.

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