Augmented reality, (AR)is steadily making its way into the worlds of broadcast and marketing. Particularly for Millennials, defined as those born in the 1980s and whose lives revolve around being always connected to technology (Blackberries, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, video games, and more), AR offers a serious opportunity for marketers to reach these essential consumers. Augmented reality gives marketers the power to take the physical world and combine it with the digital world, allowing both users and brands the capability to connect even further with a product before, during and after making a purchase.
“In its simplest form,” says Vivian Rosenthal, founder of New York City-based AR start-up GoldRun, “Augmented Reality is a digital layer over the real world that you can’t see with the naked eye, but you can see with the camera on your smartphone or computer.”
Augmented reality allows us to do once unimaginable actions while interacting with the world around us. It also allows an advertiser to strategically place ads just about anywhere. As traditional revenues from television advertising begin to disintegrate, this new trillion-dollar industry is arising that mandates brands be omnipresent. I believe that within the next 10-15 years, AR will change the way the always-connected consumer shops, plays, and work.
In 2016 adults in the U.S. set new records consuming 10 hours and 39 minutes of media per day. These new technologies are exploring ways to engage and connect with consumers throughout their 17 waking hours per day. According to Citi GPS, the digital reality is quickly growing into a new trillion-dollar market with annual revenues of $692 billion expected by 2025.
Advertisers are looking at using augmented reality as part of a marketing drive in order to attract new customers as well as retaining existing ones. This means developing an in-depth knowledge about their intended customers; who they are, what they need and why they need it. That knowledge leads to understanding their browsing habits and the triggers for buying. Consumers are increasingly open to augmenting their world with offers and information, even if Google Glass came too soon. “When your emotions are high, common sense is low, so you’re more likely to spend money,” Si Brown, chief marketing officer and co-founder of augmented reality (AR) firm skingz, told the audience at WIRED Retail 2015.
The expense of pulling off an Augmented Reality campaign pales in comparison to traditional print or broadcast advertising and establishes a longer-lasting, deeper connection with your consumers via an emotional connection, which in the end turns to more repeat business and sales. Here are the real reasons to think hard about utilizing an AR campaign.
- Innovation: it’s always good to be first on the market. What AR is offering isn’t just a one-off ad campaign. This is a cutting edge approach by a destination marketing group, the first of its kind, to use augmented reality to change consumer’s perception. Whenever the industry catches on, nobody else will have been first, and whoever chose an AR advertising will be looked at as innovators.
- Inexpensive: Print advertising in magazines tends to be significantly more expensive than online or digital ads. Many large monthly magazines charge upwards of $100,000 for a four-color, full-page print ad (one time), a cost determined by CPM (or cost per thousand readers). For example, Sports Illustrated’s 2011 Swimsuit Issue (albeit a once-a-year publication) charged a base rate of $405,300 for a one-page, four-color full-page ad.
- Emotional Connection: AR takes marketing strategies to a more immediate and sensory level with customers, allowing greater interactivity in the selling and buying process. AR can create an emotional connection between what the buyer is searching for and what the product can offer. In short, it gives the product a personal feel when consumers can picture it in their own world.
- Driving Sales: At the end of the day, it comes down to ROI on any campaign. The key to developing successful AR campaigns that provide customer engagement as well as translate to sales will be ensuring that they support the local communities they’re used in while creating unforgettable experiences for the customers using them. In many ways, AR brings offline experiences to online sales by enhancing the experience and driving brand visibility. Imagine hundreds of people sharing photos of your product on their social media platforms every day!