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Is AR a huge turning point for marketing?

April 12, 2020

AR is a turning point for Marketing

As we already mentioned in our other articles,  AR technology is going to change the way we think about marketing.

But how, and in which fields, is this going to happen? How will AR affect marketing and businesses? Let’s find it out in this article.

Employing AR technology in advertising is fairly new for small and medium businesses. Still, it is more common for big brands that are already incorporating this innovation in their marketing strategies — offering engaging experiences to their customers in a way they have never done before.

Thanks to platforms like Aryel, however, even smaller businesses (with consistently lower budgets) are going to be able to integrate AR in their communication plans — with impressive results in terms of engagement and ROI.

AR is still a relatively new tech innovation, and that’s why we have only partially explored its potential applications. However, augmented reality is currently innovating the marketing and advertising industry in several ways:

  • Providing more information about products or services, integrating them in the user’s context.
  • Trying on products before buying them.
  • Letting users interact with brands and raising awareness towards them.
  • Improving the B2B sales process, creating a dynamic sales presentation material.
  • Enhancing visual and traditional storytelling, exploiting its potential.

But why should businesses adopt this technology? The answer is clear: it generates higher engagement with brands.

Customers from younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, are willing to interact with content, not merely look at it.

As reported by The Drum, AR experiences can “lead to dwelling times of over 85 seconds, interaction rates of up to 20% and click-through rates to purchase of 33% — numbers that dwarf anything across print, online or television advertising.”

What AR brings to the table, in terms of added value, is the opportunity for brands and businesses to solve one of the main marketing problems nowadays: catching the attention of the audience and keep it longer with new types of content, more engaging than ever before.

Marketing is a broad area that incorporates different fields, such as digital marketing, on- and offline communication, and so on. Therefore, we highlighted some of the most exciting and innovative fields of application for AR technology in marketing.

AR for packaging

For industry segments in which the competition bar is set very high, it could be tough to differentiate a product from the many others on the market. Here’s where AR comes into play.

In 2019 Coca-Cola transformed their cans in a powerful AR trigger: simply put, when users point their phone’s camera at a can of Coke, they can witness one of 12 stories come to life. Coca-Cola brought the consumer experience way beyond the drink, allowing interactions with products while entertaining the users and letting them build a strong bond with the brand.

AR for print media

When you think about ROI and analytics, print media are always a pain in the neck — how could the marketing department know how many people have seen all flyers, posters, and printed media out there? The answer is easy: thanks to AR technology.

Concerning print media, AR is going to be a game-changing innovation for two reasons: first of all, because it is going to make old-school offline communication interesting again. Second because — thanks to platforms like Aryel — it allows businesses to get ROI even from flyers, posters, and every kind of offline printed advertising.

A brand that did a fantastic job in this field was Burger King, back in 2019 with the “Burn that Ad” campaign. When users launch the Burger King app and point their smartphone at its main competitors’ ads, they can enjoy an AR experience in which posters are being burned up instantly, and turned into a Burger King ad. Remember kids; Burger King takes no prisoners.

In addition to this, AR can also be interesting for what concerns brochures and catalogs, making them more appealing and enriching the reading experience with videos, audios, and much more.

AR for social media

As everyone knows, social media is all about sharing experiences, and brand-side, getting in touch with potential new consumers and catching their attention. Unfortunately, this is getting harder and harder every year, with the competition growing higher, and the users’ attention that is getting lower than ever.

AR is taking the field once more, helping brands to create engaging and interactive experiences that make a bond with users, as we — at Aryel — proved more than once on our Instagram channel.

The great innovation that Aryel brings to the table is the opportunity for everyone to integrate sophisticated AR experiences in their communication strategy, without having to write any code or to have a considerable budget to invest.

With our DIY platform, users can go directly from creating their own experiences to posting them on their social networks. Easy-peasy.

Gamification and AR

Gamification has lately become one of the most exciting marketing strategies for brands that want to stand out from the competition. With gamification, businesses can offer their customers engaging ads, by integrating game design elements into real-life contexts.

A good example of AR gamification applied to marketing is a branded treasure hunt experience. It works like a traditional hunt, in which participants look for clues to advance and eventually find the treasure, winning the game. What AR does is enhancing the whole experience, making it more interactive and up to date; this thanks also to the potential of location-based technology that exploits GPS on smartphones and tablets. In case you’ve missed it, you can find a complete list of AR types explained in this article.

AR for interactive learning

Another field in which AR can be a game-changer is interactive learning, or, more commonly, publishing businesses and the book industry.

As we already said several times in our articles, one of AR’s strong points is its ability to catch and keep audience’s attention. It requires user participation and improves cognitive functions in students and learners. According to the University of Maryland also, “students have better recall — an 8.8 percent increase — when working in immersive environments as opposed to traditional computer screens.”

AR can easily be integrated into the educational field, adding triggers on printed materials, such as books, manuals, and flashcards, making the learning experience faster, easier, and more immersive.

AR for product visualization

One of the biggest challenges in online shopping is not being able for customers to try on or see the products in a real-life context.

Thanks to AR, businesses finally have the opportunity to bring their eCommerce to life and make it more concrete for the customer.

AR allows users to virtually try on products before buying them, such as clothes, makeup, or jewelry, reducing at the same time the chances of products being returned.

The real turning point, however, regards those products which are so big and heavy, customers can’t just buy and easily send back in case they dislike them.

In such situations, AR is the perfect solution: it allows potential buyers, for example, to see a piece of furniture on a real-life scale without actually having to go to a shop. This is a big advantage when it comes to persuading buyers that your product is worth the expense.

AR for business cards

Even if they seem to be a bit old-school in the internet era, where everything is highly digitalized, there are still some occasions and cultures (like the Japanese one) where business cards are crucial in business meetings.

However, business cards do have some limitations, due to the lack of space and the small sizes: that’s why AR business cards are such an interesting innovation. Not merely because of the “wow” effect, but also because of its convenience. With an AR business card, the businessmen can make it easy for the other person to find out more about them. All they need to do is point their phone at it.

AR for product instructions

Product instructions are often dull, mistranslated, and hard to interpret. Wouldn’t video instructions be more understandable and clear than the usual black and white, stylized drawings?

Of course, they would, but how to transform printed instructions and manuals into high-performing videos? Easy to explain: with AR technology. It is effortless to add a marker in handbooks or even stickers and signals. Everything the users have to do is to scan it with a smartphone.

In this article, we explored the potential benefits of integrating AR in marketing strategies, delving into different case studies and application fields.

Of course, many of these cases deserve a more in-depth examination, since this blog post had only the aim to give a bird-eye perspective to the topic.

But no worries, we will be going to examine all these fields in the next future, so keep an eye on us, marketers! We are going to blow your mind with creative and game-changing applications of AR in marketing very soon!