Why and how to use augmented reality to boost marketing efforts

Today, it takes a bit more sizzle to grab a customer’s attention.

If your company is keen to separate from the competition—and connect with a tech-savvy audience—augmented reality (AR) is certainly worth a shot.

Despite the widespread success of Pokemon Go and Snapchat, many businesses have yet to even try an AR-driven campaign—whether due to cost concerns or perceived lack of tech expertise. As long as you’re willing to experiment and learn, neither is a legitimate excuse or barrier anymore.

AR represents a gamification of the consumer experience. At a time when consumer attention is scattering and splintering as never before—with most people simply scrolling past or ignoring digital messaging—it takes more than traditional advertising to catch someone’s eye. AR gives you a chance to entertain your audience and attract them in a more interactive manner.

You might not create the next Pokemon Go, but you can certainly boost your brand by using this immersive technology.

How do businesses use AR?

Dozens of companies around the world are actively using AR to grab attention. Starbucks has used it to “bring coffee to life.” Around Christmas, the company launched “Holijoy,” an AR-centric Instagram filter, to its promote sustainability efforts.

Instagram now enables users to “shop with augmented reality.” You can try on Ray-Ban or Warby Parker sunglasses, or you might sample makeup products from Mac and Nars.

Ikea, meanwhile, continues to use AR tech that enables customers to embed “virtual furniture” into the interior of an apartment to see how certain pieces might look in their own space. Nike’s app uses AR to help users find the right shoe size (and, of course, the perfect pair of Nikes).

You might not sell sneakers or furniture, but how can you use this technology get ahead?

What awaits the AR industry?

According to Nielsen, about half of consumers (51%) say they’re ready and willing to use augmented and virtual reality technologies to evaluate products. In addition, International Data Corp. predicts the global virtual and augmented reality market will maintain annual growth of almost 70% until 2025. The masses might not be ready for AR tech straight into their eyeballs (or are they?), but this technology’s not going anywhere but up.

We’re bound to see a surge in the popularity and accessibility of mobile browser AR, and as the technology becomes more affordable, more companies are primed to take the plunge.

Beyond eye-grabbing gamification or compelling product displays, AR can support engaging, immersive employee training. However you plan to use it, it’s worth a try in your modern marketing mix.

Vladimir Stupnikov is president of iMars Communications and CEO of Sputnik marketplace.

Bringing you the latest news and information to keep you in the loop of what's happening in PR, Media and the world around us. Subscribe to our feed!

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy