The world is going through a seismic shift. Covid 19 has accelerated the process of digital disruption. Now, businesses are more inclined towards revamping their legacy modules by increasing the utilization of digital tools. Augmented Reality is one such rise of technology due to the on-going pandemic. It is reshaping and redefining various industries across the globe.
AR was present in the market since the late 2000s and recently became a hot topic in the digital transformation space. Much before the crisis halt the world, Alen Paul, CEO of ImagineAR that founded the AR browser in the year 2011, provided the world with a platform to experience the power of AR. Alen joined INT. in the #DigitalSuccessDIALOGUE series for a very interesting and interactive session on educating people on how to leverage AR and drive customer engagement and revenue.
“AR is an immersive (technology) helps in creating interactive and engaging content, hence enabling one to unlock new revenue streams through mobile in the digital world.”
Today, AR is enabling brands to create the most effective and engaging campaigns for customers. Alen says we must focus on building an immersive customer experience by forming a community and engage with them through fun and gamified content. For organisations, AR must become a must-have digital tool instead of a nice-to-have digital tool.
The AR market has tremendous potential to grow from an active installed base approaching 900 million and over 8 billion revenue in 2019 to an augmented reality forecast of over 2.5 billion actively installed bases and nearly 60 billion revenue by 2024. One of the most successful AR served in gamified mode is Pokemon go. Also, Ikea, the most successful ready to assemble furniture company, provides a virtual try-before-you-buy by previewing furniture at any corner of your home.
Strategy to Drive Customer Engagement
In this ‘New Normal’ creating a meaningful ROI for brands is more critical than ever. The following points are suggested by Alen to create an effective AR strategy:
Brands Using AR
“Leverage the 5 billion mobile phones that consumers are using and stand out by building engaging AR content.”
Brands have always wanted to stand out in the marketplace. AR allows them to do so. Recently, the world is more connected with mobile devices than television. As we know, mobile is the first go-to device for browsing the required information and augmented reality is tying mobile phones with engaging and interactive content. It showcases the brand’s advancement in thinking and puts the brand image on top of the mind of the customers. Brands are focussing on building immersive customer experience and make an impactful impression in a jiffy.
Can SME invest in AR due to its price sensitivity nature?
Many AR companies are providing instant AR activation or visual markers which enables the brand to create AR content instantly. One can easily integrate the pre-built AR platform into existing mobile apps. Many companies set their pricing model in a flexible and adjusted way based on the target audience. Pandemic has put pressure on the companies to be more economical. Utilising AR has either low cost or negligible cost if they use the pre-built assets.
Companies must look for AR for cloud-based interaction as they would want to change the assets of their campaign dynamically without depending on coders. Moreover, Real-time data integration ensures that all customer interactions are tracked and measured in real-time. Customers value personalised advertising. Today AR enables advertisers to engage with customers at much deeper levels. Geolocalization advertising enables advertisers to create profitable ad campaigns based on the locations. Also, real-time data reports provide valuable marketing intelligence.
“Adoption and Education are the two most challenges faced by AR.”
Educating people about AR is crucial for its profound growth. Companies need to collaborate AR with print media, marketing collateral and social media. Retailers can create a unique brand experience by utilising AR through a gamified atmosphere. Customers can earn their way towards points, rewards and coupons. Start-ups wanting to leverage AR can start experimenting with small holiday campaigns. Companies are actively creating a community with incremental experience and engaging in a gamified manner.
Why is AR gaining popularity?
“With the new paradigm of social distancing and remote working, live streaming music concerts are the venue of choice for artists to interact and entertain fans in 2020 and beyond. By leveraging mobile AR, artists can deliver immersive activations which are shareable across social media, e-commerce, fundraising event.”
Following are the reasons for its popularity:
AR can benefit any business. Starting from edtech to pharma, AR can be leveraged in packaging, in education, to differentiate itself from other companies. AR, a digital tool used to create useful content by using real data in real-time, can be leveraged for creating campaigns. For Eg: A customer can point their mobile devices at logos, signs, buildings, products to experience engaging experiential campaigns. “Starting from creating interactive product catalogs to augmented product packaging – the options are endless.” With a small investment, AR is the most promising engaging digital tool in the upcoming future.