Much has been written about the technology known as “Augmented Reality”. In speaking with clients, a common theme that comes up is how, why, and when to deploy this digital marketing tool. I suppose it might be important to begin this article with a short definition of the technology.
“Webster’s” defines it as follows: “Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera)”.
They further define the word Augmented as “having been made greater in size or value”.
OK, so let’s break that down a bit, at its essence. Augmented reality is an application that will enhance (or make greater) a real-world experience, using computer generated elements. Unlike the technology of Virtual Reality, which replaces a real-world experience with an artificial one, Augmented Reality is applied in “real-time” to actual objects and experiences. This allows the technology to “layer” other elements to provide the illusion that they’re in the same space and time.
So now that we’ve cleared up the “mystery” that seems to be synonymous with the technology, the next thing we need to discuss is the why, when, and how questions associated with using this tool to enhance your marketing efforts.
In my humble opinion, there are several do’s and don’ts that we’ll need to address, and we’ll be “deep diving” into them in future articles. But for now, here’s a quick list of things that should be considered when employing this technology in your marketing plans for 2018 and beyond:
What is the “purpose”? – That is, how will the technology be used to provide value to the information that’s being presented? In other words, AR isn’t used “because you can”. Have a plan, and have realistic expectations for the implementation, so everyone is on the same page.
Always include a “Call to Action” – any type of marketing message needs a clear and well thought out “call to action”, to direct and inspire the desired activity from your target market.
Make sure it’s “valuable” – You’re asking an audience to take an extra step of interaction when using this technology – make sure you provide engagement, relevant information, and a fun and rewarding experience.
Properly convey that this is an AR experience -- If the target audience doesn’t realize that AR interaction is possible, they won’t get the point – and won’t use it. This will keep both the audience and your company from seeing the benefits.
Don’t fear the technology – When properly used as part of a well-designed plan, Augmented Reality can be a great tool to increase interest, engagement, and branding that can lead to increased thought leadership and increased revenues.
Next time, we’ll talk a bit more about the above-mentioned specifics of using this growing and interesting technology.
If you’d like to explore how an Augmented Reality application might be used to enhance your unique business needs, or to experience a live demonstration, contact us at www.quastmedia.com and we’ll be happy to help you to discover how you can put the “power of AR” to work for you!