Augmented reality in marketing: Use cases, market trends, and adding real value

Interviewee: Paula Monteiro, Head of Marketing, Wikitude
Interviewee: Paula Monteiro, Head of Marketing, Wikitude
Listen to this interview on our podcast

This week on the How the Fxck podcast, we have a true marketing leader: Paula Monteiro.

Paula is Head of Marketing at Wikitude, which has been a leader in the augmented reality (AR) world since 2008.

Working with clients like Jim Bean, Nissan and Herbal Essences, Paula and her teamwork to build value-adding, brand-building experiences using AR.

I was lucky to grill Paula on AR, well, specifically the connection and uses for AR in marketing.

Like most people, I had only a basic understanding of AR from Pokemon Go and Instagram filters.

But, it turns out there's much, much more that you can do to connect with your customers using augmented reality.

We discussed use cases like Nissan letting customers look at the inside of their cars in the showroom, using augmented reality to project the engine and its components to their car-lover customers.

I can see the value that can come from brand storytelling with AR. Perhaps not quite yet, but I soon expect to see a more mainstream addition of AR in the marketing tool kit.

Here's the insight from this weeks interview:

Fitting augmented reality into the marketing mix

Augmented reality basics

AR connects technology to the physical world around us. It’s a digital extension of the physical world.

We can bring to life anything from the environment to machines to people.

AR has grown ever more diverse in its functionality. But marketing is the most persuasive use case that has emerged.

We are seeing a shift from gimmick functionality, like games, to applications that deliver real value to the customer–helping them to achieve specific goals.

Augmented reality is really useful for helping people get more information and more context about things they see.

Is it going to catch on?

New technologies always have scepticism. But AR is definitely here to stay.

The use cases are growing. Check out all these examples of how brands are using AR. And as they continue to do so, the skepticism will die down– if you’re sceptical, just hold on.

What’s changed in the augmented reality market? Are more companies using it in their marketing?

Since Pokemon Go proved the market, we’ve seen more and more large enterprises start using AR.

But the tech has advanced so much since then. It’s no longer just ‘location-based’, now we’ve moved on to spatially aware and computer vision-based AR.

So now your device can recognise objects, rooms, environments and images and bring them to life with content, video and 3D models.

You can now point an iPad at a machine and software will tell you how to fix it–step by step.

Using image recognition, you can point your phone at a whisky bottle and it tells you the history of the whisky. Pretty cool for whisky lovers

What are the use cases of AR in marketing?

  1. Storytelling. The last year has been brilliant for that.
  2. Product demonstration and visualisation. The Nissan app gave users an x-ray view of the cars in the showroom, giving the customer a great experience and empowering the salesman to provide a detailed description of the cars.
  3. Try before you buy. Ikea let people furnish their living room, giving a realistic look at what the furniture looks like in their home. This would also work to boost sales for fashion companies.
  4. Media. Washington Post brings stories to the readers living room.
  5. Navigation. Walmart enabled users to see a black panther walking around in the shop to promote the movie.
  6. Customer training and customer support. You could really improve your customer experience by letting them see what you see and walking them through how to use your product.

How do you measuring performance in an augmented reality product?

  1. Content access count. First and foremost, how many people access the content.
  2. Content use. Is the content engaging the customer or not, and are they completing the journey you have built for them. Did they watch the whole video? Did they visit your store to browse your products?
  3. How much time they spent in your application. The more time you keep them, the better. Jack Daniels customer’s stayed in their AR app for 5 minutes on average, watching the story of Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

How do I identify the place for AR in my marketing mix?

Firstly, you need inspiration. Make sure to checkout other brands and how they’re engaging their customers with AR, because they probably have a use case that could fit your problem.

Although you must consider that AR might not be the answer. It should always make an impact and add value, not just be for fun. That’s when AR is powerful.

It would be better to have a fitness coach in an AR mobile app, than having your customer point their phone at a fitness cereal bar and watch a boring video.

How far along is the AR industry?

Companies are now moving from proof of concept stage to actually deploying AR as part of their product and marketing strategies on a daily basis.

But, if you leave the AR bubble, there is still a lot of inflated expectations and disillusionment. People are excited about it but not yet interested in it being part of their everyday.

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