Marketers that implement augmented reality (AR) in campaigns in order to get a quick hit run the danger of alienating customers and even risking the technology’s future as a powerful marketing tool, according to a new report.
The report, Unlocking Augmented Reality For Business, in association with AR specialists AdsReality, explores how marketers can use AR to build brand engagement and drive sales. It offers insights on technologies and frameworks to use when designing AR campaigns, and strategies that deliver return on investment.
According to the report, brands that see AR as an integral part of the marketing mix and plan campaigns carefully to look beyond the “experience” itself will gain credibility beyond the campaign becoming known as just another marketing gimmick.
The best AR campaigns are often those where the AR element is an extension to a bigger campaign, the report finds. For instance, the launch of first-person shooter video game Halo 5: Guardians in GAME stores, helped promote the game in stores, online and across social media with customers sharing their interactions digitally.
It also warns marketers to not get infatuated by the “sexy side” of AR, but instead think about how the data it generates can make a huge difference to how a brand plans their campaign strategies and also how it could impact the design of a store or promotions.
eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2019, AR users will top 54.4 million, accounting for 16.4% of the US population, or nearly one in five internet users. While market researcher IDC expects total spending on AR/VR products and services to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion in 2021.
“Take a look at what the technology can do (in the context of your brand) and make the most of the tools in your set. This is immersive, engaging storytelling; make the most of it,” says the report.