Although brands have been involved in augmented reality (AR) for years, 2021 is the tipping point where it becomes an integral part of the marketing strategy and creates a meaningful and emotional connection with consumers.
AR eventually grew; formerly known for tricks like facial filters on social networks, it is now a platform for building truly interactive environments, unlike virtual reality, which requires a headset to create computer-assisted stimuli. The figures tell us that the global market is expected to grow significantly from $ 13 billion this year to more than $ 67 billion by 2024. Technology is shifting from just entertainment to providing real value and usability for professionals. From marketing to immersion and experience of opportunities. What makes it the perfect time for augmented reality in the midst of a global pandemic and how can marketers use its unique resources?
Massive investments in ecosystems lay the foundation for the long-awaited traditional aspect of RA. The stacks of mobile technology from Google and Apple, ARCore and ARKit, mean that more than four billion smartphones worldwide are already compatible with AR, and Google now includes AR for mobile search. In addition, the immediate arrival of 5G will significantly increase mobile connectivity, allowing developers and content creators to use approximately 100 times the 4G bandwidth to build a new type of experimental 3D environment in which users can intuitively interact with people, objects, and information around you.
Along with these technological advances, the global context of COVID-19 inevitably changes consumer needs and behaviors, increasing the demand for virtual contactless experiences that can be achieved with AR. And in the near future, wearable technologies, like AR glasses, will also come together to drive the evolution of space even faster.
Here are four ways AR can be a game-changer for marketing in 2021:
Enabling product visualization
In a world where consumers order everything online, from clothes to cars, marketers can use augmented reality to help customers see products in an interactive and engaging way that goes far beyond a still image or a video. It can be to experience what it is like to be in a dream car, to see the AR panoramas unfolding through the virtual windshield, or to see how a jacket looks on the real buyer, without leaving the house.
Augmented reality allows consumers to explore the customization options and the unique elements that a product has to offer. Brands that use technology have up to 8 times longer stay times, as consumers have more control over their digital experiences. For example, participants in the launch of an AR smartphone can view and participate in the actual specifications and functionality of the device. AR is not only about surfing online, but it also has a real benefit in the physical world, such as helping buyers find out how and where the product was made, simply by scanning a code and then assisting them with purchases.
Education and development prepared for the future
AR offers a more advanced discovery-based form of learning. For example, students in a classroom can use virtual 3D objects to increase their understanding of certain topics. Learning concepts, such as the orbits of the solar system, can be optimized using interactive models powered by AR. In addition, AR enables the gamification of learning experiences, which helps to increase knowledge retention through puzzles and educational missions.
The learning benefits of AR extend beyond the classroom. Especially in the field of mechanics, technology can train people to perform tasks, placing the final result in the version with which the student is practicing. The implementation of AR in professional development cases has shown significant improvements in the learning, creativity, and spatial awareness curves. According to a study by National Training Laboratories, “learning by doing” increases the retention rate of learning by up to 75% compared to simply attending a seminar or class. By promoting education in understanding and experience, instead of reading and writing, AR offers huge benefits across the industry.
Updating interactive ads
The product preview, along with other AR features, can be used to deliver interactive ad experiences that really engage consumers and increase conversion by 40%. AR ad units generate much more engagement and retention time than conventional media and can breathe new life into digital ads. The real-time interaction between the user and the ad also allows advertisers to effectively evaluate and optimize the impact of their campaigns.
Advertisers have been cautiously experimenting with AR for years, but have added small elements to traditional campaigns simply to mark a topic. To get the most out of AR resources and provide real engagement, marketers must take a different strategic approach and place this innovative technology at the center of their advertising campaigns.
Superseding live events
at a time when the social distance is making live events and product launches problematic, AR can be used to create digitally engaging and emotionally charged experiences that generate buzz around a brand. AR further improves the personal experience, allowing marketers to scale events beyond the natural limits of a physical location and allows hundreds of thousands of participants from around the world to share the experience simultaneously. This will revolutionize the way the audience engages with live music and sporting events, in particular, allowing for unique forms of interaction.
By enhancing the user environment with a digital presentation layer, AR allows users to interact with players and artists in a way that is not possible with a traditional passive offline event and to be real participants rather than mere spectators. AR reduces the need for traditional physical events and paves the way for a new era of participatory, immersive, and scalable online experiences with intuitive and emotional involvement.
The perfect combination of technological evolution, advanced connectivity, and contextual conditions mean that this is the year that AR really stands out. By leveraging product visualization, interactive advertising, and engaging digital events, brands can leverage AR as a game-changer for marketing.