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Augmented Reality Adds Exciting Edge to Marketing

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the hottest new technologies in the marketing world. It is an enhanced version of reality created using technology to overlay digital information on an image of an object being viewed through a device, such as a smartphone camera. AR is able to engage your target audience in an unforgettable experience, and it can capture, and more importantly keep, their attention in a unique way.

The Drum recently reported, “AR can capture people’s attention for over 85 seconds, increase retention rates by 20 percent and improve click-through rates to purchase by 33 percent.”  Apple chief executive Tim Cook said, “AR will one day be as important in our everyday lives as eating three meals a day.”

Being at the AR forefront could set your company apart from the competition. The rise of AR is similar to the rise of the Internet: brands that did not embrace online commerce, websites and Internet communications were left in the dust.

Here are a few examples of industries that have embraced AR:

Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)

AR allows a restaurant to connect with guests, draw them in with a new product and create brand awareness. It can increase foot traffic as well as generate conversation around the restaurant. Restaurants can utilize AR on product packaging, create sweepstakes and games, generate excitement and repeat purchases, educate guests on ingredients, and even create virtual images on menus.

Healthcare

Medical students and professors are using AR to learn or even practice procedures, providing an engaging hands-on experience that surpasses the ordinary textbook. AR also allows the healthcare industry to offer cutting-edge amenities to patients, such as the ability to transport themselves into a medical facility before visiting.

Retail

AR has allowed the retail industry to apply a “Try before you buy” concept that lets customers sample items and creates a smoother experience for shoppers. At IKEA customers use AR to “test” over 2,000 pieces of furniture in their own home before they purchase, and Target integrates AR into its catalogs. These retailers are using AR technology as a marketing channel as well as a key brand differentiator.

Education

Educators are incorporating AR as a learning tool to generate creative ways to teach students by incorporating the technology into banner ads on their websites. This allows a potential new student to get a glimpse of the campus and campus life and amenities.

Companies utilizing AR in a marketing campaign must focus on creating value for the target audience. When done properly, consumers will drive the conversation and raise awareness of the company’s brand. While traditional mediums will continue to be important in an overall marketing strategy, AR’s influence is growing. It has the potential to generate engagement, excitement and lasting memories for consumers.

Written by Emily Bartrom, Asher Agency Senior Account Supervisor, Marketing Manager

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