Skip to main content

How Augmented Reality is Reshaping the Landscape of Marketing

Augmented reality can enhance your marketing efforts, allowing you to create better and more effective strategies. Learn how to use AR in marketing here.

As a marketer, how do you separate yourself from a massive, diverse, and successful field of competition? How do you make your mark on the industry?

The answer usually lies in innovation. You can search high and low and find plenty of ideas. From metaverse marketing to virtual reality (VR), technology can give you an advantage.

Augmented reality (AR) technology can be beneficial when you need to market a product. It’s reshaping the entire marketing landscape, and learning more about how and why this is the case will help improve your skills.

What is augmented reality?

Before we get deep into the specifics of augmented reality and marketing, it would help to talk about augmented reality in general.

Augmented reality is a form of technology that superimposes digital components into the real world.

What does this mean?

With AR, you can use a screen to enhance the world around you. One of the most famous and early augmented reality examples was a mobile application called Pokémon GO. This app lets users view the real world on their phone screen using the device's camera. The twist is that they can also see and interact with Pokémon (make-believe creatures from the media franchise of the exact name) through the same lens. Ultimately, this enables players to "catch" Pokémon anywhere in the globe.

While that’s a specific example, AR always uses this same concept. Whether you utilize a phone screen, smart glass, or another type of viewer, AR combines virtual assets with real-world displays.

Augmented and virtual reality are often confused with another, but there are significant differences that set them apart. Whereas AR enhances the world you see through a specific device, VR allows you to enter a digital environment like the metaverse via a headset.

How to use AR technology in marketing

As an exciting technological concept, how do you mix AR with marketing?

Here are a few AR advertising examples that stand out:

QR codes

Odds are you've used a QR code at some point. You may have seen QR codes at restaurants, which enable you to scan them with your phone and pull up a digital menu. While the interaction doesn't use AR, augmented reality technology can be used to enhance this experience.

For example, you can put a QR code on a business card, advertisement, or anything else that people might interact with. The QR code then allows them to pull up a website that can superimpose digital elements with whatever they see on the screen.

What would that look like?

Imagine a billboard with a QR code. Once scanned, it can open up the AR component, which will add your virtual elements to their phone immediately. You can have a fun mascot character play around with their surroundings.

In a more useful application, you can put the QR code on a brochure, and as they read it with their phone, you can make certain elements explorable. For example, you can have an interactive map or pictures of a destination viewable while they browse the brochure.

Now, imagine how many more opportunities you have with AR when you market on social media.

Virtual trials

Virtual trials make it easier to see the value of AR.

Imagine that you have an online clothing store. People can’t try on the clothes before they buy them, and it can inhibit the digital shopping experience.

However, you can use AR to solve this problem. With AR, you can use the scaling features on a smartphone to accurately project what a clothing item would look like on someone. They can shop on their phone, use the selfie camera, and try it on virtually. This AR experience is a powerful shopping tool for consumers and businesses.

AR also allows people to see what items purchased online would look like in any setting. They can test out a new outdoor table set, wall paint, kitchen appliances, and more.

Experiential marketing

This is where creativity can really shine with AR marketing.

Remember the example about Pokémon Go?

What if you could make a simple AR app that's fun for users as a way to promote a product or service? It’s a digital marketing tool with incredible engagement, offering a unique augmented reality experience to everyone who interacts with it.

If you don’t want to create a game, you could make a digital band play music or cartoon characters dance around—the possibilities are endless.

What are the advantages of using augmented reality marketing?

AR in marketing can bend the mind when you first dive into it, but is it really helpful? Do augmented reality marketing campaigns offer anything that you can’t get from traditional marketing?

The answer to those questions can be complicated, so let’s explore 3 specific advantages of augmented reality in marketing.

Generating buzz

One of the primary reasons to use AR marketing is to generate buzz.

An AR marketing strategy can draw attention to your business and products or services, which is beneficial for attracting new customers or launching a new product. Plus, AR technology often makes campaigns more entertaining.

The point is to get people thinking and talking about your business, service, or product. You’re doing something they haven’t seen before. That’s exciting, and excitement can turn into business success.

It’s the same reason companies invest so much money into Super Bowl commercials. The exposure is part of the appeal, but generating buzz is the ultimate goal. It’s a whole subgenre of the marketing industry.

Resource efficiency

Some AR ideas help with resource efficiency. Using QR codes, you can turn a single business card into an information tool that lets customers know everything about your business.

AR can integrate with existing digital resources, so you don’t have to build your AR technology from scratch. It’s an additional way to interact with your customers, but it’s utilizing resources that you already have. You’re adding value without additional costs.

This way, you get maximum resource efficiency from your digital investments.

Customer satisfaction

Let’s return to one of our AR examples to understand this one.

If customers can try on clothes virtually, they're far less likely to purchase something that doesn’t fit or they don’t like. While this helps with resource efficiency (because you process fewer returns), it also improves customer satisfaction.

If you have 2 online stores, and one lets you try on the clothes digitally, which will you choose?

You already know the value of customer satisfaction, so this is great for your bottom line.

Outlook of augmented reality in marketing

Some of this probably sounds interesting, but is it really the future, or is it the next marketing gimmick?

The answer to that question is up to the customers, so let’s look at the data to see how they feel about AR marketing.

The easiest metric to start with is the market size. Fortune Business Insights has already calculated the total market value of AR marketing, and the numbers are surprising. AR marketing first came into existence as a concept in 2019, and the total expenditure was negligible compared to general marketing.

By 2021, AR marketing saw $9.45 billion in investments. The following year that jumped to $13.72 billion. That’s a rapid increase, and the market is expected to continue increasing.

Another metric that can bring some insights is market share. How many industries are actually using AR marketing?

The same report from Fortune Business Insights saw 12 different industries investing heavily in AR marketing. Media had the largest market share at 12.4%. That shows that a wide range of industries are investing and doing it at a similar pace.

Some of the top investing industries include gaming, automotive, retail, healthcare, education, and manufacturing, to name a few. This demonstrates that AR has universal potential in marketing and sales strategies.

Enhance your marketing strategy with augmented reality technology

Augmented reality technology can enhance your marketing in several ways. From helping build momentum during a product launch or capturing new customers at a trade show, AR is a valuable tool to use in your next campaign.

If you think AR experiences can benefit your marketing strategy, don't be afraid to experiment with different tools and programs. Research your audience to identify which experiences they may like the most and leap into augmented reality confidently.

Take your AR campaign to the next level with our suite of marketing tools. Expand your reach with targeted ads, build professional emails, and so much more. Try Mailchimp today.

Share This Article