Now you can put your product in the hands of potential clients through technology called augmented reality. You may not know what augmented reality is, but if you watched the Super Bowl, you saw it up close. The best known example of the technology is the yellow line superimposed on the field marking the first down line. The line isn't really on the field, it is added for television viewing.
Marketers are using the technology to add digital information in the form of pictures, sounds, web content, animations and more to a real-world environment. Augmented reality is a computer generated layer over the actual world that you can only see through a computer with a webcam, smartphone or tablet with a camera. Another example you may be familiar with is the review site Yelp.com. Yelp's augmented reality technology works with your smartphone's compass and location software to show you reviewed restaurants and bar information as you move down a street. Luxury watch brands have created augmented reality applications that allow a potential customer to try on the watches at home - see example. Car companies have virtual test drives potential customers can take - see example.
Augmented reality is an innovative marketing and sales tool that may still be cost prohibitive for small businesses but imagine the possibility of your potential customer seeing themselves wearing your product or seeing your product displayed in their home while they are deciding if they should buy it. This adds better interactivity to the sales process creating a more psychological connection for the consumer.
Besides allowing a customer to feel more of a connection to a product, augmented reality has additional marketing benefits. First off, it is still relatively new so any company using this now will appear forward thinking and creative. Additionally, many augmented reality applications are personalized such as taking a picture of yourself and having it superimposed on a ski slope to promote skiing in Colorado, ski lessons or ski boots for example. That personalization will help connect the person to your product plus they may share the new image on social media sites sending your product viral.
Marketers are only just beginning to explore the possibilities of using augmented reality. According to a recent study from ABI Research, in 2010 augmented reality revenue amounted to only $21 million but is projected to generate more than $3 billion in 2016. Increase in smartphone sales and usage will help drive that number up as will innovative augmented reality marketing campaigns that allow customers to feel more engaged with a product.
If you would like more information on our marketing services, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.
David S. Buddingh is founder and partner in Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact him at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.