10 Mar 2020 18:59 IST

Augmented reality is transforming the marketing game

Digital screen using AR to simulate furniture with wall paintings and lamps   -  istock.com/aqabiz

It has found a special spot among marketers as one of the best tools to increase brand awareness

Augmented reality (AR) is the use of technology to overlay the virtual world on to the real world. This digital advancement will help you visualise images or videos in the real world. For example, if you want to know how a particular photo frame will look in your living room, you can visualise that using the AR tools available.

Alongside, virtual reality (VR) is also slowly gaining momentum, and is often used interchangeably with AR. VR is when you teleport virtually to experience the product first-hand. AR and VR are expected to make a mark in 2020, but AR trends are well ahead of the curve and have emerged as one of the most significant digital strategies for businesses. AR is already being used by certain brands. It is expected that an increasing number of brands will adopt this technology this year. Here is why brands should leverage an AR strategy for their business.

Improved user experience

The emergence of AR has enhanced the customer experience. The ability to understand and visualise a brand or its products within a real-life scenario has enabled people to relate with brands better. A make-up brand, for example, can help users understand what different shades would look like on them by using AR technology. This will help consumers make a better-informed purchase and improve sales for the brand.

Increased brand awareness

The integration of AR is a great way to capture the attention of consumers and stand out from competitors. Since consumers are extremely likely to engage with AR tools, this technology can help companies increase their brand reach. Also, the 3D visualising of a brand and products is an additional factor that will drive customers to a company’s social media page or website.

Enhanced customer engagement

The major advantage of AR is that it allows customers to try the product before they make their decision. This has come as a boon for businesses because a customer’s purchase decision can be directly correlated to how much they engage with a brand. With engagement being one of the key metrics to measure a brand’s success on social media, AR can be a critical strategy to give your brand’s marketing strategy the edge it needs.

Relatable content

Well-known brands such as IKEA and Sephora have already leveraged AR tools. IKEA used AR to allow users to visualise the position of furniture in their homes or offices. You can also adjust the dimensions and colours to fit your desired location. This has increased relatability to the content displayed by brands. Thereby the specifications are well understood and customers are also clear about what they want. Relatability increases purchases which, in turn, pushes up the brand’s RoI.

Remove the language barrier

Driving sales and engaging with customers from diverse backgrounds have always been a challenge for all marketers. This is probably the most significant challenge in India as the pool of consumers for every brand has expanded to include consumers who speak different languages and come from different backgrounds. Vernacular content is making an impact on the audience because people are comfortable in their own language.

Reaching out to a large audience in different languages at all times can be challenging. This is where AR tools come in handy as customers experience the product themselves and know how it will look in real life. Since the tools don’t require any specific language to get started, AR can effectively break down barriers in communication and help brands engage with each of their consumers.

Understand user behaviour

Each time a user interacts with your brand, there is an opportunity to gather valuable data. This data is critical to understanding exactly who your customers are and how they engage with your brand. Since AR is one of the most powerful ways to get users to engage with your brand, it is also one of the most effective tools to gather consumer data.

Most AR platforms are connected with analytics tools that will help you understand what your users are looking for. This information is extremely important to revise the marketing and campaign strategy for businesses to perform better.

AR has found a special spot among marketers as one of the best tools to increase brand awareness and convert potential users to satisfied customers. If you still haven’t leveraged the power of augmented reality, then it is time for you to boost your brand’s marketing strategy with this innovative technology.