Pokémon Go, already hailed as the most successful app of all time, has taken the marketing world by storm. Since the number of users of all ages continues to grow daily, it seems the trendy app is here to stay. A recent survey completed by SensorTower found that users are spending significantly more time on Pokémon Go than on any other social media app, including Facebook and Snapchat (which is no small feat). All of the above begs the question—what exactly makes augmented reality such a novel marketing phenomenon?
AR is a seamless fusion of the real world and the digital space.
As mobile technology has advanced, opportunities for inserting users into the digital experience have grown. While the concept of digital augmented reality has been around for decades, the use of AR for the everyday user is a more recent development. In 2013, Google released its Glass product, hoping to get more users to buy into the AR experience. However, the steep price point and glitchy interface of Google Glass left most users out in the cold, and essentially killed the product before it started. Since then, brands like Audi, Ikea, and Ray-Ban have attempted to introduce AR into their product marketing, but none of their offerings have taken off quite like Pokémon Go. While there may be many reasons for this, it’s worth taking a look at what brands can do to reach that hallowed level of marketing success.
Here are three reasons your brand should invest in augmented reality marketing:
1. Opportunities for Brand Awareness
There are myriad ways to insert your brand into the marketing equation using augmented reality. Whether via a customized app or a widely used one like Pokémon Go, augmented reality tools can significantly heighten public awareness of your brand. McDonald’s will be the first major brand to take the lead on this, sponsoring in-app advertising on Pokémon Go. Three thousand real-world McDonald’s locations will become battle locations in the game, driving customers to the store and hopefully spurring in-store sales. Small businesses have also seen a boon in business from in-app advertising on Pokémon Go, increasing foot traffic to stores that otherwise wouldn’t get much.
2. More Personal Connections With Consumers
AR is a seamless fusion of the real world and the digital space. Consumers love products they can empathize with, and it’s much easier for them to understand and internalize a brand’s message when directly interacting with a product. Correspondingly, studies have shown that users are more likely to buy a product after interacting with it in AR rather than online. For a consumer, virtually trying on makeup in a store and visualizing an item of furniture in their home could become both a fun and useful way to interact with a brand or product.
As mobile technology has advanced, opportunities for inserting users into the digital experience have grown.
3. Anytime, Anywhere
The idea behind developing an AR app is simple—capitalize on something that most people will want to use and can access anytime. In other words, creating an AR app can potentially give you access to millions of global smartphone users who are potential customers. Since apps are primarily housed on smartphones, there are myriad strategic marketing opportunities. Add in the option for location-based interactions and you have a winning marketing combination!