Augmented Reality marketing might sound to you like something that some Bantha marketer might use in Star Wars and not something you can use right now, but it actually is. In fact, people are using it right now. For example, predictions are showing that the market for AR and VR could be as high as 150 billion in revenue by 2020. That’s hardly nothing or pie in the sky futurism. Augmented reality and virtual reality are upon us. So, the billion dollar question is: how do you benefit? Here are some ways that you could use augmented or virtual reality to market your business.
The Almighty Check-in
Being able to check-in on Facebook or some other social mediate site might not seem especially futuristic on the level of convincing people to buy your products with light saber battles, but it does count as augmented reality. Any program that allows you to check-in customers and a particular location is combining the virtual world, meaning social media options for example, with the physical world, meaning a brick and mortar store or other places. This is augmented reality.
Examples of software that can do this for you is 123ContactForm or AnyVite, which are both Freemium and initially free to use. The idea is to offer some special discount or other incentives if people go digitally check-in to your store during an event. You might have a sale going on, or it might correspond with a holiday. Regardless, if you can use augmented reality to get people in the door, chances are good they’ll spend some money. After all, they might as well while they’re there. It’s just human nature.
Digital Store Levels
Another great way to interact with customers and encourage buying behavior is through the use of Augmented Reality to add entirely new digital levels to stores. For example, you could have it so that those who have their phones or other AR devices out can access content and see things that other people might not.
You might have it so that those who show a particular geo-location in one of your stores, check-in at a certain location, or just access that location through a link, can see special videos about some marketing campaign you have going. The technology is actually out there these days to allow someone to activate their camera, look at and scan a particular item like a toy, and them immediately see that toy come to life digitally, moving around in the digital space.
An example of this type of interaction on a more basic level is what Stop and Shop does. After you scan something with their Scan It program, you’ll get coupons related to other items that are nearby the one you just purchased in the shelf. This is essentially adding another augmented level to reality that others who don’t have the program can’t use.
It’s a fact that people love scanning stuff with their phone. It’s just fun, and fun is often the best approach to marketing. If you make an item in one of your brick and mortar stores scannable, this gives you an easy way to interact with customers. The possibilities for this are endless.
There are a lot of simple tools for making QR codes online, so this part shouldn’t be too difficult. The important part is deciding exactly what you want to do with them. You could create scavenger hunts in your store, so that if people find QR codes that are part of fixtures and solve some puzzle, they get a discount. Increased interaction frequently leads to sales. Or, alternatively, you could do puzzles that have it that if they purchase the right combination of products they are interested in any way, they get some reward. This doesn’t have to be a discount, it could be a badge or maybe a particular augmented reality signature that is visible to other people playing the game.
If you don’t want to worry about connecting into other AR apps to allow you to do this, it could always just be a picture or some other media the person can associate with their account. A tag in their account for your store could be offered, for example. It’s been known for a while that people are highly motivated by competing with others for tags and other non-monetary and largely symbolic prizes. Pokemon Go is an example of this all by itself.
Overall, with the 5 year estimate of Virtual Head Mounted Displays going up to as high as 39 million in the next 5 years, taking advantage of this trend is just a smart choice if you want to be a businessman that keeps your marketing up to date with the times, or even ahead of the curve, really. This device would also apply to any related marketing strategy since those who have devices like smart glasses that allow them to interact with both the physical and virtual worlds simultaneously.
Those who take advantage of augmented and virtual reality trends in their business are the most likely to end up on top in the world of business in the coming decades, considering the sheer amount of business that appears to be funneling in that direction.