• Nalani Jay

What You Should Know as AR Takes Off



The time has finally come for augmented reality (AR) to take off in marketing. Feeling unprepared? Don’t worry. We’ve got the scoop on what you need to know, from the state of the technology to how to best take advantage of it.


The Time Has Come for AR


AR isn’t a technology of the future. It’s already here—and tech companies’ support has been steadily deepening.


While great AR glasses and headsets for mainstream use may not be coming soon (Magic Leap looks to have problems, Apple isn’t expected to release headsets and smart glasses until 2022 and 2023 respectively, and Google and Microsoft took their focus to business instead of the consumer), it’s important to remember that AR doesn’t have to depend on glasses and headsets for widespread adoption. The latest devices often come with AR capabilities installed. Apple, for example, started designing phones that could support AR with its iPhone 8.


On the development side, things are also looking good. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all created software development kits to help designers make AR-compatible tools. Adobe and Unity have both created AR authoring tools that allow people to develop immersive AR experiences without knowing how to code. In a similar vein, Snapchat’s Lens Studio and Facebook’s Spark AR allow creators to craft AR content in their respective apps. (AR is what’s responsible for all those fun filters!)


Brands Are Already Diving Into AR


In fact, brands are already diving into AR. Here are some recent examples:

Why You Should Care: What AR Can Do for Brands


Of course, if AR were just a bit of fun that didn’t make much of an impact, it wouldn’t be worth doing. But that’s not the case.


According to a 2018 Drum article, AR can capture a person’s attention for over 85 seconds, increase interaction rates by 20%, and improve click-through rates to purchase by 33%. More recently, the publication reported that L’Oreal saw engagements double on a site with an AR feature while conversion rates tripled.


Martech Advisor reports that AR’s conversion rate could be as high as 80%, depending on content quality. In addition, it says, customers are 70% more likely to remember the messaging than they are with traditional static ads.


This impact makes sense. AR is an interactive technology that allows its audience to explore and create, which is naturally more compelling and memorable than a passive experience.


How Brands Can Succeed with AR


So when you decide to take the plunge, what should you do to make a splash rather than belly flop?

  • Go mobile. There’s no reason to worry about where the headset or smart glasses tech is. There are already hundreds of millions of AR-enabled devices in consumers’ hands, thanks to Apple and Google.

  • Make sure your campaign has a real purpose. As Martech Advisor pointed out, you’ll see a better return with quality content. As with any marketing strategy, you need to align the content and strategy to your customers and goals. Don’t jump on the AR bandwagon without thorough research and a thoughtful plan.

  • Tell a great story. In an article on the new age of storytelling, Deloitte noted that emotional connections drive business results, and that good storytelling is key to building those connections. With AR’s ability to transform viewers’ environments, immerse users in your narrative, and provide different types of storytelling experiences, you have ample opportunity to craft deep connections and lasting impressions. And when you use AR’s ability to powerfully blend the roles of the listener and storyteller, you make the impact even stronger.

  • Be willing to experiment. AR is still in its formative stages, so best practices aren’t yet known. But don’t let that paralyze you. Marketing is all about experimentation, looking at the results, and putting those learnings into your next efforts.

  • Bring in the magic. People respond to magical experiences, and AR can act like a lens to bring invisible magical things to life, transforming an ordinary environment into something extraordinary and memorable.

  • When appropriate, encourage the sharing of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is not only fun for consumers, it can also help increase brand awareness.

What could your brand do with AR? We can’t wait to see what new worlds you open. And if you need assistance with figuring out how AR can help you best tell your brand story, just let us know. We love to tell a great story.

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