Augmented reality (AR) is a modern technology that overlays virtual objects and information into the real world, in real-time. As such, information is integrated into the existing environment to create an artificial environment.
Marketers can incorporate AR into their proposed business plan of action to enhance the way the company operates and give it more publicity.
Major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are already using AR in their business processes.
A Deloitte’s survey revealed that almost 90 percent of companies whose annual revenue fall between $100 million and $1 billion are either employing augmented reality or virtual reality.
The action plan as it is also called outlines how a business will be operated and managed. This plan is a section of the business plan and it covers business operations that were not outlined in the marketing and sales plans.
What’s more, an action plan centers on the back-office activities that are not directly related to providing products and services to customers. Some of these activities include employee hiring and management, after-sale customer service and support, order fulfillment, etc.
Nonetheless, augmented reality can be a part of this action plan, since it offers a marketing channel that can set your brand aside from others. It also offers your business the potential to operate speedily, conveniently, and leave a lasting brand impression.
A study also revealed that AR experiences can bring about dwell times of over 85 seconds, interaction rates increase of 20%, and click-through rates to purchase of 33%.
Marketers can inculcate augmented reality into the business action plan in the following ways:
What if your customers could try out products even before they purchased it? It’d give them a good idea if they are settling for the right stuff.
Moreover, there will be more positive reviews about the product because it was the perfect fit. Cosmetic samples, fitting rooms, automobile test drives have seen positive results from adopting this sales strategy.
Accordingly, AR can be used to offer augmented shopping experiences to customers. Users can be allowed to try out makeup, clothes, etc. on their digital identity.
Besides, AR takes away the need to have a large physical inventory just to provide enough samples to be tried on.
Cosmetic company Sephora is already using AR to enable its shoppers to try on its lips, eye, cheeks, etc. makeup even before they buy it. The company’s Modiface’s AR technology also shows people the result of skincare on their skin after months of use.
Business cards, brochures, and other advertising materials of a business can have a virtual component thanks to AR. In this case, potential customers can use their smartphones to scan printed materials, thereby giving them access to the best features of your product.
For example, a brochure can be scanned and a video pops up to give them a visual representation of the information held in the brochure.
AMC Theatres, for instance, added AR technology to their mobile app. It enabled users to scan a movie poster with their logo, and then they received information pertaining to the movie’s cast, trailer, and when its tickets will go on sale.
On the other hand, augmenting branding material also makes it easier for customers to contact your company. This is because a business card that uses AR offers the customer several options to contact the company. It could be through eMail, Facebook, Phone, etc.
AR can be used to add digital components to physical locations and products of a business, hence, this strategy can be incorporated in your action plan.
Here, customers can scan a product and they’ll be presented with an AR experience that has been specially designed to give them more information about the product.
A real-life use case of AR in this scenario is by American ticket exchange and resale company StubHub.
The company created an augmented reality app that would offer a 3D representation of the U.S. Bank Stadium where Super Bowl LII was played. As a consequence, ticket buyers were able to choose the most suitable seat by checking out the view of the field from different seats right the app.
Mercedes has also provided its customers with an AI feature called “Ask Mercedes,” which serves as an intelligent assistant to answer their questions.
AR can enhance B2B (Business to Business) customer/vendor experience by improving the way the sales process is handled. The issues that are often encountered between customers and a vendor can be brought to minimal. What can be done here is to create a dynamic sales presentation material.
This means that instead of using flyers, brochures and what have you, as a marketer, you can rely on a digital device that gives you easy access to customized augmented reality applications.
The latter will provide a virtual 360-degree view of products and thereby, bring out the best features of the product. It, therefore, makes your work as a marketer easier.
AR can be adopted as an indirect sales and marketing strategy, instead of directly targeting the improvement of sales. Here, the status of the brand can be enhanced.
Accordingly, an AR experience that people have never witnessed can be created around the brand, in a way that will stir a buzz that won’t die down anytime soon.
If people are excited and can’t keep talking about it, chances that they’ll soon forget your brand are low. And discussions can surround around it, thereby strengthening the brand.
Pepsi adopted this strategy in 2014 when the company installed AR technology on a London bus shelter. The company created the illusion that there were UFOs, robots, a tiger, and other objects running loose and heading straight to users of the bus station.
A YouTube video showcasing the AR technology was able to garner over six million views.
Augmented reality offers businesses in various industries immense benefits. That is why marketers irrespective of the industry they are tailored to can adopt this technology to bring in more sales.
It can be an advancement from the use of flyers, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, etc. to adopting this modern technology to offer augmented customer experiences.
Ejiofor Francis is a freelance writer, researcher, physicist and advocate of high-quality digital marketing. He has over five years of experience helping companies create winning content distribution strategies. You can check out his company website for more information.
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