Augmented Reality

Just what is Augmented Reality and why should you consider using it?

The Marketing team within your business has only really one job to do. That job is to engage with your audience(s) in a way that gets them to do what you want them to do.

Depending upon the status of an individual within your target audience, the type of engagement varies:

  • Before they buy – to get them to buy
  • Once they’ve bought – to get them to do what they are supposed to
  • After they’ve bought – to get them to buy again and to tell others about you

To do this, there is often a huge amount of information you want them to see or what they want from you. The problem is that nobody really wants to receive a huge amount of information. They want short, sharp snippets that give them the key bits: how you will help them.

So what is Augmented Reality and can you use Augmented Reality within your business?
Augmented Reality (AR), simply put, is a layer over real-life. It is often confused with virtual reality (VR) that is a replacement reality, usually viewed through devices such as the Samsung Gear or the cardboard boxes you can put your smartphone in.
The ability to provide additional information and content to an otherwise still object is what augmented reality gives you. Let me illustrate this with a couple of examples…

Flat pack furniture
We all love and hate flat pack furniture. We love it because it is often far cheaper than other versions. It’s cheaper because it is easier to transport and the cost of assembly is removed. Of course, we hate it because we have to assemble it and the instructions are never quite as good as we would want them to be. You can guarantee that just before the final piece is added, you realise that the 5th piece is on backwards and you must disassemble it!
Imagine having videos and assembly instructions being available by just pointing your phone or tablet at the packaging? Would that make it easier for you?

Display stands
As customers walk into a store or trade show, imagine being able to provide more information to them, simply by asking them to point their phones at the stand or Point of SALE (POS)? Give them the opportunity to see videos, instructions or special offers. You might even want to allow them to order online with just a few clicks.

Property sales
Viewing houses is something I am doing a lot of at the moment and I know my wife is far better at looking beyond the current state to see potential. For others, this may not be a skill but perhaps augmented reality could help by “painting the walls” as you view the house through their phone.
Following instructions

Perhaps a more important use for augmented reality could be to ensure people are following instructions. Imagine someone who has a complex medical condition and therefore a mix of medication. Augmented reality could easily schedule when the various medication is to be taken, to notify people and even get them to confirm they’ve been taken. How many lives would be saved and how much money saved for the NHS and for the pharmaceutical companies.

Here’s just a few ways that augmented reality can be used in marketing and customer education. I am now starting to use this for my clients and so I thought this might be of interest for you.

Written by Nigel Davey of SME Needs.

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