Augmented Reality (AR) is a Game Changer for Marketers

Augmented Reality (AR) is a Game Changer for Marketers

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In one scene of the 2002 film Minority Report, set in the year 2054, Tom Cruise’s character is walking through the lobby of a futuristic building.

As he walks, voices call out to him, “Welcome back, John Anderton.” The ad tech of Minority Report’s future uses biometric scanners to serve him personalized, larger-than-life projections of Guinness beer and a futuristic Lexus SUV carving down a mountain.

“That’ll be the day,” I mused at the time. 18 years ago, this scene was mind-blowing.

Fast forward to today, and this sort of targeted advertising is essentially the norm, with Google, Facebook, and others now using our tracked Internet activity to feed us relevant ads.

Indeed, sales and marketing execs are always looking for an edge when it comes to engaging consumers, in the name of grabbing consumers’ attention and making them understand, feel, care, and then buy.

Enter augmented reality (AR).

AR can bring products and experiences to life virtually, right in our present surroundings.

And better yet, AR is freely accessible today by just about anyone with an Android or iOS smartphone.

When it comes to sales and marketing, AR experiences can entice, educate, and enthrall better than any format today, short of a hands-on sales demo.

Here are some noteworthy examples of how AR is being used to attract and convert buyers across several industries.

Car Sales

With Porsche’s AR Visualizer, after configuring a Porsche, you can bring your exact, customized car to life virtually on your driveway or in your garage.

The hope, of course, is that after seeing that beautiful machine parked out in front of your home a few times, you’ll be ready to upgrade to the real thing.

Fashion

Trying before you buy is especially big in the world of fashion and makeup. But, as brick and mortar sales decline and consumers go all-in on online sales, it’s become increasingly valuable to let shoppers try things on virtually.

With Gucci’s app, you can virtually try on a pair of the Italian luxury brand’s shoes in the exact colorway you’re interested in. Gucci has also added the ability to try on hats, eyewear, masks, and lipsticks using AR.

Makeup retailers and beauty apps like Sephora and Youcam are allowing users to virtually try on their favorite brands’ makeup and hair products using AR.

Ecommerce

When buying furniture or décor products for your home, it can be common for doubt to creep in about whether a couch or a piece of art will mesh with the rest of your setup.

Furniture and home goods retailers like Ikea and Amazon are leveraging AR to allow shoppers to virtually place merchandise into their homes, giving them the confidence to buy or move on, doubt-free.

 

Food & Beverage

When it comes to food and drink brands, there’s often a story behind the product that is yearning to be told.

In the food and restaurant realm, AR can be a fantastic way to bring out the stories behind how your food is prepared, or perhaps the idyllic farms where it is grown.

In the case of 19 Crimes Wine, there are 19 specific stories – not having to do with the wine per say, but with a curated assortment of 19 real criminals, who come to life via AR to tell you about their dastardly crimes.

 

Imagine the next time you point your phone at a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, the cartoon bee “comes to life” and invites you to play an interactive AR game to help support the bees (and trees) in the real world. It just might increase your appreciation (and therefore your loyalty) towards this particular brand.

Medical & Industrial Equipment

Medical and industrial equipment is a perfect category to showcase via AR. These sorts of products can be large, expensive, and be capable of highly sophisticated procedures.

It’s extremely hard for sales reps to bring sample products to their clients and harder yet for clients to appreciate these products fully without experiencing them in person.

At CitrusBits, we recently built three AR experiences for Zoetis, the global animal health leader and an S&P 500 constituent company. With these AR experiences in tow, Zoetis sales reps can virtually demo three complex medical diagnosis products anywhere – at a client’s office, clinic, or even at a trade show. (Read case study)

Similarly, CitrusBits has been working with global chemical leader DuPont to showcase its impressive new R&D facilities and manufacturing capabilities via AR.

 

Beyond Mere Staying Power, AR has Hyper Growth Ahead

Analysts estimate that the AR market will reach $149B by 2025, staggering growth considering the overall market was just under $5B in 2017.

Indeed, augmented reality is one of the hottest tech trends today, and it is only going to be accelerated by the fast-approaching debut of consumer AR glasses by Apple, Google, and others – pushing AR from novelty into the realm of an “essential” tool.

For sales and marketing leaders looking to level up their performance, now is a perfect time to add AR to the arsenal of tactics to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

CitrusBits has created dozens of captivating AR apps and experiences for beer and wine tech brands, entertainment startups, CPG companies, telecom leaders, and enterprise stalwarts such as DuPont and Zoetis. Please get in touch if you have an AR experience you’d like us to help bring to life.

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