Augmented reality can be defined as a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not necessarily require fancy equipment. The ability to use technology without fancy equipment allows your brand to reach a broader audience.
An example augmented reality technology implementation without fancy equipment is snapchat’s filters. Snapchat’s filters automatically or manually detect facial features through a smart phone’s camera and then supper impose funny or aesthetically pleasing augmented reality features on the user’s face such as a cartoon puppy tongue. The entire thing is very interactive and very shareable through various forms of social media platforms.
The first step to integrated augmented reality into your marketing strategy is to decide what purpose it will serve. In the case of snapchat, the implementation of augmented reality set it apart from other social media services while providing an entertaining way to capture current and future user’s attention. The purpose will define the type of augmented reality that you implement. For example, if your purpose is to sell a physical item such as clothing or furniture, you can use superimposition based augmented reality to create an app that will superimpose your product in the existing environment through photo technology. In other words, a user could use your app to “try-on” an outfit without leaving their home or to visualize a new piece of furniture in the home.
Once you’ve decided what role your augmented reality implementation will play in your business model, it is time to set a budget for the implementation and the target results. Unless you happen to be an experienced developer with knowledge in augmented reality, you will need to hire an expert or purchase an existing app framework to customize. Concurrently to setting a budget, it is important to set realistic target results. Based on your knowledge of your business, how many additional sales, views, or advertising income will you generate with this new technology? How long will it take you to see a return on your investment? The answers to these questions will help you determine a budget.
Now that you’ve set a budget, hired an expert to develop or customize your technology, and set a target result. It is time to go live with your augmented reality implementation. Use the initial time to gather feedback from your users by reaching out to longtime customers to test out your new technology and give their opinion. Make adjustments as necessary.
As with any investment in your marketing strategy, it must be deemed successful in order to continue its implementation. In order to evaluate the success or failure of your augmented reality implementation, you must track the results. Did your sales, views, engagement, or advertising income increase since the implementation of your technology? Did you meet or exceed your target goals? If you met your target goals, ask yourself what your success factors were and how you can continue to maximize these. If you did not meet your target goals, make adjustments in order to get closer to your target goals.