In the fast-paced realm of modern marketing, the impact of Augmented Reality (AR) cannot be overstated. By the end of 2023, it's projected that more than 1.4 billion people will regularly use AR tools in their daily lives, according to Statista. It's a statistic that not only underscores the seismic shift in consumer behavior but also highlights the undeniable potential of AR in revolutionizing the way brands connect with their audience.
But what exactly are these AR tools in marketing? From interactive apps to eye-catching kiosks and even those ever-present QR codes, they represent various technologies and platforms that brands can harness to create immersive marketing experiences. In an age where consumers crave more than just products or services—they yearn for memorable experiences—the importance of experiential marketing has never been clearer.
In this article, we'll delve into the ever-changing world of AR tools and explore how they can transform experiential marketing and serve as a powerful ally for brand managers and marketers alike.
AR Tools in Experiential Marketing
For marketers looking to take their experiential campaigns to the next level, AR tools can bring a new dimension of engagement and actionable data. From mobile apps and interactive kiosks to QR codes and unique in-person experiences, harnessing the power of AR provides a competitive edge that enhances user experience and helps you stand out from the competition.
AR can be integrated into your brand’s mobile app to create a unique, interactive user experience. For example, if you're running an event in-store or at an outdoor venue, you can use augmented reality technology in your app to provide users with exclusive content or discounts when they point their device's camera at certain images or graphics. This not only adds an entertaining element to your campaign but also encourages people to interact with your brand. For example, Fanta developed an AR component to its online game “A Universe of Flavor” allowing users to play the game via AR and their Instagram accounts. The ultimate goal? Discovering Fanta’s newest flavor.
Another way to add some augmented reality fun to your experiential marketing is through interactive kiosks. You can place these in-store or at physical events, and use AR technology to create an interactive experience for customers. For example, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, football fans can get photos of themselves with their favorite players - from either the Rams or the Chargers - allowing fans a more intimate experience with their beloved NFL team and providing them with a unique souvenir!
QR Codes and AR
QR codes are a great way to add augmented reality to your brand experiences. By placing QR codes in strategic locations, such as ads or product displays, you can create interactive experiences that provide customers with discounts, exclusive content, or product demos. Because smartphones have built-in QR code readers and, often, quick internet access, customers can quickly scan the code to gain access to special offers, branded experiences, or additional information about the product that helps fuel their consideration of your product. Plus, unlike a kiosk, multiple users can engage with the experience at one time.
Unexpected In-Person Experiences
Sometimes it's the unexpected AR experiences that will truly wow your audience. For example, you could create virtual portals that allow visitors to explore a new world or create interactive art installations that come to life with AR content. These are perfect for events and can be used to surprise and delight guests, as well as add an extra layer of engagement. As with all these tools however, it’s paramount to leverage them not just as a fun party trick but as a meaningful way to engage with your audience. Your goal is for the customer or client to remember your brand as well as the incredible experience.
Benefits of AR Tools for Marketers
Augmented reality tools provide marketers with myriad benefits, including enhanced engagement, optimized sales tools, powerful differentiation, data collection and analytics, and a competitive edge. By leveraging the power of AR technology, marketers can create unique experiences that draw people in and provide actionable insights into their campaigns.
But did you know that AR tools can also help marketers and brand managers plan and visualize immersive experiences? Apps and other AR tools such as Matterport make it easier to plan experiential events by providing detailed 3D renderings of venues, helping experience designers not only conceptualize the space precisely but communicate their ideas more effectively to stakeholders.
Potential Challenges with AR Tools
While there are many benefits to using AR tools in immersive marketing, there are also some potential challenges. Technical hurdles such as compatibility issues and hardware limitations can be a barrier for some brands. Additionally, cost considerations such as device rental fees and software licensing costs should be taken into account. Plus, programmers and software developers are essential to creating an effective, technically sound experience. Lastly, user experience (UX) design is key to creating a successful augmented reality experience, so marketers should ensure that they have (or can hire) the expertise and resources required for this.
Ultimately, it is vital for brands to consider all aspects of their experiential campaign when looking to incorporate augmented reality technologies. From technical hurdles and cost considerations to UX design and user engagement, there are many factors to consider when utilizing AR tools in experiential marketing. However, with the right approach and planning, marketers can leverage the power of AR to create unforgettable experiences that will help them gain a competitive edge.
Putting AR Tools to Work for Your Brand
AR tools have emerged as the game-changers in experiential marketing, offering the potential to revolutionize brand engagement like never before. Their ability to seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds opens up a world of possibilities for marketers, from enhancing customer experiences to boosting brand recall. By integrating AR tools into their marketing strategies, businesses can gain a competitive edge, capturing the attention of tech-savvy consumers and creating memorable interactions.
At Bridgewater Studio, we have the expertise and resources to help you reach your goals with experiential marketing. Our creative team can help you leverage the power of AR to enhance your brand story and message by providing strategies and solutions that will make your campaign come to life. We help brands harness new technologies to deliver unforgettable experiences from pop-up activations to multi-media interactives. Find out how our fully integrated strategy, design, and production studio can help bring your project to life by booking a no-obligation introduction to Bridgewater today.