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How brands can make the most of augmented reality

How brands can make the most of augmented reality

By Matt Trubow, chief executive, Hidden

A new study into augmented reality (AR) shows that 62% of business to business and business to consumer marketers are considering using the technology, but the majority are still unsure about exactly how to use it or what its benefits are.

What is it?

Augmented reality is a term for a camera enhanced view of a physical real-world environment, where virtual elements are merged with the real-life scene creating a “mixed reality” of virtual elements and the real world.

Why should I be using it?

As a marketing and sales tool, the scope for AR is endless. Any sales person will tell you that the ability to put a self-demonstrating version of your product in your client’s hand is crucial, but not always possible, or is it? AR makes it possible for clients to visualise any products regardless of size or location.

There is scientific evidence that shows by simply touching a product for a few seconds; an attachment is created that often leads to buying or even paying more for the item.

Marketing and sales teams assisted by AR are able to achieve this type of connection. This is especially powerful as research into the psychology of sales indicated that people become personally attached to a product within the first 30 seconds of contact when presented with a physical or virtual item.

How can it be used?

AR has a place in almost every business. It depends on how you communicate internal and external messages or reach out to your potential clients as to how you approach the use of AR.

There is nothing more conducive to a sale than putting your product or service right in the customer’s hand. The basis for the technology is to immerse the audience in the subject. Sticking to this core value will keep you on the right track when developing the idea for your experience.

What tools or programs do I need?

To use AR all you need is a standard computer with webcam or a smart device such as a phone or tablet with a camera.

If you are using a more advanced commercial brand of AR there may be a small download required when viewing the augmentation through a web browser. The download is typically less than 1MB and obtained and installed no differently than any other simple browser plug-in.

If you are viewing an AR experience on a smart phone or tablet device, you will be required to download the application just as you would with any other application you might install on the device. There are no special configuration requirements and installation should be transparent to the user.

Ten creative ways to use augmented reality
•    Point of sale or in-store experiences that really stand out
•    “Try before you buy” with augmented reality experiences
•    Use of augmented reality search
•    Enrich tourism and leisure communications and experiences
•    Augment events and conferences to help delegates
•    Drop traditional brochures in favour of something more innovative
•    Bring customer service or product manuals to life
•    Make augmented reality the “real life” gateway to online content
•    Bring your online campaigns to life in the “real world”
•    Create winning pitches / tender collateral

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