As a marketer who wants to dig it all, I read about all the hype trends, such as prosumerism or experientialism every day, twice a day. But when it comes to the implementation of these trends in the digital strategy, I feel dazed and confused.
OK, everyone speaks about personalization, but how can we actually implement it in the strategy? Tailor-made emails? Don’t forget about GDPR. Targeted Facebook Ad campaigns? Too annoying for your customers. I am not even speaking about banner ads. It’s a headache by default. There is a way out that you could try, and it’s called augmented and virtual reality applications
These technologies have become effective marketing tools for those specialists who love to experiment, are crazy about growth hacking marketing, and are not afraid to fail. With AR/VR apps, marketers can actually create personalized content or add some WOW emotions. Everything is possible.
GAMIFICATION for ENGAGEMENT MARKETING
Let’s start with the most obvious one. No need to speak about the tremendous potential of gamification for businesses and social enterprises. Everybody loves playing, even the most cynical and serious adults are ready to spend thousands on cosplay costumes and Play Stations to forget about their suits and business contracts.
Engagement marketing is an absolute trend today, and marketing specialist are ready to use mad ideas and forbidden tricks to actually engage customers. Some companies initiate leaps from the stratosphere, others heat bus stops to get customers’ attention.
Companies that use the essential need for entertainment get the most out of it.
It’s harder and harder to stop playing after you got older because the game is the only activity that takes us away from reality with its pains and insecurities.
The smartest companies use augmented and virtual reality applications to gamify experiences for customers. For instance, Merrell transformed a simple store visit into the game that’s called survival making clients climb, jump, and scream out of happiness.
TRANSPARENCY AS A TREND - TRY BEFORE YOU BUY IN AR AS A SOLUTION
The whole e-commerce industry is built on TRUST and TRANSPARENCY. Billions of customers choose to send their money to the people they don’t know expecting to receive things they’ve only seen on the screen of their laptops. Customers dream that these things will be 100% replicas of what they saw on the picture.
Though TRUST and TRANSPARENCY are in the core of the operating activity of each online store, it’s never enough for customers. Using modern technologies to make these abstract concepts tangible is what you can get with augmented reality.
Augmented reality application will show customers 3D models of goods in the real environment giving them the real Try Before You Buy feeling. That is what Shopify did to help every client see the things they order.
Why bother with the AR application when customers can get the whole information about the product on the website? There is no doubt that your customers want to see/ hear/feel/try things before buying them. Try before you buy is as natural for modern customers as looking through the ingredients of pizza before ordering it.
Besides, when you got your customers trying things, you hook them psychologically. We all aim to complete things as we are prone to following the way we have started. Thus for instance, if a company offers us to check how a new sofa will fit in the brand new bedroom, we are one tiny step closer to actually purchase it
Visualization is one of the most popular marketing trends today. Visualization is changing the way we communicate (just count the number of smiles messengers add each year), the way we get services (just think about the Uber trip), the way we sell & buy things (think about YouTube reviews on all the products).
Online customers need visualization more than anything else because they need proofs that they are making a good choice.
PHOTOREALISTIC 3D MODELING for VISUALIZATION
AR gives clients the sense of control over the process of purchase and reduces their stress level from buyer’s remorse. It gives customers understanding that they are not buying air, that there is still something tangible, something real, something they can play with while they are waiting for goods.
In augmented reality applications, it’s possible to visualize any product using its photorealistic 3D model. For instance, in the virtual store created for the home appliances retailer, there are 100% realistic 3D models of all the fridges, washing machines, and boilers customers want to order.
When I say 100% photorealistic, I mean it.
COMPUTER VISION for PERSONALIZATION
Computer vision is a part of augmented reality technology that helps in the creation of popular AR filters with all these bunny ears and vampire eyes.
AR filters like the once created by Facebook and Snapchat use the technology of computer vision which recognizes a human face and compares it to the faces from the database to create a perfect digital overlay over a human face.
Think about it: with the help of technology each of your customers gets the sense of the absolute personal approach. Cosmetics retailers, such as NYX and L’Oreal use computer vision embedded in AR application not only to satisfy their current clients but to attract new clients as well. This is the AR application Sephora created to improve customer engagement.
PROJECTED AR FOR the WOW FACTOR
Projected AR is a completely new technology that disrupts the world of design. There are several obvious benefits of projected AR including the possibility to use it without special devices and the possibility to use it in any environments. Projected AR can transform almost any space aesthetically making it much more impressive and much more appealing to customers. For instance, a wall of a restaurant or a creative agency can get thousands of views if it’s also decorated with augmented reality graphics.
The technology itself is rather simple: with a camera and a projector, a client sees a picture projected on the wall of the place he/she is visiting. In future Projected AR can substitute all other forms because of the convenience it brings.
ENCOURAGE SOCIAL SHARING
Getting a lot of social buzz around your product or service is equal to getting the absolute validation. How much are you ready to pay for the “absolute validation from the online community?”
If customers noticed your app and are sharing it actively on Facebook or shooting videos about it on YouTube, you can sit down and relax at last. The bomb has been dropped and it will bring results real fast.
That is why augmented reality applications with the social sharing option are the best choice for the investment of any growing business. For instance, L’Oreal created a marketing campaign with the AR application that could be shared online easily. Users who made photos with the beautiful makeup AR filters were so impressed with their beauty that they instantly shared these photos on Facebook and Instagram.
Modern technological tools are mind-blowing: they can give deep intense feeling to each and every customer no matter where he is located. As one of the characters of “American Gods” noticed, technologies are modern drugs: they affect fast and give a real deep shot of intense emotions. They drive people crazy, make them want to feel and share those feelings instantly on social media.
Using XR technologies means that everyone with the cell phone is your client and your company can provide him/her with every comfort he/she requires: personalized approach, experientialism, wow factor, visualization, and the possibility to try things before buying them.