What can digital marketers learn from augmented reality tech?

Freddie Cook Design, Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Website Comments

Have you noticed that the number of people wandering around staring like zombies at their phones at all hours has exponentially increased?

Are your Friday night conversations with friends, colleagues, partners and everyone in between no longer “Let’s go grab a drink at the pub” and are more like: “Fancy a walk so that I can find more Pokemon?”

If so, don’t panic – you aren’t alone!

Since the release of the app, more than 100 million users have signed up globally so it’s fair to say that the location-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game has really taken off…!

How does augmented reality work?

Pokemon Go builds upon the user experience by allowing players to capture and train virtual Pokemon who appear as though they are in the real world by utilising GPS technology.

Indeed, analysis by SimilarWeb of consumer download habits after the app’s release show that average usage per day is at 43 minutes, 23 seconds and higher than Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

What does this increase in AR apps mean for the future?

Jens Nielsen, head of UK operations at Netbooster claims that Pokemon Go specifically has given brands a an opportunity to “present to a target market that typically tends to reject direct advertising.”

And that’s where AR reality could really change the digital marketing game.

The AR industry is estimated to be worth £89.4 billion by 2020 and so digital marketers can’t afford not to get involved.

Brands like IKEA, BMW and Asda are all building their own AR software as they realize the positive effect this can have on the customer experience.

Digital marketers need to keep up!

Digital marketers should be following suit to prevent clients from being desensitised to traditional marketing methods or to open up the brand to a broader audience.

Even the NHS are taking note and recently used AR to encourage blood donations.

Similarly, Women’s Aid won two Marketing Week Awards in 2015 for their interactive billboard advertising that used AR and facial recognition technology to raise awareness of domestic violence.

(A HARE developer playing Pokémon Go)

What does this mean for the future?

It seems that the use of long-term AR may be the next step for digital marketers with a big budget, but one-off campaigns can be equally as effective too.

Ultimately the effect that creative use of AR can have on consumer behaviour simply can’t be ignored.

This remains true whether we look at AR on a big scale – like Pokemon Go – as well as when AR is used in start up businesses.

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