Augmented Reality: Now you see it

Whenever the advancement of technology enables something new, marketers with an early adopter behaviour (especially those with deep pockets) tend to rush to be the first to use them in their marketing activities. It happened to many things – QR code, 3D projection, social media, mobile apps and etc. Not to forget, augmented reality too.

The Ikea AR campaign is a good case in point. More often than not, what matters isn’t what technology you use, but rather, how well it fits into your marketing objectives. Ikea, using the AR technology, solved one of the biggest problem of their catalogue – the inability to visualise how that piece of furniture will look like in customers’ homes. All a customer needs to do is to scan that item in the catalogue and “place” it right there where they want the furniture to be. They get answers to these questions: Is it the right colour? Will this chair match the table? etc

And this, is what we call a spot-on usage technological opportunities.

So before you jump into any techie bandwagon in the years to come, consider this when you’re exploring any new thing for your marketing plan:

1. Does it match your target audience profile and media consumption behaviour?

Nothing is more wasteful than having a full-blown social media campaign, if you are targeting senior citizens in the rural area.

2. Does it match your product?

You can use AR for a variety of products that appeal to people visually – furnitures, clothes, cars, watches. But there are limitations to it when it comes to other products, such as massage centre, insurance and etc.

3. Does it help you solve a problem?

Too many of us fall into this trap sometimes. We see something new and cool, and we just gotta use it for the sake of using it. Which really reminds us of the annoying little box called the QR code, which has mysteriously sprung up everywhere we go. We see it in print ads, magazines, websites (seriously?), doorposts, poster and others. And when it is not fulfilling a purpose or solving a problem, people DON’T use it. Period. It just eats up precious media space.

4. Does it use too much of your budget?

Let’s face it. Sometimes new things cost a whole lot more. This is an economic fact – new things, less supply (not many people know how to do it) so it might be expensive, say, to run a 3D projection campaign. You need expertise to map out the building you want to project to, and tailor make 3D animations for your brand. No matter how fitting (or nice) it might seem, splurging all your dough in one thing and cutting corners at other areas are not advisable.

5. Do you have other platforms to give it more mileage?

The Ikea AR campaign will not work, without the printed catalogue as a platform. Meanwhile, the catalogue requires a huge distribution effort, because the wider the network is, the more people will come across the AR function of the catalogue. As we know, standalone items are weak, but a collection of several items work hand-in-hand to support each other, increasing mileage and reach. A great 3D projection campaigns not only showcase the brand to the particular locale, but also needs social media to drive it further, when users share the video online with their friends, and make it viral.

There’s a pressing need to understand the growing assortment of technological and media opportunities and risks. With understanding, you can then form your communication blueprint accurately.




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