The AR market is predicted to be valued over $18 billion by 2023 ($3.5 billion in 2019).
Before Everything, What is AR (Marketing) and Smart Glasses?
AR is short for augmented reality, which is a type of technology that adds new digital information to the world. It is commonly confused with VR (virtual reality), however the two have significant differences. VR is set at a completely different world, using devices such as Oculus Rift from Microsoft, while AR adds complementary additions to the real world you live in.
Smart Glasses are wearable AR tech lenses that give you the ability to gain information and perform functions that were thought to be possible only by a phone or computer. A popular product from the past would be Google Glasses, and there seems to be a continuing, or even increasing focus by developers to make an evolved iteration of such product. There has been rumors that Apple Glasses, for example, is set to release in the coming future, with new features never seen before.
Now using these smart glasses, there is a rise in future developments in an area called AR Marketing. AR Marketing is a type of marketing platform where businesses and private individuals use augmented reality to promote new campaigns and advertisements.
Why is AR Marketing Important for the Future
It may be rather difficult to believe that AR would become a large part of future marketing campaigns, at least for now. However, there are numerous facts that explicitly express the significance AR will play into what might become one of the main tools used in the later society.
- 67% of media planners and consumers want AR/VR ads in digital marketing campaigns (MediaPost)
- As stated previously, the AR market is currently valued at $3.5 billion, and is estimated to be worth over $18 billion in 2023 (Statista)
- By the year 2022, there are predicted to be approximately 22.8 million smart glasses owners (Tractica)
- Drastic transition of how people purchase products, from shopping malls to e-commerce → 63% of online shoppers mentioned that AR will improve their experience while shopping (e-Com Dash)
- The change in how people work, from traditional offices to the implementation of remote work (from home).
How is AR Marketing Revolutionary and Useful for Businesses
The Flexibility to Create New Products, While Being Able to Improve on Existing Ones
As we know, AR uses data. Data is invisible, hence when we try to look through our normal eyes without a device, the world is as it is, untouched. This creates huge opportunities for businesses to create wide-scale projects never attempted before, with property damage and space issues not becoming an issue anymore.
Also, additions and improvements could be done at ease using AR, as you do not need to physically change something, but simply an update would do the trick. This doesn’t just apply for new innovations, but also past creations. Let’s take a skyscraper for example. Once you build it, there isn’t really much you can do (without causing some sort of damage). However, using the power of AR, you can add various elements (AR screen for ads, for example) to the building and make improvements without needing to change the physical capability.
Advertisements Placed Everywhere and Anywhere (With Less Cost)
There will come a time, where advertisements around the city would be able to pop up whenever you look at readable data (QR codes) through your glasses. The locational and physical restrictions would be far less, and costs may also decrease with wide screens becoming unnecessary. Possibilities are endless, and it’ll likely be possible to put advertisements in places we’ve never thought of before. (Not to mention the environmental advantages it could have).
Bring the Store Experience to Your Home
With the transition in how people do their shopping, going from malls to e-commerce, AR would further help make this experience a delight for the consumer. Imagine a shoe store with all the different products lined up against the wall. With AR, this same view could be digitally recreated inside your house, with abilities to try on the different products, all without leaving your house. IKEA did something similar using their application IKEA Place, where consumers were able to see how furnitures would look like in their home using AR through their phone. As such, with the development of AR, e-commerce would likely see a further gain in users.
Previous Advertisements: Business → Consumer; AR Advertisements: Consumer → Business (Using Unique Ads)
The ads we’ve seen in today’s world are all great, with catchy phrases and providing incentives to consumers. However, are they ads that people would WANT to go out of their way to look at? Not exactly.
Using AR advertisements, companies could use several copyrighted assets that they own, from characters, stories, gadgets, etc to create a unique promotion that doesn’t exist anywhere else. For example, if MARVEL created an AR advertisement that included all the heroes, and it being only shown at a particular place in the city, people who are interested would go out their way and come just to see the ad. By using AR Marketing, not only could it provide the promotional value, but it could also give a ‘fun’ incentive for users across the world to come visit your exclusive ad.
One Question That Arrises
The question of ownership would be a hot topic once the world is ready for a marketing platform this big. Looking at history, there has always been an owner of a platform that the ad listers were paying, such as Google for listing ads, and Facebook for Facebook ads.
In this case, who will be the ones that these companies will pay? It will likely be different in each nation with their respective laws, however my prediction would be that ads placed on public places such as parks would require you to pay to the government, and ads on private property would require you to pay to the asset owners. This will likely be a debated topic as society prepares for AR Marketing.
Is AR Marketing Profitable Today?
Let’s talk about the present. Would you be able to gain success implementing AR Marketing for your business in today’s society?
I would say, yes! However, you would need to consider if the nation you are targeting has some experience with AR, and that they have the necessary tools to enjoy this form of advertising.
If the population checks that point, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the advanced technology, as long as you plan it right.
Here are some great examples where AR Marketing has worked successfully for a business: