The marketing landscape experienced a profound transformation in recent years. It’s primarily propelled by rapid technological progress. The seamless integration of AR, particularly the iPhone, is an exciting development. Today, we’ll focus on augmented reality marketing opportunities and challenges.
Augmented Reality holds the potential to overhaul marketing approaches completely. It’s opening up fresh opportunities while posing distinctive challenges for businesses that want to explore augmented reality marketing as a means to reach new markets, penetrate existing markets, or offer innovative products. They question whether augmented reality marketing will help them captivate their audiences through pioneering means.
The rise of augmented reality
What is AR?
Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in realtime. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which creates a totally artificial environment, AR users experience a real-world environment with generated perceptual information overlaid on top of it. [source]
That said, it’s very common to see both AR and VR integrated seamlessly into a product or campaign. Combining visual and 3D elements, AR can deliver enhanced experiences to users. For instance, a university or retail business might use AR to provide a rich tour of the buildings making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and creating a level of comfort with unfamiliar surroundings that helps make a visit more likely. A surgeon might use VR to visualize the operating field as s/he prepares for an unfamiliar surgery.
Or, a user might spend free time in a game like Pokémon GO. AR overlays digital content onto the real world, creating immersive and interactive experiences like Pokémon GO, which transformed parks into virtual hunting grounds. It also enables, furniture retailers, remodeling firms, and a host of others to help customers visualize products in their homes, as well as users to virtually try on clothing before making a purchase.
These experiences are delivered using special devices such as smartphones, glasses like Google Glass, AR headsets like the one shown in the image above, and heads-up displays in windshields like the one emulated in Top Gun Maverick. It’s this requirement that has slowed the adoption of AR, as these devices are cumbersome and expensive.
AR powered by the iPhone
Apple played a pivotal role in propelling augmented reality (AR) to the forefront. The introduction of ARKit in iOS 11 served as a catalyst. It enables developers to craft AR applications tailored for iPhones and iPads. This move signaled Apple’s commitment to integrating AR into its ecosystem. It set the stage for marketers to explore innovative ways of reaching consumers. Developers and users must balance rich AR experiences with enough storage. It will help them to use other vital apps and content.
Smartphones, notably the iPhone, expedited the adoption of augmented reality by incorporating it into their devices. However, using AR on an iPhone brings many challenges related to iPhone storage for many users. With the introduction of the iPhone 15, these storage issues are more onerous as the updated camera requires more storage space than earlier versions.
Opportunities for augmented reality marketing on the iPhone
The integration of Augmented Reality with iPhones ushered in a new era of possibilities. This transformative technology offers marketers innovative avenues. Now, they can engage audiences and create immersive brand experiences that stimulate the purchase of a wide range of products.
Immersive brand experiences
Augmented Reality allows brands to create immersive experiences beyond traditional advertising. Imagine an automotive company offering smartphone-based test drives of their latest models. Similarly, a travel agency lets users explore exotic destinations in real time. These experiences build a stronger connection between the consumer and the brand.
Interactive product demos
Businesses can use Augmented Reality to provide interactive product demonstrations. For instance, a car manufacturer can offer a 360-degree view of a vehicle’s interior. It enables potential buyers to explore its features without visiting a dealership. This leads to more informed decisions and shorter sales cycles.
Augmented Reality can leverage the GPS of the iPhone to deliver location-based marketing experiences. Restaurants can display their menu when users point their phones at the establishment. Museums can offer virtual guided tours to passersby. This personalized approach enhances customer engagement and drives foot traffic.
Gamified experiences have proven to be effective at capturing and retaining user attention. Marketers can develop AR games for their customers. They can also create scavenger hunts related to their products or services. It encourages participation and increases brand awareness.
Social media integration
AR filters on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have become popular. Brands can create custom AR filters. Users can apply them to their photos and videos. It promotes brand engagement and user-generated content.
Challenges in marketing with AR on the iPhone
The opportunities presented by Augmented Reality are substantial. But, marketers must also face several challenges in harnessing its potential:
Creating high-quality AR experiences can be costly, especially for small businesses. Investing in AR app development and 3D modeling strain marketing budgets. Use a cost/ benefit analysis that includes all the development and maintenance costs for your AR projects along with expected returns from these efforts over the long run. Remember to assess returns accurately by including both terminal returns, i.e. sales, loyalty, and recommendations, as well as intermediate returns such as increased awareness and interest because these can turn into terminal returns over time. Use your expected conversion rate to accurately assess the future returns from these intermediate returns.
Not all iPhone users are familiar with or comfortable using AR apps. Marketers must bridge this knowledge gap and provide intuitive experiences that encourage adoption. The Apple Stores offer a great vehicle for gaining adoption as consumers love to stop by and try out new devices in the store. The stores also offer classes where potential users are guided through tools to make the most of AR on their iPhones.
Collecting and using AR data, such as location information, can raise privacy concerns. Marketers must be transparent about data usage. They must follow the regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
AR experiences depend on the capabilities of the iPhone’s hardware and software. Older iPhone models may not support certain features, limiting the audience reach.
As more brands adopt AR, competition for user attention will intensify. Marketers must strive to create unique and memorable AR experiences to stand out.
The future of AR marketing on the iPhone
The future of AR marketing on the iPhone is bright. As technology advances, AR experiences will become more sophisticated and accessible. Here are some predictions for what lies ahead:
Integration with Wearables: Wearables like Apple Glass are gaining popularity. Thus, marketers will have new avenues to explore for Augmented Reality experiences. It will expand their reach beyond smartphones.
Enhanced Personalization: Augmented Reality will enable hyper-personalised marketing experiences. It involves content and offers tailored to an individual’s location, preferences, and behavior.
Augmented Reality Advertising Platforms: We can expect the development of advertising platforms. They are specifically designed for Augmented Reality. They help marketers create and deploy AR campaigns faster.
The augmented reality on the iPhone offers an exciting frontier for marketing. Despite the challenges, the allure of Augmented Reality cannot be underestimated. As technology evolves, marketers will be able to engage audiences. They can drive business success in the digital age. The future of marketing is here, and it’s augmented reality.
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