Leading CMOs are using augmented reality (AR) to expand the engagement, awareness, and value around their products. Organizations of all shapes and sizes in the B2B and B2C spaces are differentiating their products and services with AR, but it’s also changing how marketers are pricing, placing, and promoting their products as well. Here are four ways that brands are using AR to transform their marketing mix.
1. Showcasing the product
It’s one thing to tell a customer why your product is different – but it’s another thing to show them. When demonstrating the superior inner workings of a car, auto companies normally remove the vehicle’s separate pieces or physically cut the car in half to show off its various components.
With the help of Visionaries 777, Infiniti created an interactive X-RAY application to help consumers visualize what makes the inner workings of the QX50 unique. Their AR-powered application showcases special components like a VC-Turbo Engine, high strength steel, smart packaging and other features, resulting in an experience that’s more impactful than simply observing an analog model.
Oftentimes differentiating features cannot be seen. Immersive experiences like this make it easier for today’s customers to understand exactly what it is that they’re buying – improving their purchase confidence and thus shortening sales cycles.
2. Justifying the price
Enhancing products with AR increases their inherent value, but many B2B and B2C companies are also using AR-driven product enhancements to differentiate their brand. As a result, customers may be willing to pay more for their products – for both the value of the built-in AR experience and the satisfaction of owning something from an innovative brand.
One example of this is LEGO bringing their Hidden Side LEGO sets to life with gamified, smartphone-driven AR experiences. Adding this digital element creates more entertainment value and helps LEGO engage with customers in new ways, while also showcasing the brand as innovative and forward looking.
3. Changing the place where customers buy
AR-powered virtual product demonstrations help speed sales cycles by enabling customers to experience full-scale versions of physical products on-the-spot, removing the need for follow-up meetings and back and forth shipping. As a result, AR is changing where the purchase journey happens by offering customization and personalization anywhere the customer wants.
There are examples of this happening today across a variety of industries. For retail and automotive consumers, AR offers convenient customization and personalization anywhere and anytime they want.
In the industrial sector, AR enables buyers of built-to-order equipment to place customized “machinery” on their factory floor and reconfigure it as needed before purchasing.
Companies like GSI/AGCO are using augmented reality to visualize storage facility plans on location. This takes the ambiguity out of built-to-order products and allows changes to the project in real-time. Using AR saves potential costs of re-working a project once it’s been built and helps solidify the confidence of expansions down the road.
4. Transforming promotions
Advertisers are increasingly leveraging AR to develop fun, creative experiences that break through the noise. Innovative product promotions can provide a way for brands to reach a new audience, as Burger King’s “Burn that Ad” AR experience does by promising users of their app a free whopper. Imagine your competition’s marketing real estate becoming your marketing real estate by merging the physical and digital worlds!