The Economist, BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Publishing, and hundreds of others in the mainstream media are talking about augmented reality and the implications it will have on ad campaigns. In fact, most of the attention being paid to AR Lite marketing is not only about the future of mobile marketing, but what’s being rolled out now!
Shopper marketing technology is everywhere, Internet titans are staking out new territories, and the couplings between social media and mobilized ad campaigns are growing tighter.
But here’s the thing — we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the effectiveness of actually influencing consumer shopping decisions via mobile banner ads. What lurks beneath the surface is huge, and the implications of what happens next are significant for the business of retail, advertising, and even wireless carriers.
The big purchase is a clear endorsement that Google sees enormous potential in a market that’s still small. Despite the never-ending prediction of “the year of mobile,” the market has grown by fits and starts. According to eMarketer, advertisers spent just $320 million on mobile ads last year, a figure that’s forecast to increase to $416 million this year and reach $1.6 billion in 2013.
Here are some practical tips on how to include augmented reality in your mobile marketing campaigns.
Rule #1 – It’s all about the opt-in experience!
Your best users and biggest fans need to be empowered to participate in a cool, mobile experience when it’s convenient for them. That means you should think carefully about whether you want to associate your brand with “pushing” a mobile offer when it’s not directly solicited or guaranteed to be relevant. Instead, you should tell a story; a story that involves a mobile component, is tied into your overall marketing activities, and includes some specific special offers and social opportunities for your fans to engage with your brand on their terms.
To be clear, when we say special offers, we don’t necessarily mean just coupons. Mobile coupons could be a sensible way to approach your objectives, but there’s a lot you can do with the post-click in mobile. Sign-ups for insider information, mobile videos, mini-sites, Twitter and Facebook pages, product info, and game tips are a few thoughts. For some additional suggestions on what to “offer” mobile users see Pongr’s page on mobile marketing “ad-ventures” for brand image recognition.
Rule #2 – Be inclusive. Use MMS for maximum reach and supplement with smartphone experiences.
In our humble opinion, you need to be as inclusive as possible with your special, opt-in mobile offers. That means you need to acknowledge that there’s more to a successful mobile marketing campaign than just an iPhone or Android app. Specifically, we recommend factoring MMS into your campaign plans. It goes without saying that brands should be building, maintaining, and enhancing applications on smartphones, but to reach the masses you must do something more pervasive.
SMS is great, but it doesn’t give you the ability to be as interactive as you could. MMS is where it’s at when it comes to getting the base of the pyramid to opt-in to your campaigns and provide unique insights about themselves. If you want to collect user photos, encourage sharing on social networks, and build a memorable experience that takes advantage of the ubiquity of picture sharing on the Web, you need to have an MMS plan for all those feature phone users. The best plan in the world won’t move the needle if it doesn’t have the reach.
Rule #3 – Be clever & take advantage of the latest technology, but keep it simple!
The third rule of getting augmented reality into your ad campaigns is to keep it simple. OK, nothing Earth-shattering here, but as we all know, the more complicated it gets, the less likely you are to have a successful outcome. Worse, your target users might be left feeling dumb or betrayed by your brand because you didn’t include them, or set the bar too high with something too complicated. We’ve written a number of posts and tweeted a lot about QR codes, so we won’t rehash it all now, but fundamentally, Pongr believes a pure-play image recognition solution is better for users, creative directors, brands, and pretty much everyone. Exceptions include enterprise use-cases like airline ticketing or monopolized wireless carrier countries, like South Korea. Besides, if you want to look magical, why not go for the best, keep it easy, and keep it omnipresent.
Augmented reality is not new to many of us in the artificial intelligence/machine learning community and there’s been plenty of moderately nifty consumer applications out for a number of years. However, with major brands, publishers, media companies, and consumer technology providers embracing the underlying components of augmented reality, we’re all about to see some dramatic & widely used AR and AR Lite applications in mobile marketing.
Advanced image recognition technologies and MMS advertising solutions are here now. If we’re even close to being correct, image based search and other AR technologies will soon influence how you effectively send & receive message to customers.
If you’d like help planning or executing campaigns using augmented reality, image recognition, MMS, or mobile-to-social brand interaction, give us a call or zing us on Twitter! Pongr provides leading-edge image recognition technology and turn-key augmented reality marketing solutions.
If you’d like to share your two cents, we definitely want to hear it!