Augmented Reality has just become the most important trend in marketing. Apple just announced the launch of their new iPhoneX, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, which include the start of an augmented reality future for everyone. Live from the Steve Jobs Theater at their new campus, Apple showed us how AR will change gaming, sports, how we gaze at the sky, and even how we will communicate with our friends and family through facial tracking animojis.
For several months and even years, many marketers have stayed on the sidelines of the business case for augmented reality, but with Apple bringing AR to millions of phones and users across the globe, their passivity is about to change.
The reason? Because augmented reality will contextualize consumer’s realities. AR will bring utility and context to consumers. This will change the way marketing and sales is done, the way social media marketing and content marketing are done as well too. There’s a reason why Snapchat’s dancing hot dog went viral. It’s because consumers enjoy altering their physical environment and seeing the inanimate come to life. They’ll eventually want AR to contextualize their reality, and it’ll start with their mobile phones and move on to headsets/glasses.
According to Digi-Capital, the mobile AR market could hit over a billion users and $60 billion in revenue globally by 2021, this will probably be further accelerated Apple’s announcement. There is a clear shift in content beyond the 2D to content that is 3D, 360 and sometimes holographic (yes! holograms). AR will change consumer behaviour and how consumers experience a brand.
According to Wareable, “AR overlays virtual 3D objects over the real world to create a sense that they’re in front of you, requiring you to be aware of your surroundings.” This means AR will help us find our way in stores, select a drink at Starbucks, compare products, etc. AR won’t take away from what we have in real life; it’ll enhance our experiences and enable us to explore new things.
Augmented reality provides a reason and purpose for consumers to check out your brands. It will change the way marketers tells stories to engage with their customers. This is only the tip of the iceberg, there’s a wide range of experiences and possibilities that AR marketing provides. In other words, if you have a smartphone, you’re either the marketer or the marketed. With Apple making AR more accessible, brands now have a more realistic opportunity to reach these people, from how they find new products to how they decide which one to buy.
Back in June, during their WWDC Apple developers' conference they introduced ARKit, which allows developers to create augmented reality apps. We’ve already seen multiple examples of what ARKit can do, but foresee an avalanche of new AR apps hitting the App Store pretty soon. Seattle based AR company, 8ninths even launched their AR app for iOS 11 before today’s announcement.
If you want to learn more about how Augmented Reality will impact marketing and communications stay tuned for my upcoming book co-authored with Samantha G. Wolfe. Sign up to get notified when our book goes on sale at www.cathyhackl.com.