When we look at the technology surrounding us today and the effect it has had on business marketing, it hard to believe social media is only 10 years old. How much easier and cheaper is it to reach our prospects?

But with every new development there is the hedonistic ‘must have’ phase, where results are better than they were before; a 4% ‘click through rate (CTR)’ is better than the 1% direct mail success. Then these ‘new’ metrics become the norm and as marketeers our thoughts turn to ‘what next?’ – how can I improve on that CTR, I want to reach even more people.

The next new marketing tool is here and already being used by large corporates, Augmented Reality (AR), a technology which superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. You may have already seen AR in action if you experienced the ‘Pokemon Go’ phenomena.

The advantages possible to the early adopter businesses will be significant and potentially game-changing and it’s not just for the big boys, the next 12 months will be the year when SME’s begin to understand the opportunities available to reach more customers and create deeper engagement.

Before you go any further, please download the BlippAR app from your app provider. This will enable you to fully experience this article. You will also be able to build your own facial recognition profile!

A simple AR experience can take a person from your flyer to your digital media by scanning it with their mobile. Picture this scenario, you see a poster like the Ruggerbugs one here in the local coffee shop of a new class which interests you but you are not sure, the post invites you to scan it and suddenly you are presented with a video demonstrating the class with visual testimonials, followed by on screen links to book there and then. From being uncertain you are now a buyer.

Or maybe your business card can become another sales tool? Businesses which rely on galleries of pictures, showreels, audio reels or have multi-brands like Whats On 4 Ltd can showcase their business in greater detaiil by augmenting their business cards. Take a look by scanning the What’s On 4 business card.

Marketing will not be the only use for AR combined with new wearable technology: it will become the way in which we train and educate our teams. Rather than having manuals, repairs will be carried out with the instructions in front of the operator’s eyes, leaving their hands free to complete the task. At Owow Innovations, we are working on a solution to assist first responders in identifying pre-existing conditions and allergies.

An AR campaign can be as simple or as budget breaking as you want it to be but one thing is for certain, it drives customer interaction. A recent campaign Owow Innovations built for Air Canada saw a 24% engagement figure – this is the next level SME’s are aiming for.

This technology is not the future, it is the now for early adopters and they are the ones who will reap the biggest benefits and the good news is, it does not have to break the bank. Are you still happy with 4% CTR?

Oh remember, we mentioned facial recognition? In the BlippAR app tap the smiley face at the bottom and follow the simple on screen instructions to build your very own ‘halo’. You may also see the screen is constantly scanning your surroundings in discovery mode, see what it finds.If you are interested in exploring how AR can help your business let’s start a discussion visit www.owowinnovations.co.uk and complete the contact form, quote KWIB Magazine and we will give you a 50% discount on your first AR build. Scan our logo for more information.

Mike Peates

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