Today, market conditions are changing rapidly.
Products lose their charm in weeks, if not days.
So companies must introduce new products and better services at the earliest if they want to stay at the top.
Organizations invest millions of dollars in brainstorming effective marketing and sales strategies that can hold people’s attention.
But a study by Microsoft shows that the attention span of humans has gone down from 12 seconds to 8 since the turn of the century.
Thus, companies must use cutting-edge technologies that provide significant value to customers, hold their attention, and help them make better decisions.
One such technology is Augmented Reality (AR). It provides a unique purchase experience to customers from the comfort of their homes using web apps. The best part is that they only need a smartphone to access the benefits.
AR is a new tool in your utility belt that will enable you to interact with customers better, provide them a top-notch shopping experience, make the purchase process simple and convenient, and enhance your brand value.
Here are 5 ways you can use AR in your marketing strategy:
1. Customers can experience products even before the final purchase
From time immemorial, customers have always relied on trying products before making the final purchase. It helps them get a better understanding of the applications and benefits of the product.
For example, customers like to test drive a car, apply a shampoo sachet, and play the demo version of a video game before paying for them.
The only challenge is that customers have to go to a designated outlet, which was standard practice before the coronavirus pandemic. But it took a massive hit when governments worldwide imposed lockdowns that restricted people from moving out of their homes.
AR is set to level the playing field again by allowing customers to try things from the comfort of their homes. They don’t need to travel. Instead, they can try broad ranges of cosmetic products, cloth items, food & beverages, and much more.
Retail companies will significantly benefit from this move because they won’t have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars running and maintaining big warehouses. Instead, they can keep a small inventory of products and order new ones whenever a customer places an order.
2. Customers can take assistance and also take a digital tour
Augmented reality allows retailers to supply extra information about their products and services by adding an AR icon. For example, StubHub created an AR app that allowed people to view the Super Bowl stadium in 3D. This app got a massive response from the community as fans could select the right seat for themselves.
The automotive industry isn’t lagging either. Hyundai was the first company to launch an augmented manual for drivers. Mercedes carried the legacy forward by introducing a feature called “Ask Mercedes”. This feature pairs the Augmented Reality interface with an AI assistant that answers a broad range of questions.
Similarly, Starbucks is using AR to allow customers to take a tour of their coffee shops. Customers can gain additional information about the objects inside the shop by clicking on them. This feature has significantly increased their footfall.
3. The rise of the era of intelligent branding materials
AR can upgrade ordinary marketing collaterals, such as brochures and business cards, into intelligent marketing materials. Users can scan a QR code imprinted on the product to access a broad range of features or gain extra information.
For example, users can scan the QR code on a company’s brochure to open a video on their smartphone that explains the product’s benefits and applications. They can also use it to contact customer care through email, LinkedIn, or phone calls and get their doubts solved.
4. Companies can increase their brand recall value
Apart from increasing sales, companies can use AR techniques to promote their brand and create a buzz.
Remember that AR is a relatively new technology that people are curious to learn about. Organizations can use this fact to weave memorable experiences that people enjoy and share with their friends and peers. In addition, it can help brands to increase customer loyalty and gain a better ground in their respective industries.
For example, Pepsi used AR very creatively to attract customer attention. They installed an AR virtual window alongside a bus station’s wall that allowed people standing in the queue to get a unique experience. Users watched fast-traveling UFOs, pouncing tigers, and robots launching laser beams on the ground. This stunt caught the attention of thousands of people and soon spread like fire on social media, which helped strengthen the brand.
5. Transform the sales team
The salespeople are often called the frontline soldiers because they are the face of the company. They meet customers regularly and therefore are the first point of contact.
An excellent sales team can do wonders, but a lot of it depends on their communication & presentation skills, their problem-solving approach, and their ability to think on their feet.
Another factor determining their ability to impact customers’ mindset is their technical expertise, which includes the kind of marketing material they use. For example, consider the sales team of company A uses PowerPoint presentations, flyers, and brochures to market their products. On the other hand, company B uses AR applications that provide a comprehensive look at their product lines.
As can be understood easily, many customers would prefer associating with company B because the process is more transparent and convenient than that of company A.
In today’s day and age, people are searching for specifically tailored products and services. ERP systems with integrated Augmented reality applications allow customers to actively design their products and convey the inputs to the vendor in real-time.
Another benefit is that AR apps create a platform where customers can provide instant feedback to the vendor, thereby bridging the gap between customer expectations and vendor fulfillment.
AR is set to bring a revolutionary change in sales & marketing in the next decade. It will help businesses provide a top-notch customer experience, begin a new era of intelligent marketing collaterals, and improve the prospects of the sales team.
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