Just tell me... what is AR?
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Let’s do a little crash course in this very special technology.

"AR" is a new buzzword in the media industry. Augmented reality brings the 3D world into the real world - your immediate world.

How?

Imagine this…

Point your phone camera at a flat surface, then a life size motorcycle appears.

It looks real. You can tap it to change the paint colour, rev the engine, learn about it. Even take a selfie with it.

But… How?

AR works via a mobile app.

Your customer or salesperson will open your mobile app, then point their phone camera at either a flat surface, or printed image (business card, logo, brochure). This will trigger a 3D model to appear.

The 3D model is completely interactive.

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To see AR in action, take a look at the video here: Performix Experience

Why?

Great question. Tricky to give a single answer.

But here I go…

Augmented reality is, hands down THE most exciting way for customers to interact with your products & learn about your services.

As you know, it is often exciting experiences that make customers emotionally connect to your brand.

AR is a way for customers to interact with your products & characters like never before. It is the only way to overlay 3D objects into the customer’s real world — into their home.

You can’t do that with a website.

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This technology can give buyers the additional experiences that encourage purchasing decisions. It is especially suited to large and complicated products.

The best part?

Customers are looking for new digital experiences more than ever… PLUS, many customers are keen to share their experiences online.

When?

So, should you let your customers enjoy the AR experiences themselves… or will you use AR in all your showrooms? Or perhaps your outbound sales reps will use AR to present to prospects.

When you use AR is important, and forms part of your overall strategy for marketing your brand.

augmented reality mortar studios

What?

This is a fun question to answer.

When your customer opens the app, what would you like them to see?

What will make their jaw drop?

If you’re a retailer check out a few fun examples here

If you want to generate a seriously unique & impressive idea, just ask our team to email you the free PDF “AR Creative Concept Kit

Katrina Okoronkwo
3 Ways Retailers can increase Foot Traffic using Augmented Reality

Getting online traffic is awesome. Getting serious FOOT traffic is another story.

If you drive customers to your online store, doesn't that keep them out of your bricks & mortar establishments?

Your marketing efforts often need to be channeled in both directions.

But:

Aren't these opposite directions?

 

You want to encourage 24hr sales online, AND create an enviable, enticing, and memorable retail experience...

... that, ironically, you hope your customers will share online!

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Don't fret.

I haven't written this to just vent about the challenges of marketing to millennials (like me).

 

Here are 3 fun examples of how you can use a new technology to grow your online profile while encouraging customers into your retail stores:

 

1. Treasure Hunt: hidden gems only your phone can find

Remember hunting for Easter Eggs in the backyard? (before they melted)

Imagine if instead of tiny chocolate treats, you were hunting for a magical golden panda. You know she is hiding somewhere inside the department store.

Why a panda? ... because pandas are adorable.

Your phone guides you to her latest hiding place. Suddenly, she tumbles out of a virtual hole in the floor & performs a little dance. YOU have won 20% off anything in store today.

HOLD ON:

If you take a selfie with your new little panda friend, and share this with #pandasareawesome , you also win a free gift with purchase.

Encouraging shoppers with a novelty that is cute, financially rewarding, and perfect for social sharing, is an excellent way to leverage augmented reality.

 

2. Celebrity Appearance: meet your virtual heros

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Imagine this,

Today at 2pm, Bruce Lee is going to be at the mall. He will burst through the glass wall near your favorite cafe, using his signature one-inch punch.

For the next hour you will be able to see him demonstrate all his super-human martial art moves...

AND he will demonstrate them at your request.

The coolest part is, when you take a selfie with him & show your Instafriends, you could win $20,000

Even if you don't win, you get a free coffee when you show the barista your awesome photo.

Whether it is a celebrity (living or no longer here), or your corporate characters, bringing them to life in a specific time & place is possible with augmented reality.

 

3. Another World: merging magic with reality

Augmented reality is just starting to take hold. Customers are still excited by the technology & can be persuaded by the novelty factor.

Speaking of pure novelty:

Why not make your shop floor an underwater wonderland? Sharks and rays swim under your feet, tropical fish move throughout the beautiful coral, and look! There's a treasure chest.

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Tap the treasure chest to see what is inside. A prize? Coupon? Request for your email? ...the options are many for the retailer.

 

AR enables you to think big, without many boundaries.

You want the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge on your shop floor

No worries.

How about an enormous love heart for Valentines day? What ever you imagine, augmented reality enables your customers to experience it, just by holding their smart phone.

 

I hope you enjoyed these 3 fun concepts.

Do you have some unique ideas for using AR in a retail environment?

 

If you are a retailer & want to discuss how to make these crazy ideas a reality, call our office today (02) 9971 4075

Katrina Okoronkwo
5 easy ways to get customers to download your Augmented Reality app
3D avatar and app created by Mortar Studios 2014

3D avatar and app created by Mortar Studios 2014

We are often asked by clients how to get customers to download their new AR app. After all the time invested in designing an incredible augmented reality experience, user interface, and branding messages, a client then needs to turns their attention toward marketing the app... which can be more challenging than planned!

The success of a new mobile app rests almost entirely on your ability to have the customer decide to download it. If nobody knows about it, your fantastic mobile application can be sitting silently in The App Store, not providing an ounce of ROI.

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After collaborating with many marketing teams, here are our top tips for prompting your customers to download an app:

 

1. SOCIAL APPROVAL

If you have an impressive social media presence, you must tie this into your marketing plan for the mobile app.

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Super easy:

Post a video of someone (do you know any celebrities or popular personalities in your niche??) using your app. Boost that post, and share it everywhere. 

Augmented reality is a very visual technology & still generally unknown. A video of the AR experiences will say more than words can.

Social approval is a powerful technique to drive behavior. A popular person filmed using your new mobile app should encourage loyal fans to download the app themselves.

 

2. SIGNAGE

SO important...!

We cannot emphasize this more. 

Be as OBVIOUS as possible with your directions for a customer to download the app.

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If you focus on 'good design' in terms of creating attractive text & images to subtly prompt a customer, you may be disappointed by how many people say "I didn't know you had an app".

How frustrating!

A few tips for signage:

  • Use bold contrasting colours (your branding is purple? Use vivid yellow)

  • Design an icon that looks like a physical button. Imitate a button on a smart phone. Curved edges, slight drop shadow, simple text.

  • Incorporate bright arrows to literally direct a customer.

  • We are in two minds about QR codes - customers tend to not notice these as much as clients hope.

  • Give clear instructions: provide the app name, where to find it, and actually say "DOWNLOAD NOW"

  • Utilise the environment. Are your experiences part of an instore display? Train the sales staff to use your app, and ask them to let customers know about it.

  • Incorporate strong & direct sentences like "To see this come to life, download the _______ app now" 

  • Push incentives. Offer a discount, lottery entry, exciting freebie, or anything that will engage your users. Focus all your promotional signage around this, rather than the app itself. ie: RECEIVE A FREE WIDGET by downloading the _____app now

  • Interrupt the flow. If you have a poster or billboard, place your icons or text 'in the way' of another message or image. If you have products on a shelf, perhaps put a small hanging sign in the way. 

  • If it is feasible, incorporate audio-visual installations that constantly demonstrate your new app to passing customers. Be sure to have people from your target demographic in the video demonstrations. 

 

3. RENT A CROWD

Imagine this:

Find a public place, and have a group of excited people download & use your app. Create a stir & provoke the public's curiosity.

Then -

Film the whole event & share it on social media.

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What if your AR app uses smaller markers, like a poster or card?

Determine where your ideal users hang out, and position your rent-a-crowd there. For example, your ideal customer/user will be at a university coffee shop. Have a group of 3-4 people use your app & talk about it loudly.

They need to get attention while looking natural... put on a show. 

 

4. INCENTIVES

It's an old trick, but still works.

Offer something for free in exchange for downloading the app. 

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A few tips to make this work well:

  • The free gift or discount needs to be an instant reward. Immediate gratification will make many people act fast.

  • Centre your signage around the incentive rather than the app

  • Double-up the incentive: offer a free gift or discount. THEN offer a second promotion if the customer shares an image on their social media. This will leverage their own peer group, and provide strong social approval of your offer.

  • Use audio-visual installations to demonstrate how to take advantage of your offer. 

 

5. TRADITIONAL MEDIA

It is easy to assume that a new technology needs to be promoted in a certain way.

But:

You can definitely mix old & new media.

Your Augmented Reality app can be promoted using traditional media, in a number of suprising ways.

Newspapers and newsletters target quite specific groups, and can be an excellent (often free!) way to provide alot of information about your new app.

Why?

Augmented Reality is a new & exciting technology, and can be deemed a 'public interest' story. Take advantage of this by talking to your local newspaper journalists.

Where is your target audience?

College students? - post flyers on the pinboards, and an article in their newsletters.

Gyms? - place printed media on the gym front desks, and a poster on their classes board.

Coffee crowd? - get the baristas to wear t-shirts promoting your app, and pay them to talk about it to customers for an entire week.

 

FINAL POINTS:

Remember...

...Augmented Reality may be well understood by you, your team, and other marketers -  but probably not by your target customers. There is a steep learning curve you must push a customer through in a swift & enjoyable way!

Looking to other successful AR apps can be a fabulous source of ideas. Even if you simply leverage from their popularity. For example: let a local newspaper journalist know that your new mobile app uses the same technology as Pokemon Go. This will no doubt peak their interest & make your app easily understood.

 

We hope these points help! If you have some great tips of your own, please comment below, we would love to hear them.

 

 

Katrina Okoronkwo