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Pokémon GO is today, AR on mobile is tomorrow


The glow of Pokémon GO's overnight success might be fading away. However it has set a precedent for augmented reality (AR) on mobile and opened a floodgate of ideas for the industry. Marketers especially, can bank on AR to deliver a far more immersive and interactive mobile marketing experience to their audience on mobile.

Smartphones: the key to AR success

For those unsure of what AR is all about, the technology offers the ability to overlay virtual content (information or images) on the physical world and have the two interact in real time, either through displays such as HoloLens and Google Glass or through the camera view on your smartphone.

Much of Pokémon GO's success comes from the fact that the technology platform was a smartphone. While it's great to have a dedicated for-AR device such as the ones described above, the related investment, a potential learning curve and having to lug another device around, simply means these devices cannot achieve mass appeal. Smartphones can put AR in the hands of the masses.

Audience engagement redefined with AR

The ability to overlay a virtual experience over a physical experience means AR opens up a number of possibilities as to how consumers will discover and experience the product during the pre-purchase journey. For instance, a popular online eyewear retailer Lenskart lets consumers get a feel of how a particular spectacle frame design or sunglasses will look on them through an AR experience which overlays the frame on the consumer's image captured through their smartphone camera.

AR can help marketers virtually overlay as much information as possible over physical object, making it easier for them to showcase products to consumers and aid their buying decisions.

Mobile marketing metrics changing with AR

AR can change not just the way consumers are engaged but also how this engagement is measured. Performance-based advertising will evolve from Cost-Per-Action to Cost-Per-Object. This means that the success of mobile marketing with AR will be measured not by the fact that consumers engaged with the ad, but by the purchases/transactions made after viewing an actual physical object through the AR experience. With this, AR will in fact, simplify the mobile advertising attribution process.

Snapchat recently patented a way to advertise products related to what consumers are taking a picture of. Consider this scenario: "Snapping your favourite coffee brand? Why not come to our store for a 20% discount." Sponsored filters based on object recognition may just help the company reach that goal. After all, what’s better than potentially turning every object in a photograph into an opportunity for ads.

Image will be the new keyword

Text-based keywords for mobile marketing don't work if the user has to describe an object in an image. Instead, AR search engines like Blippar make it simple to search for an object by simply pointing a phone camera at an object. This can especially help advertisers to tap the mass tier 2 and tier 3 markets where language or literacy can be a problem.

AR means relevant ads with better timing

A layer of location-based data can enhance the relevance of AR-based ads. For instance, Niantic, the creator of Pokémon GO selling 'Sponsored locations' to advertisers is a great way for brands to hop on to the AR bandwagon and target millennials who are hooked on to the game, and drive customers into real-world shops while hunting in- game creatures.

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