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April 05, 2023 04:00 AM

Every Organization Needs an Augmented Reality Strategy

Every Organization Needs an Augmented Reality Strategy

The ultimate goal of any business is growth, whether in finances, customer engagement, or any other facet of the organization. What every business owner is trying to do is grow the overall awareness of the company. They do this through strategic implementation of niche specific processes that help promote long term success. There are various tools that have been used for decades and even centuries, but right now, there is one tool that can eliminate the necessity for outdated practices- augmented reality (AR).

Augmented reality is a comparatively new technology, first hitting mainstream notoriety in the late 2000's early 2010's, almost simultaneously with smart phones and tablets. Snapchat filters, Google Translate, Ikea Place, and Pokemon Go are all augmented reality apps that allow the user to interact virtually in a physical space. They're also excellent examples of how an augmented reality platform can be part of an effective AR strategy to drive business growth and connect with customers to improve the overall success of your company.

What is Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been around since the 60s, and is a technology designed for virtual interactions in the physical space. Using a smart device, customers can interact with product demonstrations that overlay virtual information (visuals, text, video, etc.) onto a digital representation of the physical space on the smart phone or tablet's display. Take the Ikea Place app as an example.

This app captures information about the user's surroundings, like dimensions, color, furniture position, and offers examples of furniture in store to place over the existing image. They can then digitally lift the furniture and reposition it around the room to figure out which product would fit best in which place. This is especially useful in customer satisfaction and leads to higher customer conversion rates.

In other capacities, users of augmented reality retain more information than other methods of engagement and have a higher memory recall. The gamified nature of using AR, VR, and MR make it an interesting way to engage and retain loyal customers.

5 Reasons Why Every Organization Needs an Augmented Reality Strategy

1. Increased customer engagement. Most everybody has some sort of smart device that connects them to the web. They engage in social media culture, user end marketing strategies, gaming, etc. Using augmented reality in your strategy to connect with customers on a deeper level helps engages customers in a way that gives you the necessary information (like customer habits) to help build a long-term business model. Even something as simple as a QR code that leads customers to your website is an effective way of increasing customer engagement.

2. Providing additional functionality. Augmented reality is well known in gaming for its ability to help with visualization and character exploration. Today, however, AR technology has expanded into multiple industries via some surprising use cases. Employee training has proven more successful with the implementation, and marketing campaigns are growing in possibilities with the same visualization techniques. AR helps customers understand how a specific product will help make their life better.

3. Improved conversation rates. The best interactions create customers out of your target audience. Augmented reality uses its interactive abilities to, as was mentioned, show them how a specific product will make their life better. Product demonstrations have come a long way from Parent Teacher Conference nights and Tech expos. Conversion rates are raised significantly by a company's ability to use AR technology to its full capacity.

4. Improves Productivity. AR apps provide information via pictures, text, audio, etc. that help streamline standard operating procedure. This eliminates any downtime in regard to research, and upper management involvement. If there are questions not already answered in employee on-boarding, they can easily be answered on the job as new employees learn the job expectations. It can also be a benefit to veteran workers who end up taking over responsibilities that newer employees are normally responsible for.

5. Maintenance and repairs are simplified. Factory repairs, or even office repairs (like computers, printers, etc.) cause issues in business affairs, namely that they create unnecessary downtime in operations. Part of an AR strategy is utilizing the technology to reduce the amount of time off to help mitigate the effects. Augmented reality apps are increasingly available in many varieties, repair manuals becoming one of the top use cases. These apps can help get back on track without calling for a repairman (unless absolutely necessary).

Where Can Augmented Reality Help Your Business?

Augmented reality is not actually new, but most business owners, especially small business owners, are mostly unaware of the technology. As a result, the areas in which augmented reality can be placed in your strategy can seem nebulous and constantly changing. However, there are a myriad of places within a business that AR can be placed to help with growth and development, and help you reach more customers.

In the warehouse. AR can be placed in a warehouse or factory setting to help streamline processes via AR training and maintenance technology.

In the office. Augmented reality can help create models without the use of costly materials. AR can be expensive, but using it ensures that you're not spending an excessive amount in materials when digital models can be just as effective.

In your finance department. Augmented reality can help with understanding customer interactions and habits to learn more about their spending habits that, in turn, reveal valuable information about clients and generate a higher revenue.

In your marketing department. Marketing's sole purpose is to reach and engage customers to show them how to use products and how that product will help make their life easier. Developing an effective marketing campaign with augmented reality can be used to reach customers where they are, not where you want them to be.

Content to Consider for Your Augmented Reality Strategy

Developing an augmented reality strategy for your business can be complicated and confusing, but it doesn't have to be. To start, here are a few questions to consider when you're ready to use augmented reality technology.

How will you reference the physical setting?

How will you anchor your content?

What is the format of your content?

How will you source your content?

How will you configure information?

Where are your clients spending their time?

Answering these questions will help you begin to understand where your time and effort should be placed. Depending on the type of business you operate, you could have models of your content, rather than realistic generated images. You could use anchoring devices, like the Merge Cube, or not. Your customers could spend most of their time on social media apps, or walking to work. Knowing this information will help you develop an effective business strategy using AR technology.

Augmented reality is making waves as one of the most efficient ways to promote your business, engage with customers, and develop more brand awareness. It can be placed in many areas within your business, including finance, HR, manufacturing, training, and marketing. There really is no limit to what you can do with AR technology in your business, but sometimes seeing the possibilities is not as easy as you might thing. Talking with an augmented reality service provider could be just the thing that helps launch your business into the next level of lead generation and reach your ultimate growth potential.

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