How do we break down omnichannel marketing into a simple equation? Omnichannel marketing is all about providing consumers with the ability to access or consume unified messages on a platform of their choice … including print and direct mail. Over recent years we’ve all seen the power that print and direct mail brings to marketing; in particular, as a sensory experience that delivers high levels of trust. Print and direct mail cut through digital clutter like no other medium. So why is it that print and direct mail are still so often managed in a silo, far away from the other channels that they bring so much value to?
Savvy marketers will tell you this is changing; and quickly. The introduction of Augmented Reality (AR) into the print and direct mail equation has meant that innovative leaders in the marketing space are now able to easily enable digital interactivity to traditional media making it seamlessly connected to wider omnichannel programs. Those that are mastering the art of Interactive Print, or AR enabled print, are even finding that this often disregarded medium is not only a super powerful enabler of extended omnichannel experiences but one that also fills the gap that some digital channels struggle to meet. Digital and traditional, working as one!
In the remainder of this article, we’re going to take a look at the basics of Augmented Reality as an interactive print enabler along with some examples of enhanced AR technologies that are now being used to supercharge print and direct mail performance. It’s clear to see that interactive print enhanced with augmented reality is cementing its position in everyday omnichannel marketing strategies for the value it brings to both print and direct mail to increase profits.
Direct mail synchronized with augmented reality:
- Provides highly engaging personalized experiences across all touchpoints along with seamless integration to multiple digital channels. Brochures, booklets, catalogs, and even personalized birthday cards become gateways of communication with digital assets.
- Seamlessly integrates with email communications and digital platforms for media retargeting to recapture and re-engage with customers who have visited a website or downloaded an app.
- Delivers customers highly relevant local area content targeting and creates personalized experiences that drive customers to local businesses. AR adds another dimension to print marketing for tourism, events, and arts and culture.
- Initiates geo-fenced digital advertising to devices that have accessed augmented reality content (eg. consumer scans the QR code on a postcard for an automotive service offer – the next time that consumer drives within “5 miles” of a service center their device is pinged with a message or ad reminding them of the offer).
Best of all, when interactive print enabled through augmented reality is made a component of an omnichannel marketing strategy, it dramatically improves the impact of every marketing channel in a customer’s journey
Print Marketing Campaigns Come to Life with Augmented Reality
Just when everyone thought print marketing was going the way of newspapers, something remarkable happened. The once flat, direct mail campaigns sprang to life, as the link between print, direct mail, and augmented reality “created more engagement with AR ads outperforming traditional display ads, generating 94% higher conversion rates, compared to ads without AR/3D components,” according to Shopify. Augmented reality offers the ideal conduit between print and online marketing, with increased visual accessibility and interactivity that drive customer engagement and positive buyer response, necessary components in successful marketing strategies that deliver results and maximize return on investments (ROI).
By adding AR elements to print ads, shoppers can instantly learn more about your brand, and be directed to virtual stores, where they can:
- Browse products, such as clothing, furniture, and accessories
- Try on products, such as clothing and accessories
- Get a look at how products look in their own environments, such as with IKEA Place 3D modeling
Offering more brand experiences online and through social platforms keeps your visitor engaged with your products, and they are more likely to make purchasing decisions because of the immersive nature that AR creates between your customers and your brand. These immersive experiences help to consolidate the buyer’s journey when omnichannel marketing strategies are in play. Giving them the ability to seamlessly move between the channels they trust helps build deeper relationships.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategies
A strong and consistent omnichannel marketing plan harnesses customer data and innovates with cutting-edge technology to create personalized experiences focused on the needs, preferences, and expectations of customers. Interactive print enhanced with augmented reality has invigorated traditional print marketing collateral and is giving marketers new ways to engage their customers with entertaining and memorable content that leaps off the page when scanned with a smart phone.
AR Combines Omnichannel Retail Journeys into Convenient Experiences
AR is the conduit that seamlessly connects traditional and digital channels allowing customers to connect with brands on the platform of their choice. Now that the novelty has worn off, customer familiarity becomes customer expectation. As more brands implement AR into their omnichannel marketing schemes, AR enabled print and direct mail will be an expected extension of your brand, as relevant to consumers as selling on social media platforms or through a branded app.
UnifiedAR’s powerful augmented reality solutions can help you provide customers with more engaging and brand memorable print and direct mail campaigns that blur the lines between digital and tradition. Omnichannel marketing at its best.
Contact UnifiedAR for more information on how we make offering white label Augmented Reality and Interactive Print solutions super simple.