Australian Interactive Marketing take claims ‘AR set to transform event marketing’ with a pinch of salt
When done right at an event, AR (augmented reality) can keep attendees engaged longer than other platforms, and impart a more memorable message than less sensory platforms.
Despite this, Sydney and Brisbane-based customer acquisition specialists Australian Interactive Marketing have distanced themselves from the hype surrounding AR, and its alleged impending transformation of event marketing. While the firm acknowledges the importance for new innovative technology that enhances consumer experiences, ultimately, they believe that the human element of interactions between brand and consumer remains the dealbreaker.
Speaking during a regional meeting, the firm’s Managing Director Lawrence Randall outlined how he viewed AR’s role in his company’s day to day operations;
“We love new tech, but believe it’s still hugely important for the salesperson to convey the uses of products and services in a manner that relates to the consumer. Tech is a supplement, not a replacement for face-to-face interactions.”
While Randall’s point that products still don’t sell themselves – otherwise sales as we know it wouldn’t exist – appears logical, he seems hesitant to agree wholeheartedly with suggestions that AR is set to transform event marketing irreversibly. Despite this stance, the MD was complimentary of the technology in comparison to its close relative VR (virtual reality) – even suggesting that it has the potential to be ‘perfect’ for events;
“Call me old-school, but AR is not going to transform the way we actually do business – not at all,” states Randall. “What it could do, however, is act as a useful tool for our ambassadors to enhance real life experiences at events – from what I’ve seen, it’s perfect for that.”
The brand of AR Randall refers to is likely similar to Ikea’s Place app, which is a digital image overlaid on top of a live video feed, usually viewed through the screen of a smartphone or tablet. It allows the user to ‘experience’ the product or service in a personal manner, through superimposition.
Indeed, the primary advocates of AR have actually targeted events, such as trade shows, as they are centred on the brand experience. From afar, the sensory and experiential nature of augmented reality seems like a match made in heaven for getting consumers up close and personal with an unfamiliar product or service, yet Australian Interactive Marketing dig firm in their conclusion that people still buy from people.
It seems as though the firm are savvy to the notion that tech fads can wear off quickly, and despite many gurus labelling it as ‘the hottest marketing trend of 2018’, marketers are yet to figure out how to maximise their return on investment for it. The firm believe this will be a big decider in its overall success.