AR continues to evolve and take shape. Like other tech sectors, it has spawned several sub-sectors that comprise an ecosystem. These include industrial AR, consumer VR, and AR shopping. Existing alongside all of them – and overlapping to some degree – is AR marketing.
Among other things, AR marketing includes sponsored AR lenses that let consumers visualize products in their space. This field – including AR creation tools and ad placement – could grow from from $3.4 billion in 2022 to $14.5 billion in 2027 according to ARtillery Intelligence.
Factors propelling this growth include brand advertisers’ escalating affinity for, and recognition of, AR’s potential. More practically speaking, there’s a real business case. AR marketing campaigns continue to show strong performance metrics when compared with 2D benchmarks.
But how is this coming together? And what are best practices? These questions were tackled in a recent report by ARtillery Intelligence, containing narrative analysis, revenue projections, and campaign case studies. It joins our report excerpt series, with the latest below.
Variety & Versatility
AR continues to evolve and take shape as an industry, including several sub-segments. One of those sub-segments that leads in traction and revenue is immersive marketing. Among other things, we’re talking about branded lenses that let consumers visualize or virtually try-on products.
To further define and delineate AR marketing, it generally includes spending by brands to create and distribute immersive ad formats such as interactive lenses. Users can engage with these experiences through calls to action that activate their smartphone cameras and AR animations.
Supporting AR marketing are several components. For one, lens creation software equips brands and developers with low-code tools to author AR experiences. Social networks like Snapchat and Instagram also offer the ability to amplify lenses throughout their social graphs.
This resonates with brand marketers’ creative sensibilities, transcending what’s possible in two-dimensional formats. Beyond that appeal, AR marketing’s performance continues to be demonstrated, as noted above, including performance that meets brand marketing objectives.
Here, the name of the game is a variety. Brands often have varied goals, which AR can address due to its versatility as a marketing tool. It continues to demonstrate a unique ability to span the consumer purchase funnel – from upper-funnel reach to lower-funnel conversions.
For example, AR marketing achieves product engagement (upper funnel) and transaction-enabled shopping (lower funnel). Engagement depth occurs through immersive interactions, while transactions are stimulated by consumer confidence that’s gained in dimensional try-ons.
Optionality & Innovation
All of the above can sometimes happen through a given brand’s own channels, such as apps, or through paid amplification in places like Instagram. The latter represents AR advertising – a subset of AR marketing – which is projected to drive $3.5 billion in global revenue this year.
Beyond paid ad placement, other revenue categories in AR marketing include creation tools such as 8th Wall. Owned by Niantic, it offers brand marketers and agencies the ability to create immersive experiences that can be widely distributed and activated through the mobile browser.
Meanwhile, social AR platforms such as Snap Lens Studio are free for creators to build AR lenses. But amplifying a portion of those lenses to targeted Snapchat users is where Snap monetizes. Platforms with similar revenue models include Meta Spark and TikTok’s Effect House.
Altogether, the range of options for brand marketers continues to expand, including distribution through their own apps, web properties, social networks, shopping apps, print media, or anywhere you can plant a QR code. These competing platforms drive optionality and innovation.
But this competitive landscape also makes things challenging for brands that are new to AR and struggling with an already-complex marketing medium on technical levels. This will continue to be a learning curve for brands and agencies that are AR active or just AR curious.
We’ll pause there and return in the next installment with AR marketing platform profiles and campaign case studies that demonstrate best practices. Meanwhile, see the full report here.