Augmented Reality Marketing; a Revolutionary Sales Technology


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‘Sales Technology: Selling With Augmented Reality’ is the second in a series of reports by Hidden Creative and has been launched today to investigate how the technology supports every step along the sales and marketing cycle.

Our first and widely acclaimed report ‘Augmented Reality marketing strategies: how to guide for marketers’ [insert link] set out to outline why the technology has real and tangible marketing uses.

This new report looks at how augmented reality can provide sales people with an impressive aide to enhance selling, sales pitches, presentations and other collateral.

Published in: Business, Technology

Augmented Reality Marketing; a Revolutionary Sales Technology

  1. 1. SALES TECHNOLOGY: SELLING WITH AUGMENTED REALITY 05/09/2011 12 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 1JF +44 (0)161 236 8181Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd
  2. 2. Foreword by Matthew Trubow, CEO of augmented reality developers Hidden Creative Augmented reality (AR) is a fast emerging tool for We set out to test how persuasive augmented reality sales and marketing departments, but to help a wider can be by conducting a study of people between the audience understand the benefits of this technology, ages of 29 and 55. The study focused on parents, we have produced this report that demonstrates how although this is not crucial to the outcome or findings. augmented reality can drive bottom line sales growth. In total, 200 parents took part in the study. The technology allows sales people to put a virtually We recreated the famous Pepsi challenge, but this enhanced version of a product directly into the hands time comparing traditional display advertising versus of customers and prospects. These products do augmented reality. 100 parents were shown a display more than you would expect. They have the ability advert for a child’s toy, while another 100 parents were to demonstrate themselves to the audience and shown the child’s toy as an interactive augmented to collect feedback for you, allowing you to better reality experience. provide for your customers and to more clearly communicate with prospects. Each person was then asked two questions: One of the most powerful aspects of the selling 1. Would you consider buying this toy for a child? process is the affinity customers develop with a 2. How much would you consider paying for the toy? product the moment they touch and engage with it. Through our research, we have been able to truly The duration of engagement the audience had with endorse the theory that the outcome is no different if each format was also monitored. the product is presented as an augmentation. This document describes how sales and marketing teams are currently using the technology, but to ensure we accurately reflect how powerful AR can be in this environment, we decided to commission research.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 1
  3. 3. Likelihood to buy Summary After viewing the 2D printed display advert, out of 100 The research shows that the more immersive the parents, 45% would consider buying the toy for a child. engagement, the more likely the customer is to buy, and in fact they are prepared to do so at a 30% higher price point. Augmented reality clearly lends well to the sales process by Out of those who viewed the augmented reality experience, enhancing the engagement and increasing the audience’s 74% of the parents would consider buying the toy for a level of immersion. child. Although the study compared a print display advert, there What we found even more intriguing was the price point at are also obvious major implications for the DOOH, events which the parents were prepared to make the purchase. and digital marketing sectors. Attitude to price This research also has revealing implications for all types of marketers regardless of B2B or B2C specialism. Whether Out of those parents that viewed the printed advert, the the product is a complex engineering structure or a FMCG, average price of £5.99 was attributed as the estimated people are more likely to buy and at a higher price point. retail value of the product. Of those parents that engaged with the augmented reality experience, they estimated a higher average price of £7.99. B2B organisations that sell a physical product will also deem the findings very relevant. For example, imagine during the sales process, being able to demonstrate products that are too big, dangerous or complex to engage Advertising engagement with first-hand. Augmented reality technology gives an For advertisers there were other relevant findings with innovative and insightful edge to the sales professional by regard to the depth of engagement with the audience. We allowing non-verbal communications with the audience in a calculated that the parents spent an average of 12 seconds far more informative and immersive way. actively engaged with the print advert. Those parents using the augmented reality experience did so for an average of AR not only enhances communication but provides sales 1 minute 23 seconds. people with intelligence on how clients feel about a product and what they find interesting. In other words, when armed with AR, sales professionals can focus on utilising feedback gained from the customer’s use of the experience to shape the sales process towards making a sale. About Hidden... Hidden is a marketing communication agency, which specialises in developing augmented reality experiences for industrial, consumer and commercial uses. The company has a proven track record of delivering projects with clear, measurable goals for the likes of ABB, Knauf Insulation, BBC and Channel 5. Its senior management team are pioneers in the field, and are experts in advising businesses in how to deploy augmented reality, regardless of their experience and understanding of AR and technology. For more information please call us on +44 (0)161 236 8181 or visit hiddenltd.comCopyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 2
  4. 4. Contents 4 The basics 5-7 The psychologies underpinning the use of technology in sales and marketing 8-9 Augmented reality and sales strategy 10-11 10 ways that augmented reality is improving sales processes 12 Summary 13 Appendix one The basics - Augmented reality for marketersCopyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 3
  5. 5. The basics How to find out more If you want to understand how the ‘Augmented reality is a term for a camera enhanced view of a physical real-world technology works and what it is, a quick overview of technology is available in our appendix. environment, where virtual elements are merged with the real-life scene creating a ‘mixed reality’ An in-depth explanation of the technology is available in Hidden of virtual elements and the real world. The Creative’s Augmented Reality ‘virtual elements’, given their nature, can consist of anything. This could be 3D models, video, web Marketing Strategies: the How to Guide which is available free here information…anything. The point here is that reality-marketing-how-to-guide your mind is the only boundary.’ Matt Trubow Hidden Creative LtdCopyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 4
  6. 6. The psychologies underpinning the use of technology in sales and marketing Technology can be very persuasive if used in conjunction with four key psychological techniques: touch, storytelling, neuro-linguistics and risk management. Touch Storytelling Neuro-linguistics Risk management Augmented reality and the psychology of touch One of the biggest advantages of including augmented The most recent research into the power of touch is by reality in the sales process is the ability to interact directly Joann Peck and Suzanne B. Shu, called, “The Effect with a product or object. of Mere Touch on Perceived Ownership.” Their study summarises that people are more willing to buy, and to For years sales and marketing professionals have used pay more for an object if they have engaged with a product psychological techniques to ‘read’ a situation, ultimately through the sense of touch. resulting in increased sales. It’s not always possible to allow the audience the luxury The most common technique is the use of touch. Tactility of touching or engaging directly with a product. For with a person or object decreases an audience’s natural example, an offshore platform, wind farm or an engineering resistance or defences and helps to change negative mechanism that is a sub-component within a larger behaviours. component would be difficult to engage with. Some of this comes down to obvious barriers such as safety, sophistication, size and location of the product.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd | 1 Journal of Consumer Research: October 2009. 5
  7. 7. Augmented reality eliminates the barriers to engagement, and in fact allows for a deeper level of interaction and provides actual ‘contact time’ with a product. Additional information, animations and other details can be highlighted and further explained with precise detail. Augmented reality can make the most inexperienced salesperson appear as a seasoned professional. When it comes to marketing and selling consumer brands, In addition to the mass market intelligence that is marketers also have the benefit of being able to extend gained directly from the consumer, an AR experience their sales reach by demonstrating products, such as creates a ‘smart’ communication channel into the jewellery and clothing, directly over the internet through customer’s world. This channel can then be utilised to augmented reality. forward promotions that specifically address the interests of As with all augmented reality experiences information the client. This in turn will drive footfall into store, or could about the path and actions of the user are monitored and be used to take the customer to a website to further review can offer valuable insight, feedback and guidance. the offer, and ultimately make a purchase. For instance, the types and combinations of clothing In short, AR gives the vendor the ability to demonstrate viewed via an AR experience can help to guide a marketing a product to a customer in ways previously thought team in the design and construction of a catalogue or impossible and helps to build trust and relationships. perhaps even next season’s product range. Having this insight and knowing exactly what appeals to the audience In retail or B2B environments, using touch as a form of non- would be beneficial for any organisation. verbal communication can lead to impulse purchasing and can be a powerful way to connect with a consumer. Augmented reality and the psychology of NLP Many sales professionals, at least those that really want Visual learners have a high aptitude for digesting images, to understand the people they are selling to, employ the diagrams and graphics. Aural learners absorb through use or observance of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). conversation and the written word. Kinesthetic learners This is a technique that explores the different ways in which understand through touch and engagement experiences. All people process information, how they communicate and learning styles require deep involvement with the subject in their associated behaviour patterns and emotions. order for the desired connection to be made. The subject matter is complicated but it essentially boils What can’t be ignored is the power that augmented reality down to the fact that people can be separated into three has in lending well to each of these learning styles in a fundamental categories in terms of learning behaviour unique, immersive and intriguing way. By allowing a client patterns: to engage with an augmentation, the sales professional is appealing to the non-verbal communication patterns of both • Visual learners the visual and kinaesthetic learner. They can also observe • Aural or Auditory learners behaviours and emotions, and react accordingly, endearing • Kinesthetic or tactile learners the client to the product and lowering the barrier to closing a sale or obtaining a contract.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 6
  8. 8. Augmented reality and the psychology of stories Storytelling is one of the longest standing and most relied upon sales techniques in the world. Augmented reality once again is the catalyst, enabling storytelling. AR can be employed to connect with customers using storytelling in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. This can be delivered over the internet, at an event or in-person. It can also be passed among colleagues and distributed freely if appropriate. Below is a link to a video that shows an augmentation Hidden Creative developed for ABB using storytelling, to explain how a complex engineering system could be deployed by rail. Other examples of how the storytelling theme is being used in conjunction with augmented reality: • Problem solving • Undiscovered versatility of a new or existing product • Demonstrating performance and key benefits Augmented reality and the psychology of risk Risk is a major barrier for any sales professional, no matter their focus, be it B2C or B2B. In any sales situation the objections tend to include subjective matters and none more so than in the retail industry, nonetheless these barriers must be overcome. Consumers must be confident that a product is reliable and, perhaps even more so, that it is fashionable too. Likewise, in the B2B environment, there are always several key objections that a sales person must handle. Many are obvious and well known to most people in their own industry but the most typical objections are: • Will the product or service make the client more money? • Does the product or service allow the client to lower overheads or reduce costs? Risks are evident in every scenario but the benefit of augmented reality is how it provides insight to the customers thought process. This allows the sales professional to address the fundamental barriers directly and overcome the objections. The technology affords the sales person the ability to present visually how a product could help achieve an objective. For many, seeing is believing, so having an AR experience on hand can be the difference between winning and losing a sale or a piece of business.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 7
  9. 9. Augmented reality and sales strategy Augmented reality can influence several aspects of the sales process, and by allowing the technology to do its job, budgetary justification for investing in AR is straight-forward. The following diagram outlines some of the processes associated to the sales cycle and indicates where marketing technologies such as augmented reality can be used to support these activities. Delivery Demand Sales Lead generation Strategy qualification Propositioning Process: Demand generation Naturally customer acquisition is the key element to the sales process. A customer, from a basic perspective, has a need, a problem or is looking to exploit an opportunity. Sales and marketing content is there to ensure the potential client reaches the conclusion that a product or service is the right solution. When used in conjunction with traditional marketing material, augmented reality can guide potential customers to the answers they are seeking. AR is an attention grabbing technology, but there is more to it than the ‘wow’ factor. AR is a powerful non-verbal communication tool that can help any business create demand for its products.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 8
  10. 10. Process: Lead qualification Qualification is often the most resource consuming of all the early sales stages. Spinning your wheels in the wrong direction costs the company time and money so streamlining this element of the process is high on the priority list for many executives. This stage focuses on using AR to establish what a client wants or is interested in. By qualifying the lead and understanding what they want, management can provide them with a sales team that is right for them. Likewise, products and services can be tailored accordingly too. One of the major benefits or AR is maintaining customer interest. This can be done upon initial introduction, sales demonstration, pitch or presentation. The sharper and more powerful the engagement, the more difficult your competitor’s job becomes. By furthering a customer’s engagement with a product through the use of technology, businesses can gather what we refer to as ‘mass intelligence’. Simply put, mass intelligence is the activity of the user that is recorded during their engagement with the product augmentation. This data can be analysed to determine what’s hot and what’s not with regard to an offering. Being able to see exactly what the audience is interested in or interacting with gives organisations the blueprint to ensure they are communicating clearly with their target market on all levels. This is far more than can be accomplished through any website or catalogue. Process: Propositioning Creating an appealing proposal, particularly in the B2B space, is essential to capturing the attention and beginning a prosperous relationship with a new potential client. Bringing products to life through augmented reality allows businesses to clearly demonstrate an offering far better than a PowerPoint deck. ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is a familiar term and understood by most professionals. AR eliminates the boredom that typically denotes many presentation methods. In the event that the salesperson is not present to offer a solution face-to-face, as is often the case with the tendering process, augmented reality really excels. Tender documents are purposefully designed by procurement departments to be very text-heavy so to appear very similar when placed next to the competition. AR allows you to stand-out by putting the actual solution in the hands of the potential client. Augmented reality speaks volumes in this type of sales situation and is a superb way to create a disruptive attention grabbing proposal. Process: Delivery The delivery stage is different for every business but for a B2B organisation, the journey only begins once a customer has been acquired. The acquisition stage is the start of what is intended as a long term relationship that often includes several phases of delivery, punctuated by numerous project milestones. Many of the visualisations that may be necessary to support ongoing project efforts could be realised through the use of augmented reality. When the customer can see, hold and interact with your vision through this type of media it naturally encourages client buy-in. When you can bring your thoughts to life though the use of AR, it greatly helps to enrich the clarity of the relationship by allowing you to precisely manage the client’s expectations. Retailers, once a sale is made, begin another more distant journey with the customers. The primary goals in retail are to establish a brand and build loyalty, ensuring that a customer continues to rely on the product or service. In this sector it is also traditional to exploit up-selling and side-selling opportunities as well as offering enticement to increase repeat visits. AR can be used to support all these activities.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 9
  11. 11. 10 WAYS THAT AUGMENTED REALITY IS IMPROVING SALES PROCESSES 1. Demand generation: increase 4. Qualifying: sales and marketing engagement and dwell time online collateral A good website should be part of a digital strategy to Too many sales and marketing professionals under acquire new customers or generate leads. When AR is invest in sales and marketing collateral. Some innovative used on websites, it increases dwell time and there is a companies are choosing to invest in the sales process proven correlation between the dwell time on site and and make a good first impression by using AR to bring a conversions (e.g. sales, visits to the contact us page). presentation to life. Sales collateral can be static too but at the end of an AR 2. Demand generation: engaging experience it is possible to add data capture forms or refer people onto a website or contact page, thus supporting the advertising (print and DOOH) sales process. Advertising is changing and savy advertising agencies are incorporating interactive elements into their artwork. Brands can incorporate an AR experience into an advert which then drives the user through to a website or provides 5. Qualifying: AR used in credential them with a coupon or offer to drive footfall into store. presentations The credentials’ meeting is the chance to impress and make an impression. Clearly an interactive web experience will not only captivate attention but as research 3. Demand generation: events shows, AR gives businesses a chance to put products into The events’ industry is in decline and old fashioned, an the hands of customers helping increase the likelihood to exhibition is no longer as central to marketing budgets buy. as it once was. Successful events and exhibitors are increasing interactivity at events which can increase dwell time on stand and directly help with lead generation.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 10
  12. 12. 6. Qualifying: AR used to demonstrate 9. Delivering: reporting and updating products clients on projects Product demonstrations might not be as high pressure Selling doesn’t stop when a client has been acquired. Most as a pitch situation but it is still a selling opportunity. If it businesses are constantly trying to convince clients that is impossible to demonstrate the real product then an AR their strategy is right or that their product design is the best experience can make an engaging alternative. solution. An augmentation of a proposed solution can be a sophisticated and persuasive way to communicate its benefits. 7. Proposing: tender documents and proposals Don’t under invest in the pitch stage. Most sales 10. Delivering: global working practices Truly global businesses come with their own challenges. professionals know it is better to do five great pitches than Sometimes it is not feasible to fly out clients to visit a 100 average ones, so why not enhance a presentation with project site in China or Australia, or perhaps a project is augmented reality? being coordinated with teams which are located in different time zones. AR demonstrations can prove to be the death of distance and reduce the need for expensive international 8. Proposing: modeling designs and travel. products There are some businesses that need to strip back costs from the sales process. For example, engineering firms spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on 3D product models. There are a number of leading engineering and construction firms who are investing in AR modeling instead which can be much more cost effective and take much less time to complete. Again for some organisations modeling products for clients can be a major part of the job. Make the process quick impactful with AR.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 11
  13. 13. Summary The skill of selling is intangible to most and impossible recorded precisely by the system. This insight can be used to learn. It is in part because the ability to connect and to guide new or existing product development and ensures persuade will always be something that few people are sales professionals tailor their presentations and pitches able to do naturally. For this reason, there is little chance accordingly. of technology, such as computers, replacing field sales staff, and the role of the sales person within organisations Sales professionals are always looking for the edge and we is safe for a good few years to come. feel that technologies such as augmented reality can be the point of difference that many corporate organisations need There is of course no reason why technology can’t aid to help them stand out from the crowd. sales teams and improve the process - in fact technology is already doing so. The last decade has seen the The technology is immersive, persuasive and powerful. emergence of tools like Sales Force which has transformed What is more, it is becoming more and more accessible as sales departments by supporting the implementation of the cost of producing an augmentation decreases thanks to quality business processes, just as human resources increased competition in the marketplace and the lowering management or engineering is guided by best practice of software licensing costs. Now it is possible to create an techniques too. AR experience for much less than the cost of a corporate video. However, there is always room for improvement and we feel that marketing technologies can help sales people I hope you have enjoyed reading this document as much to sell more effectively. Not by creating visually stunning as I have enjoyed putting the content together. If you have presentations (although this helps) but by using technology any more questions regarding augmented reality and to tap into psychological sales principles and by applying marketing please feel free to contact me. technology to every step of the sales process, from lead generation, qualification, right through to delivery. By adopting marketing technologies sales people reap the benefits of placing a digital version of a product in a client’s hands. Not only is this a powerful way to sell, the intelligence gained from allowing a customer to explore a digital version of a product can provide very powerful intelligence on what customers like most about what they see. This mass intelligence can be obtained by examining the path the user takes in exploring the product, as Matt Trubow, CEO, Hidden Creative Ltd +44 (0)161 236 8181 or email matt@hiddenltd.comCopyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 12
  14. 14. Appendix 1 The basics Augmented reality for marketers WHY SHOULD I WHAT IS IT? CONSIDER USING IT? HOW CAN IT BE USED? OK, let’s get the definitions out of As a marketing and sales tool, Augmented reality has a place in the way. Augmented reality is a term the scope for augmented reality almost every business. It depends for a camera enhanced view of a is endless. Any sales person will on how you communicate internal physical real-world environment, tell you that the ability to put a and external messages or reach out where virtual elements are merged self-demonstrating version of your to your potential clients as to how you with the real-life scene creating a product in your client’s hand is approach the use of AR. ‘mixed reality’ of virtual elements and crucial, but not always possible, or is the real world. The ‘virtual elements’, it? AR makes it possible for clients to There is nothing more conducive given their nature, can consist of visualise any products regardless of to a sale than putting your product anything. This could be 3D models, size or location. or service right in the customer’s video, web information…anything. hand. The basis for the technology The point here is that your mind is There is scientific evidence that is to immerse the audience in the the only boundary. shows by simply touching a product subject. Sticking to this core value for a few seconds, an attachment is will keep you on the right track Imagine pointing your smart phone’s created that often leads to buying or when developing the idea for your camera down the road and in return even paying more for the item. experience. being presented with information or data relative to nearby interest points Marketing and sales teams assisted The immediate uses come in many such as shops and attractions. How by augmented reality are able to forms and are evolving quickly. For about entering a department store achieve this type of connection. examples of commercial, industrial and having instant access to a guide This is especially powerful as and consumer uses of augmented to all the individual contents and research into the psychology of reality please turn to page 7. a personal, virtual concierge that sales indicated that people become directs you to their location. personally attached to a product within the first 30 Another example might be you sitting seconds of contact when at home in front of your webcam, presented with a physical trying-on augmented luxury watches. or virtual item. Lastly, how about bringing a brochure or other marketing document to life and putting your product in the hands of your potential client thanks to a 3D AR experience. All this and far more is possible with augmented reality technology.Copyright © Hidden Creative Ltd 13