Augmented Reality in B2B Marketing – a Case Study

Augmented reality, the overlaying of digital content which can be in the form of information of graphics, over objects, people and locations in the real world as viewed through a mobile platform or webcam, is a term we are all fairly familiar with these days.

Its natural pairing with mobile augmented platforms in smart phones, and the ever-increasing adoption trends for smart-phones worldwide, has enabled us to see many consumer products adopt AR based apps as part of their integrated marketing campaigns. From cars to magazines, and just about every other thing in between, we have seen innovative and engaging uses of AR technology aimed at the consumer market.

The B2B scene however has seen few AR marketing applications developed and most seem to lack the punch and pizazz delivered by their B2C counterparts. A big part of this lies in the early adopters focusing on the novelty of the new technology over the marketing goals of their campaign.

AR solutions can be used as part of a B2B company’s integrated marketing plan to reinforce their brand, as part of employee engagement, maximize presence at events, and bring product demos to life amongst others. The key to successfully using this technology remains understanding the business and/or marketing goal you want to achieve and using the technology as a means of achieving that goal.

Augmented Reality B2B

Augmented Reality – with Webcam

The Challenge

Datacraft in Singapore organizes several training workshops and seminars round the year for partner sales engineers and managers. These events saw a gradual but consistent decline in participation. Furthermore, they found it increasingly difficult to keep the audience engaged for the whole duration of 3-hour long sessions. Datacraft was looking for a solution to boost attendance, increase engagement levels and retain audience interest till the end of the event.

The Solution

GetIT Comms developed and implemented a Reason-to-Stay (RTS) solution based on Augmented Reality (AR) – the simplicity of idea was in a postcard carrying a cryptic design with a note inviting the attendees to flash it at a camera placed in a booth at the end of the event to win themselves a surprise gift. When the design is flashed at the camera, a virtual gift would pop out of the screen with a virtual 3D feel, and the attendee wins what he/she sees. Attempts were made to personalize the experience for each attendee to the extent possible.

The Impact:

GetIT Comms’ Reason-to-Stay (RTS) solution raised considerable curiosity and interest among the attendees; they were delighted by an idea that was futuristic, the extent of personalization, and the novelty value it held for the content was unlike any of its peer events. Not only did the participation remain active till the end of the event, word of this unique initiative also spread among their partner community driving up attendance at future events. Recognizing the success, other country teams also expressed interest in incorporate AR element in their events.

With mobile devices projected to overtake PCs as the most common web devices by 2013 (Ref: Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond) B2B companies will have to reevaluate their marketing plans to target their audience of buyers and influencers much more effectively.

While AR is just one means of leveraging on the mobile trend it is rapidly becoming a more mature technology whilst retaining its engagement factor with audiences. As AR apps become cheaper and easier to develop it makes sense for B2B companies to incorporate them in their strategies.


This article was originally posted at Paulwriter.com.

Read more: Augmented reality and other content marketing solutions from GetIT Comms

Paul Writer believes that there is a rich pool of innovation in B2B industries and all that is required for this potential to be unlocked is marketing. Founded by Jessie Paul, author of No Money Marketing, Paul Writer aims to be a membership platform that provides B2B marketers resources, research, insights, benchmarks and tools that will make their professional lives simpler, more efficient and richer. And make their social networking more relevant.


About Anol

For last 14+ years Anol, editor-in-chief of B2Bento.com, is consulting hi-tech and telco clients (Cisco Systems Inc, IDC Asia Pacific, StarHub, Dimension Data etc.) on behalf of GetIT (Singapore), in the field of B2B marketing, lead / demand generation, lead nurturing, social media strategy & implementation and user experience design. He is a regular columnist on the topic of B2B marketing in various print and online newspapers, such as Business Times, Straits Times, Marketing Interactive, Asia One etc. Anol has spoken as a keynote speaker at the major marketing conferences across the region including Click Asia Summit (Mumbai), AdTech (Singapore), SES (Hong Kong, Singapore). MIS -NSMC, SiTF Workshop, BritCham Singapore etc.

Comments

  1. I too blogged about B2B and AR about a year ago:nnhttp://allinio.com/2009/11/augmented-reality-the-new-reality/nnIt doesn’t seem like that much has happened in a year for B2B and AR, although it has definitely grown on the consumer side.nniPhone apps like Acrossair and Layar are among the most popular and integrate with other GEO apps like Foursquare and Twitter to provide a great deal of information.nnFor B2B there may be a great supply chain opportunity in conjunction with RFID. We’ll see.nnCheers,nnJoe Z.

    • Thank you for leaving your comment. Yes, we’re grappling with the challengernof taking AR beyond just the “fun” or “novelty” factor to make it fulfil arncore business need. One thought: integrating it with telepresencerntechnology, e.g, conducting a solution demo while in a TP session byrnflashing markers at the video camera…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by juanmarketing, Anol Bhattacharya, Asuthosh Nair, GetIT Comms, B2Bento and others. B2Bento said: From B2Bento Blog: Augmented Reality in B2B Marketing – a Case Study http://goo.gl/fb/hEjm4 [...]

  2. [...] According to research by B2Bento, over 90% of B2B buyers are using social media to research and execute purchases. LinkedIn has been the most popular social media platform for B2B, thanks to its professional focus, according to this report, particularly in the US. This of course does not mean that B2B owners hesitate to experiment with current technology trends: the majority of US executives not only use mobile web to buy items for work, but also use both free and paid B2B apps at least occasionally, while some B2B companies try augmented reality solutions for their marketing, like Asia’s IT Service Provider Datacraft. [...]

  3. [...] Its natural pairing with mobile augmented platforms in smart phones, and the ever-increasing adoption trends for smart-phones worldwide, has enabled us to see many consumer products adopt AR based apps as part of their integrated marketing campaigns. From cars to magazines, and just about every other thing in between, we have seen innovative and engaging uses of AR technology aimed at the consumer market. Click here to read more… [...]

  4. [...] use case for a B2B marketer is less obvious. One application used AR to increase attendance at three-hour webinars by using it as a way of allowing attendees to [...]

  5. game apps cannot

    Augmented Reality in B2B Marketing – a Case Study – B2B Marketing Asia

Leave a Reply