Imagine delivering a marketing strategy in real time. Customers and clients get to experience your product or service as it is meant to be used. Augmented reality (AR) marketing takes the reins from virtual reality platforms to create a new, interactive consumer experience. It is so popular right now, its growth is expected to reach $117.4 billion by 2022. As little as five years ago, consumers knew little or nothing about this marketing tool.
A recent new trend that's popped up is the emergence of virtual influencers, particularly for those active in social media and the influencer marketing space. A recent BBC article highlights the benefits of virtual influencers and alludes to the blurring of lines between humans and computer-generated personalities: "In reality, isn't every influencer digital? This trend of artificially creating personalities poses a massive potential risk to the future of culture and media. There are major differences between people and artificially created personalities. When my team at #paid works with influencers, we're delighted and proud of those who turn down requests for brands to work together.
Keep in mind, these people approached me. The first question I asked was, so...do you know what my brand is all about? They said no, I'm sorry I wasn't filled in. Immediately I was unimpressed, you would think in 2016, you would have the know how to GOOGLE someone, at least look at ones email signature to have a better idea of the person you are speaking to. I asked about what direction this client wanted to go...because it became clear to me this was a classic third party marketing/advertising firm.
Digital marketing has reached the point in its evolution where we know what the best practices are: A seamless omnichannel strategy, an emphasis on customer experience and the use of social media to co-create the brand with the customer, to name a few. Along with these benchmarks, there is a general consensus on what excellence looks like, both in terms of which companies are leading the pack and which marketing leaders are setting the standards. But based on what we saw at CES 2017 in Las Vegas last month, digital marketing will soon be shifting into a new gear, as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) begin to gain critical mass. In our view, the combination of VR's immersive technology and AI's predictive analytics will exponentially raise the bar for customer experience, rewriting the standards currently in place. Just as when social media and mobile first emerged, AI and VR will not bring with them an established playbook to follow or metrics with which to measure success.