SXSW: Augmented reality tipped to be the next marketing channel

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 13 March 2016
HP Aurasma’s vice president and general manager, Annie Weinberger, speaking at SXSW.

Augmented reality (AR) has the power to deliver new insights from traditional advertising mediums, with the technology set to become the next marketing channel, according to HP Aurasma’s vice president and general manager, Annie Weinberger.

Aurasma is Hewlett-Packard’s augmented reality arm and Weinberger believes that while a lot of the conversations about AR are in the future, there are real actions marketers can take to drive results today.

“Augmented reality really bridges traditional and digital marketing channels and creates, what I’m calling, the next marketing channel,” she says. “It leverages the best of traditional channels, such as direct mail and print, that high touch, very tangible experience and it bridges it to a very digital place. You can now track it, you can measure it, and it can be very successful.”

Weinberger was speaking on day two of South by Southwest (SXSW), on the topic of ‘More than Mobile: Augmenting today’s retail reality’. During the session, she explained that brands are able overlay any traditional channel with an AR experience, making a channel, such as print, measurable, interactive and engaging.

Part of the measurement piece, Weinberger revealed HP is driving serious results, with a campaign the business ran for a client using direct mail saw conversation rates jump from 3% to 37%, all by adding AR that incorporated a click to purchase button. AR can also be used to add extra content to static images on clothes, launch extra video content over a print add, or even make contact information come alive on a business card.

“Marketers today communicate with these traditional channels, if you add AR on top of that, not only are you taking those traditional channels and making them measurable, targeted and engaging, most importantly you’re making them mobile,” she says.

“So all of a sudden these traditional channels can become a mobile channel for us,” she added.

HP today rolled out the latest version of its Aurasma app, with the technology brand aiming to work with brands and marketers to help the incorporate AR into their marketing plans. Using Aurasma, brands can create AR experiences, which HP calls “Auras”, that can be added into an existing brand app, or the tech company can also create an app for a business.

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