Retailers often ask me,“Should we build a new Augmented Reality app for a single marketing campaign or should we/can we add the Augmented Reality campaign to our enterprise mobile application?”


This is a common conundrum at the enterprise level. Many retailers already have invested in expensive and meaty apps that mirror their website and integrate with their enterprise. They’ve gone to the trouble of building, marketing and distributing this enterprise mobile app which usually has a score of features like a store finder, e-commerce capabilities, inventory search – sometimes even price comparison. So when faced with the opportunity to use campaign-based mobile applications to enhance their marketing in new ways, many are wary.


“We already have an app – and it already has an audience.”


Enterprise apps are important to mobile strategy, but simply having an app that mirrors your website doesn’t necessarily take advantage of the marketing magic of mobile. While consumers expect a lot from an enterprise application, it might not make sense for it to include a game, animation or specific task that is better suited to a singular experience. On top of this, many enterprise mobile apps are heavy.  Augmented Reality app campaigns allow you to experiment with mobile engagement tactics without impacting the utility, usability or speed of your enterprise app.


Then, there’s the buzz factor.


Consumers may never tweet about it or talk about your enterprise app (except to complain when it’s broken) and may rarely engage with it even if it sits on their phone. If you stuff yet another feature into your already robust app, then the feature or campaign might just disappear into the existing mountain of content.  Campaigns are for building buzz and driving sales to specific items. They shouldn’t have to compete with your entire enterprise for attention.


Apps are often most exciting and popular when they do a single thing with excellence. Mobile Augmented Reality app campaigns allow you to create a download that contains a specific experience, task or game that can drive to enterprise app downloads, email acquisition or increased time spent with offline content. AR usually requires a collection of heavy, high quality images. Opting for an AR app campaign, allows a company to provide rich AR content without impacting the performance of their enterprise app.


“Our business objective is to get more downloads for our enterprise app, not to fragment our audience by having them download a bunch of apps for one time use.”


The objective of any marketing is to build awareness and drive sales. Awareness from an AR app campaign may come in the form of links in to your website, of social mentions or app downloads. You can use a multi-app strategy to do just that.


To build an app used to be outrageously expensive and time consuming. With new methods that make mobile app development for Android and iOS more efficient, it now can cost less than buying a full-page color ad or two in a newspaper. Think about it: If you bought fewer ads but improved engagement with your buy by enhancing it with Mobile Augmented Reality, you might discover the winning recipe of quality over quantity.


Speaking of newspaper ads, maybe you should start thinking about how to enhance engagement with your print marketing by experimenting with Mobile Augmented Reality app campaigns. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss the possibilities.