Are You Augmenting Your Sales Metrics With Reality?

Multi-sensory print with holograms. Beacons. Haptics. I’m a sucker for cool experiences enabled by technology. Feed me. Feed my geek.

When it comes to marketing and print technology, I never go hungry for long. Perks for writing on Team PMC, and being a #PrintChat regular, include opportunities to make friends with techies and integrated marketing professionals who keep me in the loop on everything from the experiences they and their peers are creating now to the histories of what came before. It’s not always about new or new-to-me technology, but more about sharpening and broadening my mental map of the Printerverse and enjoying site-seeing along the way. Talk to me about foil and hot stamping in the 1800s or tell me about your friend’s printer’s sister who is working with psycho-reactive slime ink that respond to human emotions.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I got to talking about augmented reality. Museums loom large in the Solages lifestyle so I prattled on and on with a series of “it-would-be-cool-ifs” tied to exhibits and favorite parts of the Smithsonian. Talk of museums pivoted to education, and my friend shared how teachers are using augmented reality to engage students during reading exercises. PMC readers can imagine how AR brings another dimension of life to each page the students read.

Here’s one example:

I probably would have spent more time on the magic page aspect of the experience. But my friend, who may be slightly less in the clouds than I am during downtime, continued to describe how while a student is reading, AR systems can provide guidance and/or additional challenges based upon the student’s performance (e.g. enunciation, pronounciation, comprehension) in real time and provide teachers with data on how each student is doing.

You know what’s silly? I haven’t been discussing AR in that way. But here’s an opening for us to assert that “print media is about data.”

If you are in the print business, AR is another opportunity for you to make sure you are selling value and not a commodity. Wow your prospect with a sample. Sure. That goes without saying. Make it pretty. Show them how different individuals could see different personalized calls to action in their magazine or catalog based upon their behavior and attributes. But take care to demonstrate how the platform you use will supply your client with data and metrics to justify paying for the cool experiences you’re enabling.

43% of the markerters surveyed for Hubspot’s most recent “State of The Inbound” report said that proving the ROI of their marketing activities was their top marketing challenge. 65% said their top challenge was generating traffic and leads. And look at you, you genius integrated marketing expert, you’re enabling calls to actions with AR to help your clients start to qualify leads and give them real information on what is working or not.

Coolness will only take you so far (or so far cooler people tell me). That CMO or VP of Marketing needs to be able to say “Not only is this cool, but this is a true sales tool. It encourages people to interact, and we have full analytics every time they do so. Let me give you more money.”

Put yourself on my printerverse map, and tell me about your experiences working with augmented reality. What kind of ROI did you and/or your clients experience? I want to hear more from our community. You can hit me up at @andysolages on Twitter, or you can connect with me on LinkedIn. If we connect on LinkedIn, it is traditional to exchange turgid sales pitches for irrelevant products before beginning a human conversation. I will not judge you if you decide to forgo that ritual.

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Andy Solages_Print-Media-Centr

Andy Solages connects people and organizations with technologies to improve professional experiences and business results. Andy is a monthly contributor to Print Media Centr’s News from The Printerverse and a regular participant in #PrintChat on Twitter.

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