Instagram Stories recently expanded the use of its customisable augmented reality (AR) effects to include audiences beyond its community of Spark AR creators. According to parent company Facebook, the new AR effects on Instagram is set to be a “strictly organic” one, and there are currently no AR ads on its platform.
Nonetheless, the news saw many marketers across the region excited about the possibility of co-creating content with their consumers. Several that Marketing spoke to viewed AR filters to have the ability to drive consideration among Millennial and GenZ audiences. And while the new addition can certainly drive engagement, can it be monetised is a question Marketing asked some of the industry players.
"Marketing and sales are no longer single-dimensional," former honestbee VP of marketing, Christina Lim said, adding that "not everything on social media translates directly into dollars and cents". However, the key to address return on marketing investment lies in the company's business objectives, Lim explained. Currently, there is still a disconnect between the languages of marketing and business measurements.
"Most marketing performance indicators, such as reach, engagement, are largely media-centric. Whereas financial performance, higher growth at a lower cost of business, optimised value chain are the expected indicators for business performance," she said. As such, the veteran marketer with over 20 years of experience, said marketers should adopt these business narratives to demonstrate relevance of marketing investments for business.
According to Lim, good marketing ROI should support business KPIs. As such, instead of deploying social media to keep up with the trend, Lim said that brands have to:
Rationalise the investment before jumping into the latest social media gimmick.
Meanwhile, former chief marketing officer of Fonterra, Anindya Dasgupta said to ensure the investment pays off, brands can link usage directly to purchase. When consumers do try out the AR effects belonging to a brand, it can potentially lead to a purchase, hence brands must link its ROI values to sales.
However, he also added that these experiences can offer a unique way to differentiate the brand. For example, a paint company allowing users to check out the different shade options or even a F&B company using this tool to customise customer offerings could potentially disrupt the category. Moreover, he said:
Measuring brand affinity differences pre and post such campaigns are usually also telling.
While this initiative can draw engagement and sales, these also require marketing maturity. "The line of truly augmenting a brand experience, versus making it frivolous for consumers, sometimes could be rather thin," Dasgupta said.
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