Advances in augmented reality will require closer bond between CIOs and CMOs

It's important that CIOs get up to speed on AR.

AR/augmented reality - VR/virtual reality - enterprise mobile - virtual display
Thinkstock

The way that CIOs support their CMOs is evolving as new technologies drive more advanced user-experiences. Omnichannel marketing is putting pressure on the c-suite. Customers expect informative content to be delivered in a more engaging, personalized way. This is leading to increasing reliance on video streaming and augmented reality to stand-out from the competition. CIOs need to be prepared to support these initiatives.

The explosion in video, and conversion improvement is causing a battle over where content will be hosted.

The last thing a CIO wants to hear is that they need to dedicate valuable servers, disc space and bandwidth to serving up video content. While every large enterprise has the hardware and in-house expertise to host video content themselves, it’s a bad idea. CMOs will tell you two things:

  1. YouTube is a great way to organically reach and promote content to your niche audience.
  2. It’s very difficult to protect video content that’s stored locally. Services like Vimeo Pro offer a built-in source directory shield that stops other organizations from stealing your video content.

To a large extent, CIOs can simply provide guidance and offer a crash-course in safely hosting content on third-party platforms, and then embedding it in the content that the marketing team wants to share.

It is not a failure for a CIO to shy away from managing internal video content themselves. Encourage the use of video marketing tools like YouTube to help CMOs build brand awareness, and focus your time on other initiatives.

Augmented reality is the next frontier

It’s already well established that video content dramatically increases landing page conversion. But great CIOs and CMOs ask themselves: “What’s next?” If you want to get ahead of the competition, augmented reality is the next frontier.

AR allows consumers to engage with your content in a new and exciting way. The tech infrastructure required to create AR content is minimal, and there are plenty of outside vendors that create software to help your organization create compelling experiences that put your products in the virtual hands of future customers.

According to Erik Till, Head of Marketing at DroneBase, “AR opens the door for countless possibilities for both drone pilots and companies looking to create unique content. DroneBase’s AirCraft is the first AR technology for both recreational and commercial drone use, and pilots can create anything virtually in the sky.”

AR can be applied to virtually every facet of product development and training

AR tech goes beyond marketing. CIOs can help facility managers and designers visualize the work they’re creating with the help of AR planning tools. The possibilities are endless – from training, to facility design and even new product development.

Medical schools, for example, are now utilizing AR to allow med students to practice operating on virtual patients with complex virtual bone and organ structure. This is reducing their reliance on cadavers and other expensive medical equipment.

This same technology could be applied to training technicians on maintenance and repair of complex machinery. Or retail companies could use AR to simulate the customer experience in a conceptual refresh of a current location. Every stakeholder would be able to put themselves into the future of their renovation plans and identify opportunities for further improvement before contractors step foot in the space.

Future-ready CIOs will look ahead and explore all the opportunities to market products and improve operational efficiency through AR. The costs associated with developing and deploying AR scenarios has dropped significantly in recent years, thanks to the prevalence of specialist freelancers and user-friendly design software.

I’ve personally sat in a boardroom full of executives wearing oculus VR headsets. It looked like something out of star trek, but it gave everyone the ability to experience different product prototypes without a costly concept-run. And the insights gained really enhanced the final product. Things were changed that would have been far too costly to alter in post-production.

In conclusion, I think it’s important that CIOs get up-to-speed on augmented reality. CMOs will be able to better communicate with their customers, and CIOs can offer these tools to a variety of internal departments. I’m genuinely excited to see all the ideas that companies come up with to improve their marketing and workflow in the VR/AR revolution.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

NEW! Download the Fall 2018 digital issue of CIO