From 3-D playing cards and movie posters to virtual fitting rooms and vehicle test drives, augmented reality (AR) is emerging as a more accessible, innovative marketing tool.

Because more than half of shoppers use their smartphones to research purchases, AR offers new and improved ways for retailers to build relationships and engage with their customers—both inside and outside stores. In addition to creating a more engaging user experience, AR provides data that empowers brands to better understand what is resonating with consumers, and to tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.

Early examples of AR have proven successful for many brands, but barriers to widespread adoption among consumers are still present. So how does AR avoid fizzling out like so many marketing tech trends that came before it? (Sorry, QR code, but we're looking at you.)

Executing an innovative and successful AR marketing campaign doesn't have to be complicated. For retail marketers considering experimenting with AR, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

1. Make it relevant

For marketers and brands considering making AR part of their strategy, it's critical to understand what types of AR content are relevant to their users.

Within a user's live environment, AR technology has the ability to deliver 2-D and 3-D imagery, video, and animation via a mobile device. For example:

By tapping into the insights that AR provides—based on where, when, and how their audience is engaging with their content—retail marketers can better understand what content resonates with the user, then tailor their messaging and marketing efforts.

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image of Neal Applefeld

Neal Applefeld is the founder and CEO of SeeMore Interactive, a startup that helps brands engage with consumers by creating digital, interactive AR experiences.

LinkedIn: Neal Applefeld