AMA Chicago Brand Marketing and Immersive Tech

The AMA Chicago hosted their Signature Speaker Series event in December, Immersive Technology and the Future of Brand Marketing, featuring our CMO, Leslie Marshall, who assembled a knowledgeable panel, including Chris Duncan, VP, Consumer Insights and Digital Marketing, Claire’s; Lindsay Gash, Agency Lead, AR at Meta; and Matthew Wren, Founder, VRAR Chicago 

In the dynamic landscape of marketing, staying ahead means understanding where your customers are and being present in the most relevant and interesting ways. The panelists emphasized the need to have the customer at the forefront of your marketing and technology strategy. The panel discussion focused on how immersive technology, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), delivers customer-centric, data-rich experiences and how marketers can get started with VR and AR technology.  

Understanding the Technology for Impactful Engagement 

Matthew Wren emphasizes the importance of marketers today understanding and integrating technology into marketing strategies. As a growing communication channel, there are many advantages to being the person in your firm who understands its potential and can give your brand a competitive edge. 

Should Marketers Still Enter the Metaverse?  

In response to a recent article headline in Fast Company, Should advertisers still enter the Metaverse? (,  “That depends,” noted Chris Duncan, Claire’s, “Where are your customers?” This vital question grounded the discussion, and the panelists agreed that understanding your customers and where they spend time is a critical step toward considering whether to use VR and AR technology as part of a marketing strategy.  

Bridging the Physical and Digital Divide with Immersive Marketing

Immersive technologies like VR and AR complement a brand’s physical and digital presence. Immersive technology creates value for people by enhancing ad campaigns, increasing attention spans, and offering self-expression and gamification. Matthew Wren emphasizes that AR through mobile is not just a content tool but a means to build a physical and digital connection. 

With an experience called “Shimmerville,” Chris Duncan shared that Claire’s uses Roblox to bridge digital and physical stores. By turning in-game pets into real products and integrating rewards, Claire’s achieved both physical and digital connectivity, showcasing the potential of immersive marketing. 

Leveraging Data for Informed Decision-Making 

Leslie Marshall pointed out that today’s marketers already have a lot of experience understanding data to drive decisions, and immersive experiences provide marketers with new data types. To learn from it, Lindsay Gash recommended that marketers take stock of their learning agenda and consider what they want to know about their customers. One of the advantages of AR is that viewership and time spent with the brand can be exponentially higher. In addition, Matthew Wren pointed out that with AR-activated experiences, marketers could learn more about their customers and products that could not be learned through traditional advertising.  

Integration is Key for Longevity for Immersive Marketing

Immersive marketing must be integrated into the broader business strategy. It should not exist in isolation; it must be impactful as part of an integrated campaign. Chris Duncan recommends staying focused on the customer and their needs, reminding marketers that commitment is crucial and that these experiences require continuous attention. 

Mobile AR at Scale: Building Immersive Experiences 

Lindsay Gash highlighted the importance of mobile AR as a scalable entry point. In the quest for immersive experiences, simplicity usually wins. The panel dispelled the misconception that immersive experiences are prohibitively expensive and recommended marketers focus on building use cases and learning from each use case to attract more investment. 

 From bridging physical and digital spaces to leveraging data for informed decision-making – the panel covered several benefits of immersive marketing. Marketers need to embrace these technologies to enhance customer engagement and build meaningful connections in the ever-evolving landscape of modern marketing. 

Related Post: “Embracing New Technology: Steps to Navigate the World of AI and XR.” 

“The metaverse…allows brands to … move beyond the boundaries of a conventional digital platform. The idea of transcending the traditional limits of marketing and bringing Lego bricks to life for customers in an entirely new and immersive way represents an exciting world of possibilities and a way for us to bring builders of all ages and passions closer to our brand.”- Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing and Product Officer, The Lego Group – quoted in Adweek, AI, Metaverse, 3D Billboards: Exciting Tech for CMOs ( 

“Now is not the time to stand still. Great marketing has always relied on genuine customer understanding turned into great customer experiences. Brands know this at their core. It’s time to take marketing to the virtual and augmented world in a meaningful way.” – Chad Engelgau, CEO, Acxiom – quoted in Fast Company, Should advertisers still enter the metaverse? ( 

Looking ahead, asking the right questions, and defining precise metrics will remain crucial in driving technological advancements and their real-world impact.

If you’re interested in exploring the intersection of spatial computing and AI within your enterprise, contact the Mesmerise Group today.

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