‘Augmented reality can replace the showroom’ says Land Rover marketing chief

Laura Schwab, marketing director at Land Rover UK, which is currently using augmented reality within its showrooms to showcase a 3D preview of its new Discovery Sport car, says augmented reality will be ‘crucial’ to all future car launches.

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The iconic 4×4 car brand launched the AR campaign back in December in collaboration with digital marketing firm LIDA. It provided showroom customers with headsets to create the illusion of a life-sized digital preview within dealerships that did not yet have a physical model on display.

“The AR campaign was a massive success and we are expecting big sales for the Discovery Sport in 2015,” Schwab told Marketing Week. “Augmented reality is allowing us as an industry to replicate the showroom experience, sometimes on people’s phones.”

Over recent months, car brands including Fiat and Ford have also used augmented reality to promote the launch of new car models.

Schwab added: “It is about making the buying experience as easy as possible for the customer. That could mean augmented reality slowly replaces showrooms to an extent as people can look at all the features of a car ahead of a purchase from their homes via smartphone and virtual reality headsets.”

Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s leading manufacturer of premium luxury vehicles, announced a 9% rise in like-for-like sales for 2014 – the company’s fifth successive annual growth in sales.

Schwab expects 2015 to continue to produce positive results although she admits the marketing team she controls across the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, which totals around 50 people, is being tasked to spend as “efficiently as possible.”

“We are seeing growth in sales and that’s because of the strength of the brand’s heritage in the UK and our drive to improve the customer experience. Of course, budget car brands are always in our thoughts too but we have a very clear proposition and loyal customer.”

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