CMA Connect
CMA Connect

Episode · 7 months ago

EP31 - The guide to embracing augmented reality for marketers with Matt McGowan


Our guest on CMA Connect this week is Matt McGowan, Director and General Manager of Snap Inc. Canada, and an active member on the CMA’s ‘Media Council’. Matt joins John Wiltshire to dig into the topic of augmented reality (AR) in today’s media mix.

  • Journey from the early days of YouTube at Google to today’s vertical streaming, AR assisted landscape in Snap

What mobile video was to streaming 12 years ago is what, in 2022, augmented reality is as “the new thing in advertising”. We’ve moved beyond ‘helmets’, to glasses, to interplay with augmented reality on smartphones. Matt talks about why Snapchat is a camera company: “when you open the app, you open a camera where we empower you to overlay augmented reality; to overlay computing on that world.”

  • Is AR mature enough for marketers to use in reaching their targeted clients? (4:38)

“Yes! You can use augmented reality to entertain yourself, grow some bunny-rabbit ears or dog ears, but you can also use augmented reality to make purchases. Smart cameras with LiDAR sensors can sense depth, size, and so forth. Our Snap camera has something we call ‘Fit Tech’, which can size you. We've seen AR take off with apparel companies and retailers.”

  • Where does AR fit in the marketing mix? (8:46)

“At Snap, we have a self-serve ads manager very much like our peers. You create an account, put in a credit card, and you're off to the races. You can upload your vertical video from other platforms, as well as your augmented reality. Outside of the ads manager, we also have software called ‘Lens Studio’ which is like a new version of Adobe Photoshop that is much easier to use for non-designers. If you drop a lens alongside your Snap ads, you’re likely to see 40% incremental reach. There’s a definite upside to using AR.”

  • ‘In 2025, will AR be baked into everything we do as marketers?' (16:03)

“There's a lot of chat right now about augmented reality versus virtual reality. We truly believe that layering computing on the world in front of you, or ‘augmenting reality’ is the right approach. In 1998, cell phones had just started to hit the market. That phone has evolved so much over the decades. I firmly believe that evolution isn't going to stop all of a sudden.”

Tune into this episode of ‘CMA Connect’ for the full conversation between Matt McGowan and John Wiltshire.

...***)(*** Please note that this transcript is auto- generated and may contain errors***) The cameras smart these days, right, like there' s these sense depth, size, so on and so forth. So our snap camera has something we call fit technology and it can size you. So one of the areas you've seen Ayr takeoff is with apparel companies and retailers. How hard is it to get a shirt that fits you if you don't know what size you are? With the camera we kind of circumnavigate all that because the camera can accurately size you and match you with the clothing got best fits. Welcome to CEMA connect. The Voice of the Canadian marketing community. Join us. Would we have empowering discussions with industry leaders about the rapidly changing world of marketing? And that's the questions no one else is asking. I'm your host, John Wilshire. Welcome everyone. Our guest today is Matt mcgalan, Director in general manager a snap incorporated and an active member on the CMA's Media Council. Welcome Matt, Hi John, thanks for having me. Yeah, it's great and I'm really looking forward to getting into the the topic I'm I need to learn a lot more about augmented reality than I know today. And hopefully you're going to open that lens up for us. But just before we get into that, I mean I think I counted twenty three different experiences on your linkedin profile. And on top of that you're an American in Canada with a with an English education and you play a hockey over there, across the pond, I think it. Can you explain all that and a few sentences? Yeah, yeah, I definitely can. I I'm a board and bred New Yorker who who studied abroad, as you as used to rightfully said, in the UK, I did play ice hockey, you know from what I was a little guy on the ice early, early in my life, through university and even overseas in Europe, and so you know, moving to Canada was definitely a Canada was the right place for me, you could say. But you know, professionally, I listen, I started my career off on Wall Street. I quickly ended up in San Francisco in the late S, where I kind of got the bug for tech and software and kind of new media. I've spent some time building and and operating and managing, you know, smaller tech businesses. I've been very fortunate to exit quite a few of them. But and I've also spent some time at some of my peer platform but you...

...know, in this most recent chapter, here I am GM at's not Canada. I must say it's been nothing but the I'm able how all that led up to snap. And you what are you pulling from your past to help you move snap forward in Canada? Yeah, yeah, so, let's and I work for Google, early days of Youtube, when we were very much focused on mobile video. The headlines when I started at Google were that facebook was beating Google in the mobile space. If you remember those headlines. This is, you know, twelve years ago or something. So, you know, it's I've been in the ADS business. I built a media business, incisive media, that that very much, you know, was focused on the ad space, the digital ad space. But here at snap, yeah, listen, I feel really fortunate, I must say, and I'm nothing but impressed by but what our teams doing? It's, you know, I'm in this capacity now, GM general manager snap Canada. We, you know, we have a rather we have a growing team, growing business and, as you said, I heard you say, hugmented reality. The reason I brought up, you know, Google is because back twelve years ago we were all very focused on building mobile video and on snap you can run your vertical mobile video. But these days the world's focus on augmented reality. This kind of the new the new thing, right, and advertising and and I must say, fortunate and snaps a leader in it, and we're kind of very far along in our thinking around augmented reality. Yeah, let's not. Let's talk a little bit about it. So what I the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about augmented reality is a helmet. And maybe I go back a few years ago when, in in order to get that reality ahead, to put a helmet on and and see through the the video projection device within the helmet. I assume things have moved from that point. Good assumption. I we could. We can still go out and get a helmet if we want. I think there there's lots of them in on Amazon. But listen, like yeah, we I mean we have a division called spectacles, so we've kind already moved from helmet to glasses, right. But where we see most interplay with augmented reality is on the mobile phone. And and you know, when I think of Snapchat, I think of a camera company and when I think why we are a camera company. It's when you open that APP you open to a camera, right, we are. We are the most use digital camera. Digital cameras are the most use cameras in the world and when you open snap, you don't see a wall, you don't see your friends updates or anything. You literally see the world in front of you and we empower you to overlay this, you know, augmented reality, to overlay computing on that world. Yeah, and I get that, you...

...know, I can see how that's incredibly entertaining and in has been the basis for, you know, a lot of development, the basis for a lot of you know the snap success for sure. But from a perspective of a marketer, is it now mature enough for marker to make use of augmented reality to reach its targeted clients? The the answer to that question is yes, though I will say just because it's mature doesn't make it not fun. So you can use augmented reality to entertain yourself, grow some funny rabbit ears or dog ears, but you can also use augmented reality to make purchases. So just some stats real quick, right. We see six billion augmented reality or lets plays every day on snapchat globally. Here in here in Canada, eighty four percent of snapchatters are interested in AAR try on experiences. So I just brought up a new phrase, try on. So one of the things we think about when we think about augmented reality is it's the cameras smart these days, right, like there's these lied our sensors in them. They can sense depth, size, so on and so forth. So our snap camera has something you call fittech fit technology and it can in size you. So one of the one of the big kind of where we've seen a are really one of the areas you've seen are takeoff is with apparel companies and retailers. Yeah, how hard is it to get a shirt that fits you if you don't know what size you are, right, like, are you a large, are you a medium or somewhere in between? And and with the camera we kind of circumnavigate all that because the camera can accurately size you and match you with the clothing that best fits. And that doesn't matter if it choose. Doesn't matter if it's a watch or bracelet for your wrist or a shirt, suit, you got it, a hat, glasses, so on and so forth. Yeah, I know, if I can, if I can buy pass that not pleasant visit to the tailor, I think it's all good. So I get the application, the consumer application. I think it's terrific and I guess it's growth and I get it's growth is is not just coming from entertainment but actually from transactional support in terms of, you know, retail and commerce. How are you suggesting that a marketer who's planning a mix, how do they treat are in that mix and that and that's in that the tactical support for a strategy. It's a really good question and there's a unfortunate belief out there that I think's changing, that AAR is hard or AAR is slow. The reality is, with the advent to find g processors and our phones...

...that are much more powerful than theyre ever were, a are really quick, really could be quite beautiful and extremely engaging. So you know, at snap we have a self serve ads manager, very much like our peers. Create an account, putting a credit card and you're off to the races. Right, you can start advertising, you can you can upload your vertical video from other platforms as well as your augmented reality. So outside of ads manager, we have this software lends studio. It sits at Lens Studio Dot snapchatcom and it's kind of like the old it's like it's like a new version of Adobe Photoshop, and I will tell you it's not that hard to use. I personally made my own augmented reality Lens not that long ago. You can find it on on my snapchat public profile, which you don't need to need snapchat to to access. It's a snapchatcom forward slash ad forward slash mcgalan Matt, but you can actually see the Lens I built. The reality is it's we have built enough templates and other quick solutions for advertisers to to go out and build their own, their own experiences rather rather simply. As far as the mix's it's an interesting you know that's that's not for me to just sell. II'de. It's the upper the advertiser. I will say here in Canada, every time I think of mix and AAR are really kind of advertisers. No, snap are add product. They know best as snap ads. If you drop a lens alongside your snap ads, you'll see on average of forty forty one percent incremental reach. So there is upside to using a R on set. Good. Yeah, and that's great to hear one of go back to a couple things you said. What one of the things that I was reflecting on. As you're talking about, you know, the experience of someone using are if you go back to marking, and said this a few times through the years, you know, marking is really based on the the science of psychology and as marketers we almost need to provoke people into rational thought in order to make a difference when we're taking our creative approaches. So I think what you're saying about augmented reality is, if it is interesting, it and provocative, is one of those devices you can use creatively to to develop deeper awareness of your of your approach or practice and service peach. You're provoking people, you know, into their rational thought process. Is that fair statement? I would say that's a fair statement for sure. Okay, and then the other one is, you know, as you're talking about the mix, you know you're suggesting that augmented reality will increase your reach. Are you talking about getting...

...beyond, you know, Genz he's millennials? Is it is about getting in the influencers? Yeah, yeah, so when you look at snapchat audience here in Canada were when we speak to our audience we reach seventy five percent the consumers between the age of thirteen and thirty four. So pretty much everything I speak to will be that GEN Z or early millennial audience. That's WHO's on snap. That's how use a snap that's what who we refer to as the snapchat generation. They've grown up on snap. They had through, as we talked about earlier, through some of the more entertaining facets of augmented reality. They have really gotten used to using it. Two hundred over two inches the people on snapchat using amit a reality every day and and and by the way, all all recent studies, not snapchat led but independent studies, Price Water House, so on and so forth, say that over seventy five percent of the world's population will be using augmented reality by two thousand and twenty five. So, considering we're in two thousand and twenty two, or about three years out from the vast majority of the world will be using AAR to help them to feel good about themselves but also to get along in their day, become more efficient and whatever it is they're trying to do. So. Yeah, when I talk about that incremental reach, I'm talking about with in our APP specifically, we have multiple sections within our APP. Not everyone uses every section all the time. So when you're planning your campaign on snap, they are plus video is the you know, maximum impacts, highest reach. Great, it got it, got it. That's great. So, Matt, you talked about the application itself. Is this something that you have to really be adept at in order to get some good birting winds out of? Adding a R to your mixes? Is something that is it hard to use? To tell me a little bit about the the application and and reading, which you need education on it in order to start using it as a marketer. Yeah, so as a marketer, listen, we see we have small medium sized businesses on the platform. We have fortune five hundred types on the platform right so, and their budgets range significantly. As you can imagine. If you have five card dealerships it somewhere in northern Ontario, you have a very different focus than maybe, you know, a fortune five hundred brand. From Day One, there is very few exceptions to this rule, but from day one we find that advertisers, once they learn and under, you know, kind of get certified on snapchat or quite blown away. Right, we are reaching unduplicated audience on our platform form the the the audience expects augmented reality. You...

...know, it is used to vertical video. We don't flip our phone sideways on snap and so I would say it's not hard and and if it is hard for some, we offer so many tools and so many services to kind of like help them out, help them along the way, whether it's dedicated account support or or elearning opportunities and certifications. That's great. You know, where is this world going? And I know you know, you mentioned that. You don't think about snap is just being a millennial or a younger person's application. is going to be widespread. Seventy five percent of the world population will be using some aspects of virtual augmented reality in the future. What does it looks like faith two to three years out, five years? So how is the world going to change? will be baked into almost everything we do. Yeah, I know it. Listen. It's another good question and you know there's a lot of chat right now about augmented reality versus virtual reality. We're really grounded in in reality here at snap and then we truly believe things like layering computing on the world in front of you or augmenting reality is is the right approach. But that said, listen, I don't have a crystal ball. What I will say is I graduated college, I did not have a mobile phone. In one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight phones hit the kind of the market. It was readily available. Maybe a little before that, but it was right around there where like store started open up. You can go by phone. That phone is evolved so much over the last whatever many years. That is, you know, call it twenty seven years or so. So I firmly believe, and I know it's snap. We firmly believe that that evolution isn't going to stop all of a sudden. Right we're in the middle of this process and when and where it goes is anyone's guess. But what I will say is, like the form factor, this rectangular block that we kind of put in our pocket, that we bluetooth the headphones, there's no there's no guarantee the that it will stay this way. There's no guaranteeing the phone will look even recognizable to a future model of phone. So you know, when I think of innovation and I think of mobile phones and cameras, there was a lot of camera companies that missed the switch to digital. We know that. It's just history. Like this is in the history books now. Institutes are learning about it in school. Some of US lived it. So, like what does it the leg in the future? I don't know. Might it be a pair of glasses you put on your head? Maybe might be a helmet. I hope not, but it's possible. But the you know, what I will say is that, like, I'm very fortunate right snap. A couple of years ago, snap is named the most innovative company in the world, just like eighteen months ago, and...

...then most recently, about a month ago, snap was named the most innovative company in augmented and virtual reality by by Fast Company, in the pole position, number one. So, you know, I feel very fortunate for working and snap and I do feel that like we will participate in whatever the future holds. I don't have a crystal ball, though, John. I can't tell you what it's going to look like. It's exciting. You know, I'm integrating into a new neighborhood in the south for for my future winters call it, and I'm just so overwhelmed and impressed with the way that a more senior audience is adapted in using technology for basically everything that they do in terms of the world around us, and so I can see the world moving in the direction that you're saying, for sure. Yeah, so, Matt, now I'm a marketer and I want to start using AAR, I want to start using perhaps snap as a vehicle to reach my intended audience. Can you give some use cases, some examples of how Canadian companies have actually done that and what success they've had? It's a great question, John. Thank you. I'm I'm going to put it in two parts. So one you have your Canadian advertisers, brands, companies like Tim Horton's skip the dishes, Louie Lemon, clearly out of Vancouver as well. You know, these companies are using snap to drive consumer engagement and sell products, to grow their loyalty programs, to to reengage with customers and bring them back to their apps or to their sites. So you know, and they're doing that via a R but also vertical video which and, like I said earlier, you combine the two maximum reach on our platform, more customer engagement, more sales, so on so forth. On the other side. Part B to that answer is is is like Canadian media businesses. Right, so Canadian media companies, you know, you got your CBC's, your bells, your rodgers, but you got to get thousands, hundreds of smaller companies that are not as well known. They are using snap through our discover platform where they are producing content, and this content could be entertainment tonight Canada, it could be CBC news or it could be a Quebec clock cooking show, travel destination show, so on and so forth. But they are using snap to publish, to reach our audience and to develop new revenue streams. Everything that lives on our discover platform, which is one of the many tabs within the snap cat APP, is thereby design. It's curated and if you are a media partner, you know we have a read share, like if the fifty redshare. So you can create...

...your your create a new revenue stream for yourself. Terrific. Thanks for then. My final question is, if I'm a marketer, I want to be a modern market I want to be on top of this. I don't want to miss out on this whole topic. What's the one piece of advice right after listening to this podcast that you would have the listener to do so? If you haven't used on minute reality, I recommend giving it a try. It's it's addicting. It's quite fun in a good way. I also say, you know, expect the unexpected. I mean in my career, I think that's the thing that's kept me afloat, is that I am no fortune teller, but I like to expect the unexpected. I like to keep your mind open. I'll keep my mind open and yeah, exactly being open minded. Well, that's great, Matt mcgalan from snapp incorporate. Thank you everyone for listening today. Thank you, Matt. Thank you John. Really appreciate it. Thanks for joining us. Be Sure to visit thus CMA DO SA and sign up for a my cma account to stay connected to us and all the latest marketing news and Industry Trans.

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