Everybody loves a bit of augmented reality – an exciting technology tipped to have a big impact but not yet having realised its potential (Snapchat and Pokémon aside).
So, who better to interview for our latest Day in the Life feature than Richard Corps, MD of Ads Reality?
Before we get stuck in, remember if you’ve got itchy feet yourself, you could do worse than checking out all the digital marketing and ecommerce jobs listed over on the Econsultancy jobs board.
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Richard Corps: I am the managing director and co-founder of Ads Reality. We help brands and retailers to engage with their customers through augmented reality (AR).
As the MD, I oversee all elements of the company particularly the commercial side of the business as well as the day to day activities across our different teams; making sure that our customers are getting the best experiences and commercial results from using our AR solution.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
RC: We are owned by the high-street retailer, GAME, but we operate as a separate business unit and I report directly to GAME’s CEO. My role is to provide regular business updates to the CEO and Board, including Ads Reality’s P&L, how our customers and prospects are reacting to our technology, future technologies and the product roadmap.
The Ads Reality showreel
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
RC: In my role I have to be able to communicate and motivate; inspiring my colleagues. Quite often I work closely with the team to ensure the campaigns we are running for our customers are of the highest quality and also to maximise their return on investment. It is a balance between delivering current projects plus working with the R&D team on the future roadmap to ensure we stay ahead of our competitors.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
RC: My daily routine varies immensely as we have offices at GAME HQ in Basingstoke, our development centre in Luton and R&D based in India. So, I am travelling quite a bit around the UK and I am still heavily involved in our international expansion which includes visits to Dubai, the US and Mexico.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
RC: I love the variety of my days but most of all getting stuck into new business, which is where my heart lies. Alongside this, sitting with the CTO and coming up with the latest and greatest products. I hate getting stuck on the M25 as I travel to Luton and I am not a big fan of meetings, which seem to have increased recently!
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
RC: I still see Ads Reality as my baby and I want to see it grow to become one of the leading AR companies across retail/brands. Ultimately, I measure success by profitability but company awareness, an innovative product roadmap and a happy team are also great measures of success.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
RC: As long as I have my Mac and iPhone I can work anywhere. To show off our technology, which is very visual, I am always armed with our AR-enabled business card and company AR temporary tattoo!!
E: How did you get into AR, and where might you go from here?
RC: I was approached by two colleagues five years ago as I knew a lot of retailers and together we started applying AR within this sector. We ran the first multi-channel AR retail campaign globally with Tesco… which was so successful they had to add a link to their homepage as so many people were trying to find and play with our AR tech.
E: Which brands do you think are using AR well?
RC: There is a lot of talk around Apple and Google becoming the main players in the AR space, however the brands that see the ROI opportunities that AR brings, not just the ‘cool tech’, are the ones that will really drive success from this technology.
L’Oréal is a good example of a brand that has successfully used AR to engage with its customers. The cosmetic powerhouse recently launched its “Style My Hair” AR app that allows customers to virtually try hairstyles and hair colours and explore new looks before they visit a salon.
Style My Hair web app
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in AR?
RC: Firstly, you need to see and believe in the differences that immersive technology can bring to people and businesses. Anybody who is keen to work in AR should be looking to get involved now as we’re at such an exciting stage in this industry, with hybrid concepts such as Mixed Reality starting to take off.
Get talking to other AR professionals and any shows you can attend to see the tech at work – this should help you to make a decision on immersive tech as a career. But I’d really recommend it!