Experience Marketing with Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

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Widespread digitalization has changed the traditional business model and evolved many new businesses. Nothing short of what Moore’s law predicted is seen with the eventual emergence of virtual reality and augmented reality. Now the key components in modern experience marketing. Besides, Moore’s law loosely predicted that computing devices would become stronger, smaller and cheaper in the future. Virtual Reality (VR) is academically defined as a computer-generated, interactive, 3D environment in which people become immersed. The technology provides users with a realistic and interactive virtual experience in a 360 degree, 3D environment.

VR and AR now affordable

Thus over the past decade, technological development and lower production costs have recently made VR commercially available, and as sales are climbing. Finally digital Marketers and content creators are starting to take notice of this new medium. In 2021, the augmented and virtual reality market is expected to reach a market size of 210 billion U.S. dollars. VR headsets are making remote experiences possible coupled with inexpensive and available technology, and the applications of VR are vast. This gives a brilliant opportunity for ‘experience marketing’ for many businesses.

So what is experience marketing?

Experience marketing can be understood as marketing which aims to create a closer connection between the brands and consumers. All this is achieved by immersing consumers in fun and memorable experiences. Virtual Reality enables companies to immerse consumers in unique experiences and connect with them in new ways. The same can be said about Augmented Reality as we shall see. Hence, it has become increasingly important for marketers and businesses to understand how exposure to VR and AR influences consumers. This insight is critical when developing VR content to utilize the full potential of the technology.

Potential VR Applications

Due to the versatility of the technology, VR has the potential to disrupt many different industries. Industries such as video games, live events, real estate, retail, education, healthcare, and the military. Imagine visiting virtual open houses when looking to buy a new home. Similarly, being able to experience a travel destination before deciding to go there. In these applications, VR allows us to reduce uncertainty, one of the technology’s major strengths. When you’re not confined to the two-dimensional limitations of photos or regular video. You are able to get more information which can be used to make better-informed choices.

Virtual Consumer Decision Support

Most noteworthy, almost every modern consumer wants as much information for decision support. VR, as we have mentioned, helps bridge that by reducing uncertainty. Forecasts expect the market for VR marketing to reach $60bn in revenue by 2025. All this is because of the affordable smartphone-powered head mounted displays (HMD) in the mass market. The rapid development in mobile technology has made it possible for consumer-level smartphones to power VR HMDs. Also, the recent technological advancements in VR have enabled HMDs to render immersive virtual environments without inducing motion sickness.

Emotional Engagement

IIn 1994, neurobiologist Antonio Damasio presented his research. In there, he suggested that the majority of decision-making was driven by emotions rather than logic. VR and AR lead to emotional engagement, and intense emotions lead to better decision-making performance. A recent study found VR content to be more emotionally engaging than content on the other two platforms. It now figures why eBay, an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company. Created the first virtual reality department store for smartphones. IKEA developed a beta application where users can look at details of kitchen items in this virtual environment.

What is Augmented Reality?

AR, in essence, is the combination of virtual objects and the real world. Users are given a chance to interact with these objects in real time. AR can provide users with sub immersive feeling by allowing interactions to occur between the real and virtual worlds. Consequently, AR also brings an interactive experience but aims to supplement the real world. Rather than creating an entirely artificial environment. Physical objects in the individual’s surroundings become the backdrop and target items for computer-generated annotations. Experience Marketing at its best.

Smartphone Powered.

Modern AR is being run on smartphones. Smartphones are the basic sieve for AR applications and first contact point with potential customers. A Smartphone has the entire basic hardware system recruitment for AR. Such as a Camera, Graphics, GPS compass, and accelerometer. AR browsers utilize the device’s sensors (camera input, GPS, compass, et al) and superimpose useful information in a layer on top of the image from the camera. This, in turn, is viewed on the device’s screen. Considering that over 60 million Americans have access to good smartphones, the potential is huge.

AR Digital Marketing

From a marketing standpoint, AR is a goldmine that every company should be using to win the attention of consumers. Furthermore, AR creates an interactive experience, builds brand loyalty, and is fun to use. AR can be inserted into a magazine, newspaper, books, billboard as a point of promotion for better sales. Pokemon Go’s worldwide success can be traced to its innovative use of augmented reality. A U.S.-based pizzeria used social marketing with AR to invite customers to download an app to set up a Pokemon-Go zone. This initiative later led to a 30% spike in food sales over typical weekends.

AR Business applications

Companies can release promotional materials. Materials such as brochures, print ads, flyers, banners, and billboards. The materials can then be scanned through an app. With a single scan, customers can unlock an entire collection of augmented products and information. Clients can proceed to place and position them in any space at any time. Movie theaters can allow moviegoers to scan movie posters and access information or previews. Using AR solutions, Sales Reps can better assist customers regarding product placement, and make maximum use of space and visibility.

Sampling products

Nike, Converse, GAP, and IKEA offer AR-based solutions via mobile apps that enable consumers to visualize products in realistic 3-D. This experience proved a game changer for consumers giving them more convenience and control over their shopping choices. A customer looking to purchase a couch can visualize the 3D augmented version of the item. In the comfort of their home using a smartphone. Through the smartphone’s location services, the shopper can find out where the product is available.  Furthermore, how to get in touch with the retailer.

Possibilities in AR and VR are endless in digital marketing. If you desire to tap into this dimension, feel free to contact us at T3 Direct.

Executive Assistant and Content designer at T3 Direct LLC I have tailored my skills in all verticals of marketing & business development. I have mastered a niche in Lead Generation, Digital Marketing, organize/develop projects, team development, data analysis, & excellent customer service.

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