- Virtual reality has very quickly become the current and future big thing for all industries and spheres of operations, especially marketing.
- Marketers should leverage all of the benefits that VR can give to the customers and make them actually feel the product before they buy it.
- So, if your current marketing strategies aren't providing good enough experiences for your customers, then it's time for you to switch to VR marketing.
Those folks aren't exaggerating when they say that virtual reality (VR) is the new reality.
This technology that once existed only in the fantasies of even the smartest technologists is now simply a dream made manifest. From individual consumers looking to be immersed in a world of endless possibilities, to brands seeking to mesmerise their customers, VR is now accessible to all and sundry.
The virtual reality market size is projected to exceed $40 billion by 2020 which isn't surprising considering its fast-paced transformation of diverse industries.
VR has provided out-of-the-box solutions to various scales of problems plaguing several industries, and the marketing industry is enjoying tremendous application from this out-of-the-world technology.
Leading companies including Mercedes and Oreo are getting ahead of the competition by jettisoning outdated marketing strategies and leveraging VR to transform boring ads into captivating experiences that leave consumers out of breath; dying to patronise.
Does VR marketing work?
Heck yes, it does. The real question is why it works?
Imagine if consumers could take a spin on the Volvo XC90 Luxury SUV and be treated to a grand tour of the showroom from the comfort of their couch, or if travel agencies could give potential tourists a tour of the streets of Paris even before the travelers buy a plane ticket.
These are but a few scenarios that make virtual reality the next big thing for marketing.
Over the years, marketing has evolved from imagining the scene yourself while reading texts, to seeing images of the scene, and then to hearing the sounds and watching videos of it. The time has come to be immersed in the reality of it.
Consumers won't pass for the opportunity to feel a part of the world for any other option.
As they get immersed in the reality of the content, it triggers emotions that account for a more engaging experience. They no longer need to imagine how a life with the product would be. They have lived that life already and they would want to live it again. Leading companies have recognised this and are already leveraging on the technology.
How businesses would benefit from VR marketing
Whether you like it or not, VR has come to stay and would disrupt the status quo in business operations. Some industries would feel the need to adapt quickly more than others, but businesses that incorporate VR marketing into their systems would be at the advantage in the long run.
VR marketing would help businesses in various ways in 2018 and beyond, some of which include:
- Convenience for both sides
One of the aims of any business should be to render services while providing consumers with as much convenience as possible, and VR does exactly that.
A report shows that 61% of customers prefer to try a product before buying. VR make these products available to buyers before they actually buy. From video games to autos, consumers can be immersed in the experience of their lives at no risk to both parties.
Consumers are dying for brands to get inside their heads and create the experience of their dreams.
While this is difficult for these companies, they can provide the next best thing – Opportunity for personalisation.
VR offers a chance for consumers to express their individual uniqueness in a way they couldn't before. Such experiences are always more engaging than any other standard way.
Having an awesome product is one thing, convincing potential customers that you do is another.
Since VR is immersive and takes the user through the whole experience like they were literarily there, it does all the work for you. Such experiences for the users would give users the unique edge around a product.
Ads are important for businesses to reach out to customers but they can be annoying sometimes.
Thankfully 74% of consumers think that VR ads are less intrusive than conventional online ads. What this means is that opting for VR marketing at the first instance places you ahead of other brands already.
VR application is not exclusive for big brands alone; far from it.
In fact, any serious business must incorporate virtual reality in its operation because more customers are clamoring to see its power. 71% of consumers think a brand that uses virtual reality is forward-thinking according to Greenlight Insights.
So if you are looking to create compelling and engaging experiences that do more than supplement your current strategies and bring your campaign to life, then Virtual reality is the way to go.
VR marketing is the next big thing. The future is truly in the hands of those who foresee it.
Efose Ikhalo, Freelance writer for hire at efoseikhalo.com
The truth is that what small businesses can do with virtual reality is limited only by their imagination. Though a small business might want to get started with a low-cost option like Google cardboard viewer to get things running.