Years ago, virtual reality (VR) seemed mostly a staple of science fiction, and consumers might have dreamed that the technology would never become mainstream. However, the future is now. Five years ago, 23 million Americans had already tried VR. As of 2019, the gaming industry accounted for 50% of total VR software sales, and social media platforms have jumped on the bandwagon, with Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and more, using augmented reality (AR) to add face filters and lenses to enhance the experiences they provide.
It’s high time that more marketing teams consider utilizing VR or AR in their campaigns, as it provides an immersive experience for their customers with no distractions. The experience has their undivided attention. VR technology makes you feel as if you there in a virtual golf course, elven village, or even in outer space. You can act out your fantasies of being a superhero or Jedi knight or tour exotic destinations you might never visit in real life.
Marketers should seize upon the chance to use such an experience in their marketing strategies to help:
1) Customers try out products beforehand
With VR, customers can take a car for a test spin without ever having to visit a dealership lot. They can tour a house or apartment they might be interested without having to leave their present location. They might even see how their current home would look after some redecorating, new sofa, or kitchen makeover.
By giving customers a chance to try out products first in VR, they can see what they like in a more convenient, fun way and get a better idea of if it will help them. Just as a player controls his or her destiny in a video game, VR puts the consumer in the driver’s seat with the controls to make the experience more enjoyable and satisfying.
2) Enhance your brand’s storytelling
Content marketing consists of storytelling, and VR gives you a wider variety of tools to craft your story. Rather than just using words and images, you can build a three-dimensional world where customers can do more than just have an experience, they can live through and feel more emotion in doing so.
A more immersive experience builds a stronger and emotional attachment between the customer and a brand. A study from 2016 even found that VR creates an emotional experience that is 27% higher than it would be just using 2-D.
3) Stand on the cutting edge
Though as of 2015, 75% of the world’s top brands were using VR in some way or developing VR projects, not all marketing teams have embraced VR or AR. It is still a burgeoning technology that holds much potential. Using it gives you the chance to stand out from competitors and show that you are on the cutting edge of marketing and looking for new and better ways to engage your customers. 58% of people from Generation Z and Millennials are actually more likely to purchase from brands that offer innovative ways to experience their products and services It can enhance your brand image and make you look sharper, more modern, and more willing to embrace emerging technologies to provide better customer experiences.
For more information about virtual reality and other emerging martech tools, check out our infographic “Emerging Martech Tools: Marketing Wins and Woes.”