Before we get into the how’s and why’s of VR and how it’s going to add a new lease of life to the world of Marketing, let us explain just what exactly VR is.
In its basic form, it’s a ‘computer-generated 3D environment’, sounds cool, right? It allows users to explore in a completely immersive and interactive way, it’s aim is to be as close to reality as possible (something that it does incredibly well).
Predominantly, VR has been living in the gaming world, but that’s quickly changing as more and more industries are realising the true power and potential that VR holds. From travel companies proving VR accommodation tours, to doctors training by way of VR, all the way to construction workers utilising it when planning their next project; the possibilities of VR are seemingly endless.
As it is now, we’re seeing VR in its infancy, as time goes on and the technology continues to develop, we’ll no doubt see a rise in its popularity. Having only seen a handful of major public releases of VR headsets so far (HTC Vive, The Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR), the only way is up.
So, how is VR going to affect marketing? We see that there are five main factors here, let’s run through them:
Communication is key with most things in life and we’ve already seen how technology has affected methods of communication, it now is possible to instantly connect with anyone from around the world at any time. Whether that’s just with a written message, or even a face-to-face call, distance is no longer a barrier when it comes to communication.
VR has the ability to create an immersive environment that’s incredibly close to reality, imagine now, instead of jumping on a Skype call, you stick on a headset and are suddenly in the same room as who you’re speaking too. But, it’s not just that kind of communication we’re talking about.
VR can help convey complicated data, create complex patterns and show plans, ideas, products – you name it – on a completely new level. Brands, particularly in the creative sectors, have already started utilising VR for this, particularly the fashion and design industries.
Mastercard and Swarovski recently launched a VR shopping app for the Atelier Swarovski home décor line; the app immerses consumers in a tastefully decorated home where they can browse and purchase the pieces with Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service. Pretty genius if you ask us.
Oh, and did we mention that VR captures 100% of the user’s attention, there’ll be no more competing to win a user’s attention (and to keep it) instantly as they won’t have the chance to be distracted. It’s the only audience-focused marketing medium that you need.
By creating a completely immersive experience, VR has the ability to connect with people on a deeper level, being a multi-sensory stimulating, full-body experience, triggering an emotional response has just become that little bit easier.
Giving you the power to not just create an ad, or a cool logo, but to create an experience; VR is gifting you with a higher level of marketing. By pairing your content with an incredible user experience, you’re being given the chance to connect with users on another level. If integrated into marketing correctly and not just used as a technology gimmick, you can offer your users a genuine experience that could completely enhance your brand.
By adopting VR this early on, you’re incredibly likely to be perceived as a brand that’s innovative and forward-thinking. You’ve seen the future and it’s virtual.
In reality, you’re just utilising a tool that has the ability to clearly identify your brand to consumers. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
VR puts customers first, you’re allowing them to experience your brand in the most immersive way, leaving no room for miscommunication and ensuring that when they come to you, they have the best experience possible.
You might have noticed by now that Facebook is massively backing the introduction of VR. With 360-degree videos becoming more and more frequent on the platform (not to mention their heavy investment in Oculus Rift). We have no doubts that the other platforms will follow suit.
Did you know that the average internet user has 5 social media accounts? Like it or loathe it, It’s undeniably a massive part of our lives.
Over 20,000 360 videos have so far been uploaded to Facebook and this is increasing every day. With just a few clicks you can be fully immersed into a sports game, theatre performance or even a gig – see our very own Courts Live 360 video.
Where alternative posts will be scrolled past, VR posts attract and immerse users into them, dismissing the opportunity for another post on the news feed to distract users away from it. Has VR cracked the curse of social media?
With your new-found ability to fully immerse a user into your brand, forming that highly sought-after connection and holding 100% of their attention. You can get really creative with your strategy.
Tell a story, create a whole other world. The possibilities are endless and your creative juices should be well and truly flow. You’ll be at the forefront of today’s leading technology, so make sure you stay on top of it, VR is no doubt going to be an integral part of your strategy so don’t let it slip through your fingers.