It is common knowledge that the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. The biggest question for marketers, however, is how these shifts will influence different industries going into the future. The success of any digital marketing campaign relies on the tools and platforms utilized to gain exposure to the desired target audience. Brands must now adapt to consumers needs and lifestyle trends more than ever, as resentment towards intrusive marketing strengthens.
Augmented reality has become more mainstream in recent years with the popularity of Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters. As such, this has shown that technological innovation changes the way people interact with each other and the world around them. Virtual Reality, therefore, provides an opportunity for brands to immerse consumers in new experiences, stimulating both engagement and inspiration.
Virtual Reality (VR) works to simulate as many of the user’s senses as possible in an artificial 3D environment. The user’s eyes are connected to the simulated environment, so when their head turns, the visual landscape reacts accordingly. There is currently a variety of VR software and hardware available on the market today, including Google Cardboard, Samsung GearVR, and Microsoft HoloLens.
Google Cardboard, which can turn any smartphone into a VR device, is not adopted by the mass market today. This is because the experience is limited to lack of content, low-resolution apps, and hardware limitations.Google plans to change this by making its new and improved Daydream View VR headset compatible with 11 new android phones. This is a step in the right direction for making Google’s VR more accessible to the average person.
What Does This Mean for Marketers?
Completely immersing consumers in a brand can create an emotional impact, building a foundation of trust and retention. VR allows consumers to experience a new way to see how a product or service works. Immediately adopting this in your marketing strategy, however, does not come without any risks. VR campaigns are expensive, and it is uncertain that it will have a sustainable, long-term impact.
VR has been a big hit in the automotive industry with virtual car tours and test driving. Audi has created a VR experience called “Enter Sandbox”, which allowed users to test drive an Audi Q5. The company even took this a step further by allowing users to design their own race track, including jumps and dunes. Audi’s motive behind this was to get consumers aware of the Q5’s off-roading capability.
Another example of a VR marketing campaign is Etihad Airways’s film “Reimagine”, which takes users on a trip from New York to Dubai alongside actress Nicole Kidman. This luxurious experience promoted the Airbus a380’s first class cabin, where viewers could interact with their own personal butler and other interesting characters.
To conclude, it is uncertain whether VR will be adopted by the mass market or become ingrained in our everyday lives. VR technology still has a long way to go before it reshapes the digital marketing landscape across all industries, but the potential is definitely there.