Virtual reality in the world of marketing

We have all heard about the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in one way or another. It is growing increasingly popular amongst the younger generation with about 90 million users today.

More often than not, it is used in the field of gaming. However, VR has much more to offer to the world and especially in the Digital Marketing world.  Big brands such as BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volvo have begun utilizing VR as part of their marketing strategy. Volvo utilized VR to give their customers a chance to ‘test drive’ Volvo cars from the comfort of their own home. New versions are launched regularly, and they are easily downloadable onto mobile phones. This innovative initiative sets Volvo apart from competitors that rely on mundane marketing strategies to market their products.

Virtual reality allows your customers to experience and gain a better understanding of your products before purchase. Given the limited use of VR in digital marketing today, it is sure to make your brand stand out. Currently, only about 0.6% of viewers click on an advertisement due to the mass of advertisements flooding our screens. Businesses need a new strategy to capture their customers’ attention and VR might be the new breakthrough in your marketing strategy. Here are a few ways you can incorporate VR in your digital marketing strategy:

360 Videos

This is one of the most common VR experiences that companies are adopting. They allow viewers to have a 360 view of the environment, mimicking an actual trip to the location. Oreo created a virtual reality experience for customers with the use of a 360 video to promote its cupcake flavoured cookies. The videos takes viewers through a world filled with milk rivers and chocolate mountains. You can view the video here:

The Warner Brothers created a 360-movie trailer to market their new movie – The Conjuring 2. As soon as the video begins, you find yourself thrown into a whole new world – a haunted house. With the creepy music completing the eerie setting, you find yourself frantically turning around to check your surroundings. The video created a buzz and was an effective marketing effort given the large number of responses it garnered.

Customized VR applications

Virtual reality can serve many different purposes apart from the usual 360 video experience. Your business can develop a VR application customized to your products and services. In its 5th store in the US, Uniqlo introduced a new service for customers – Magic Mirror. With the magic mirror, customers could try on the different colour options available for each design just by putting on one outfit and standing in front of the mirror. The application then shows you the variety of colours the design is available in and to try on a different colour, you simply had to click on the colour of your choice and it will be reflected in the mirror.

While VR possesses many possibilities, you can maximise its use by utilising analytics to drive sales and improve a customer’s experience. Uniqlo has implemented a wearable technology that functions as a shopping assistant. The brainwaves and responses of shoppers are recorded as they are shown a series of outfits and brands. An algorithm then picks out outfits for shoppers based on their preferences and responses. With that, customers do not have to spend time searching through racks of clothes but can instead complete their shopping trip in less than 15 minutes.

As seen, virtual reality has the power to bring your customers’ experience to the next level. However, it is important to ensure that VR is not an independent strategy but instead used to complement other marketing ideas. It can be coupled with augmented reality to maximise the benefits it offers for your business and customers.



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