VR - or Virtual Reality - is no longer something that is futuristic and beyond our reach. It is already changing the ways of human-digital interaction, adding a sense of reality to the virtual world.
As you know, we as humans have 5 basic senses from which we perceive the world. We see things from our eyes, we taste things from our tongue, we smell things from our noses, we touch things from our skin and we hear things from our ears. These are, however, not the only senses that we have. Take the sense of balance, for an example. Our brain takes all the information that we acquire through many sensory organs in our body, and give us a clear flow of information about what is going in our environment.
The sense of reality that we have is a result of the sensory information and how our brain perceives them. This leads to the possibility that if you are able to present your senses with some information which is made up, your perception of reality - or how your brain responds to that information - will accordingly respond to that. It means that you feel a sense of reality that is not really there. To put it briefly, Virtual Reality presents our senses with a computer generated virtual environment which feels extremely similar to reality.
Over the past decade, attempts were made by many companies to develop successful Virtual Reality experiences. A Recent investment of 2 billion by Facebook to acquire Oculus - the maker of crowd-sourced VR head-mounted display - brought a renewed attention to this technology. Big names in the tech industry such as Google, Sony, Samsung and Microsoft all have made billions of investments for Virtual Reality related products, and 2016 dawned with the hope of many such products in the market.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE VR?
From the perspective of a company or a brand, VR is one the ways you can make a lasting and deep impact for your customers. You can give them an almost physical experience of your product, without it having to be there. Although this technology feels new to the world, many big brands are already using it to create strongly impactful campaigns around the world. Nike, Ikea, Volvo and Redbull are among the pioneers of using this technology for marketing.
Let us list out a few problems that you might face with other marketing methods which can easily be resolved by Virtual Reality marketing.
Lack of Customer Engagement
Virtual reality is experienced by wearing a special headset, which lets your customers be completely immersed in your campaign as it runs. This means there will be minimum to no distractions, which is hard to gain by other marketing methods.
Difficulty to make campaigns memorable
Our brains are designed to remember things well when they are perceived by a maximum number of our senses. VR experiences are proved to stay longer in the memory of the user because of the uniqueness and closer to reality feel of it all.
Competitive advantage over competitors
VR is extremely innovative and fairly a novel technology at the moment, giving you a competitive advantage over your competitors if you manage to use it in your marketing methods before your competitors. Make sure you make use of the advantage!
WHAT YOU CAN OFFER WITH VR?
Virtual reality breaks many boundaries that you usually have with traditional marketing methods. With a little bit of creativity, you can use VR in a variety of contexts which will give the best experiences for your customers. Mentioned below are some of the ways in which VR has been used successfully by companies.
Let it be driving a car, a jet or playing a game, you can use VR to put your customers at the heart of the action. Use a 360 surround video along with the action in the middle in order to keep the excitement high. In their promotional flying races, Redbull offers a seamless VR experience alongside the event so the fans can experience real time how it feels like to be in the plane.
VR has the amazing ability to take you into any place in the world in a matter of seconds, in a way that it feels extremely similar to the reality. If you are in the real estate industry, you can take your clients on a virtual walk around the property. Most of the high end hotels now offer virtual tours for their customers, giving them a touch of what they can expect. Virtual showrooms are another popular method.
Entertainment aspect of this technology is huge, with the possibility of adding many gaming and multimedia experiences. Industries such as movies and gaming are investing millions in order to create the immersive entertainment of the next generation. It is a great way of storytelling, which can be utilize to get your brand into the mind of your customer in the best way.
Ex: In the world popular Game of Thrones series, HBO created a special experience which allowed the users to ascend the wall in famed elevator.
The possibilities that you have in using virtual technology in your marketing are endless. It is entertaining, immersive, memorable, impactful, new, and lots and lots of fun.
With the involvement of all the big brands in the tech world, VR will soon be an everyday experience for your customers. Make sure you include VR to your marketing strategy before it is too late!