Although virtual reality is not something new, the way that it is being used for marketing purposes is. By allowing society to experience a product, theme or situation without direct physical effects, it makes a bigger impact. Virtual reality methods in combination with digital marketing strategies will help mold the future of marketing for your brand.
Without developing an individual virtual reality gadget for your startup, consider an alternate idea with implementing abstract perceptions. An example of abstract perceptions is the use of holograms to implement the real world around a character, product or theme. Mixed reality is something entirely new to combining virtual reality with digital marketing.
Startup Magic Leap is working on holographic delivery of computer-generated images using real-life physical surroundings. Mixed reality does not yet involve any wearable technology, but will evolve to do so in the near future.
Interactive Symptom Simulation
In the medical industry, virtual reality can help digital marketing in multiple ways. For instance, a migraine medication company (Excedrin), created a virtual reality-based symptom simulator to help family members understand what migraine sufferers go through. Not only did this market their product using digital technology, it also brought awareness to invisible chronic medical issues.
The ability to use this type of technology to simulate symptoms for chronic pain sufferers, those with anxiety, mental illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder raises awareness. Additional virtual reality marketing can take place to show how a specific treatment or medication provides symptom relief, which markets the treatment provider or medication suggested.
Real-Time Data Collection
At the mid-way point in 2016, it is estimated that there are 43-million people actively using virtual reality in some way. This number is expected to more than quadruple in the next two years. The potential for real-time data collection is bountiful and can help businesses make faster changes to marketing protocols.
For instance, if a virtual reality driven marketing campaign does produce unfavorable results, a brand can quickly create a digital option that is more suited for the general audience. Virtual reality is still very new and consumers are not used to it. Not all consumers are going to react favorably, some will have adverse reactions to the method of delivery.
Improved Consumer Engagement Experiences
The improvement of consumer engagement experience is a combination of multiple factors. Virtual reality is one of those factors as, when implemented properly, can help consumers experience how a product or service works better. Something as simple as creating a 3-D advertisement with the suggestion of using 3-D glasses brings boring, flat advertisements to life.
For startups or vintage brands that are considering virtual reality marketing, 3-D options may be a good place to start. It will help your audience learn what to expect in the future and decide if it is the way they want to be marketed to in the digital world or not.
Predictive Outcome Possibilities
If a company such as Gawker Media would have had virtual reality technology available to prevent the financially damaging outcome of releasing Hulk Hogan's private moments, the outcome could have been different. What could have taken place here is that a virtual focus group could have provided immediate reactions to their perception of the material. That focus group could have had a real-time virtual conversation while viewing the reactions of others.
A situation like this would have given the brand time to think before diving right into scandal and putting a celebrity in the hot-seat, which eventually put them in the hot-seat too.
Blueprint of Digital Marketing's Future
Facebook started blueprinting virtual reality digital marketing with the purchase of Oculus Rift. The idea of this was to allow two or more people to interact together virtually. This marketed directly to consumers interested in virtual reality gaming. Facebook continued to expand on this with the inception of the 360-degree photos which gives users the perception that they are standing in the exact area the photo is showing.
The real mainstream period of virtual reality marketing has yet to hit its peak. This is not expected for several more years.
Virtual reality is quickly pairing with digital marketing to become the future of marketing as a whole. Nearly every brand can implement virtual reality in some way to market products and services to consumers. Use examples from some of the most impactful virtual reality inclusions by brands like Toms and Excedrin as references for implementing real-life simulations into your campaigns.
How does your brand plan to introduce virtual reality into its digital marketing plan?