Virtual reality is an innovation that is sweeping the marketing industry. Praised for its unique ability to engage audiences and elicit emotion, this 3-D experience is a great addition to any campaign. In fact, in Marketing Week, Goldman Sachs predicted that the virtual reality market could be worth $80 billion by 2025, suggesting the power and momentum behind this marketing strategy.
As a new technology, it can be tricky to get your head around how best it can be used. From transporting people to what feels like real-life experiences, to having the opportunity to display what products and services will look like before they are created, virtual reality has a number of assets that can boost a marketing strategy and generate brand interest. Check out these few focus points to keep in mind when planning and implementing a virtual reality marketing strategy.
1. Show Off Product Attributes – Real Estate
Virtual reality is a 3-D experience that makes users feel like they are somewhere else through the simple act of putting on goggles. In the world of real estate, you can imagine how powerful this can be. Companies are using it to display up-and-coming properties and give buyers an actual feel for what the property looks like before they make the effort to view it or before it is even built. IKEA has taken this to the next level by formulating a virtual game that is directly related to the brand. Users can walk into kitchens and miniature IKEA houses, explore the spaces and get a feel for various IKEA products.
The great thing about virtual reality is that, while it sounds like an expensive tool to implement, it really doesn’t have to be. Through products like the Samsung Gear VR experience, users can simply insert their Samsung Galaxy S7 edge into a plastic shell and be instantly transported to the virtual world.
2. Generate Strong Emotions
Emotion is a major driver of customer perceptions and decisions. If marketers are able to elicit an emotional appeal with users, they have a chance to form a deeper and more long-lasting connection. Virtual reality is a great way to achieve this. A Walk Through Dementia by Visyon and ARUK was a social awareness campaign that offered a series of virtual reality apps that allowed users to experience what it was like to have Alzheimer’s and dementia. Designed to make the user experience feelings of confusion, disorientation and anxiety, the campaign was a powerful way to create empathy and awareness among customers in a way that traditionally could not have been done.
3. Create a Memorable Experience
One of the greatest aspects of virtual reality is the fact that you can move around and be exposed to a variety of things, creating experiences that drive consumer decisions. The lack of distractions makes virtual reality completely immersive and, as such, a perfect opportunity for marketers to influence customer perceptions. Marriott Hotel, for example, provided a teleportation option for one of their campaigns via virtual reality. Users were transported to places like Hawaii and London where they were able to virtually experience the Marriott building and location. By providing such a unique opportunity, customers are given an unforgettable experience and are able understand what they would be getting if they were to stay at a Marriott hotel.