Developments in the world of marketing are happening at the speed of light.
At least that’s how it feels like.
New technologies emerge. New strategies are hyped. New approaches are required.
You can never really get too comfy, too set in your ways.
Take for instance social media platforms. When they first popped up, like fresh daisies from the winter snow, we marketers had really no idea what to do with them. “I’ve added a friend – now what?!” However, we mastered these new form of potential marketing quickly, and it didn’t take long until we managed to take full advantage of the opportunities inherently present in social media.
Can you now imagine a world without Facebook Ads? Without a brand presence on Instagram?
The growing popularity of experiential marketing has, yet again, presented a new challenge for marketers in the sense that brands are now focusing all their efforts to integrate newer, never-before-seen technology into personal or in-person marketing experiences.
And this kind of brings me to my point. You see, there are two types of technology that are at the forefront of today’s experimental marketing environment – augmented reality and virtual reality. When used strategically, these technologies can push marketing efficiency, as well as increase their return on investment.
I love a good comparison (I mean, who doesn’t!), so let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of AR and VR.
Augmented Reality in Marketing
In short, augmented reality (AR) is a form of reality altering technology that provides users with a comprehensive view of a product by superimposing CGI on the user’s real-word images.
Compared to VR, AR is actually less immersive as it incorporates the environment around the user and merely adds a few digital elements to allow the user to get a slightly immersive experience. You probably remember Pokémon GO, right? Well, this game used smartphone functionality to superimpose Pokémon creatures in your real-world environment.
AR technology can provide marketers the ability to develop innovative and engaging campaigns that seamlessly integrate the digital world into the real one.
AR is a valuable tool for several industries. For example, it can benefit anyone working in event planning, by allowing them to digitally create an experience that feels real to prospective clients. It can also be highly beneficial for anyone selling home décor and interior design – for instance, IKEA has a really good AR app where customers can see how that incredibly yellow sofa will look in their own lounge.
But augmented reality isn’t all fun and games. While mobile applications are a popular starting point for many AR uses, they can still be a bit of a burden to users. Apps needs to be downloaded and installed, they can take up quite a lot of available space, and sometimes people just can’t be bothered to search for the app…
Virtual Reality in Marketing
Unlike AR, virtual reality uses computer technology to generate a fully immersive, digitally simulated environment for users to view and explore.
By using a specialised pair of glasses and headset, users can explore the simulated environment around them – instead of merely staring at a view screen in front of them. A main advantage of VR is that it provides brands with more room for creativity. Being able to create and simulate an entire three-dimensional world, means that brands can take their clients anywhere – across deep oceans and great walls.
For example, VR can be used by contractors to show clients what the inside of their homes would look like once its fully furnished. They can even make a few adjustments and changes to accommodate their client’s preferences.
Moreover, VR can be a valuable tool for incorporating a fully immersive educational component into brand experiences. It allows companies to provide useful information to their customers, especially when it comes to the products or services they are trying to sell.
In short, VR means that you can take the experience to the next level – by implementing environmental effects that simulate wind, water, heat or movement.
Unfortunately, VR technology – once you’ve put on the helmet and glasses – can be both isolating and claustrophobic. This is why its crucial for brands in 2019 to team up with industry experts in order to take the experience to the next level.
Predictions for AR and VR in 2019
It’s time to get my crystal ball out and see what this brand new year might mean for AR and VR.
- AR and VR will definitely change the way consumers buy products.
Not exactly a revolutionary prediction, but I’m nevertheless willing to stand for it.
AR and VR could potentially integrate two key experiences, the convenience of online shopping and the convenience that typically comes from being able to try new products in-store.
In a recent survey across 11 markets worldwide, nearly 71% of the consumers said they wanted to use AR and VR technology to check out travel destinations and hotels before booking. Additionally, 59% wants to use VR to watch films form a more immersive perspective, while 49% are keen on using VR to test drive cars.
- AR technology is already creeping into our daily lives.
As visual communication continues to evolve, AR has become part of the evolution.
AR technology allows individuals to merge both the digital and physical worlds to communicate their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Even if most people don’t think about it, chances are that they’re already enjoying some form of AR on their mobile devices and on social media platforms. AR technology is already at everyone’s fingertips – on their mobile phones.
- VR technology will help bridge huge distances for users.
It’s predicted that, by 2020, more than one in five US internet users will experience virtual reality content at least once a month.
While AR technology allows users to engage with their existing physical environments, VR technology has the capability to fully immerse users in completely different, digitally created and simulated environments. This will allow people to experience whole new worlds in a more immersive, engaging, and transformative way. In a recent survey, 60% said they wanted to use VR to interact with friends and loved ones who are far away.
Does this sound overly complicated for you? Get in touch with our marketing experts here at Fierce Digital, and unlock the secret to your future growth.