New trends and new technologies pop up all the time. Marketing teams worldwide that remain agile, quickly adapt to the latest fascinations in the community, and eventually tend to be the most successful.
But, there is a fine distinction between being inspired and jumping on the bandwagon to be a part of some fad and actually making a new tech reap benefits for your business. Virtual And Augmented Reality technology are examples of technology gradually expanding its reach and establishing its presence across various market segments.
Before diving into the use cases of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, let’s quickly establish their meanings for clarity.
Augmented reality (AR) augments your physical environment by adding digital elements to a live view, usually with a camera on a smartphone. Whereas, Virtual reality (VR) technology is an entirely immersive experience that replaces a real-life environment with a simulated one, usually using a headset, both these reality technologies either replace or enhance a real-life environment with a simulated one.
Now, let’s look into a few use cases that you could employ in your marketing mix.
Add VR Elements to Your Packaging
If you are using mere cardboard, a bottle, or a can package your product, why not convert that package into a VR experience right after your customer is finished using your product?
Popular brands like McDonald’s, Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser have successfully launched similar projects. However, if you wish to take a different route, you can use elements to integrate AR. For instance, The Jack Daniel’s AR Experience takes its consumers on a virtual journey of the Jack Daniel Distillery utilizing a series of pop-up book-style dioramas that they can see using an AR app.
The Jack Daniel Distillery’s AR Experience app offers a virtual tour allowing users to take a closer look at the whiskey-making process and learn the story about the man himself, Mr. Jack Daniel.
Another example is Francesco Rinaldi, a pasta sauce company that brought its brand icon -Mrs. Rinaldi to life using the same AR app. It enabled Mrs. Rinaldi to share her stories regarding her pasta sauce.
Then, depending on the pasta sauce line, Mrs. Rinaldi fascinatingly delivers a specific message for that particular product. All of this can be experienced by employing just a smartphone camera and an app.
Create VR Games and Apps
Games are an excellent way to foster customer engagement. This approach can be employed by both large and small businesses alike. One fine example of this could be Disney Co. The company usually launches merchandise for all its latest film releases. However, it recently went beyond toys, bags, and T-shirts and released online video games and pop-up apps that put actors in people’s living rooms.
Just because your organization has not extended to the levels of Disney doesn’t mean you can’t parody what they are doing to offer better product awareness and consumer awareness. You can still launch a game relevant to your brand name like McDonald’s did with Slope Stars, which was a 360 degrees and first-person POV skiing VR game endorsed by the Swedish alpine ski team.
If teaming up with gaming isn’t your style, there are still other ways you can leverage your mobile using customers. For example, deploy VR showrooms and prompt visits to your brand outlets, whether online or physical. Let’s learn about it in detail.
Create a 3D Shopping Experience
With another exciting feat of Virtual and Augmented technology, you can carry unlimited amounts of virtual inventory without buying and stocking everything physically.
Your Customers must undoubtedly feel the incessant need to take a closer look or test your products on your online platform. So why not be visionary and be one of the first to introduce a VR shopping experience for your dealerships or stores?
Let your customers explore items they want to try, drive or see placed in their rooms and have a 360-degree view of your showroom without physically reaching your outlet location.
This not only creates a memorable buying experience but also gets the buyer acclimated to your product’s experience before landing a sale. In addition, this allows you to scale your sales exponentially.
Show Your Company Initiatives in First-Person POV
Let’s take the example of shoe brand Toms. The company is known for undertaking a lot of humanitarian projects. They recently decided to give away a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes they sell.
Toms partnered with VRse to create a lay-in store experience to showcase their buy-one-give-one model. Using VR headsets, their stakeholders and fans can virtually go on the company’s Giving Trips. They can watch as children get measured, gifted shoes, “meet” recipients, and even see their actual living conditions.
Similarly, you can mimic the same approach with different gigs where your audience can get a first-person POV. Consumer engagement of this form can emulate overwhelmingly emotional and positive reactions.
Build Personalized Ad Experiences
More than anything else, users are hooked on experiences.
A good, immersive advertisement puts the audience in the middle of a story and makes it feel personal to them. The AR and VR tech has opened doors to highly engaging campaigns that users will seek to watch because of innovation and immersion. Luckily, this is what creatives and advertisers want.
Instead of displaying advertisements in the long-established traditional sense, consider creating the equivalent of banner ads that people can view alongside the content they are already looking at. Many companies at this time are not only creating such experiences not only to show their brand but also the VR technology itself.
JW Marriott has capitalized on this technology to create a more extensive customer base by creating virtual getaways, enticing them with a taste of what they can have. Such immersive ways of displaying ads inspire people to book a holiday, thinking of the virtual getaway they experienced by the extension thought of Marriott.
“What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Books allow us to imagine it, and movies allow us to see it, but VR is the first medium that actually allows us to experience it.”
Offer Virtual Makeovers and Filters (Beauty Brands)
The most famous examples of this marketing campaign are the Makeup Genius app released by Makeup and hair-care brand L’Oreal and Sephora’s Virtual Artist.
These apps allow its customers and prospects to use virtual try-on, letting them try various makeup styles and hair colors. This is not only a convenient way of pushing your product to people but is also hygienic. Customers no longer have to share samples to test makeup; they do not even need to venture to your in-person stores to try and buy your products.
Companies are even using these apps to offer personalized recommendations and send alerts for new products.
Marketers are increasingly jumping on board and pushing AR and VR technology investments.
They should aim to create unique and inviting campaigns that the audience looks forward to participating in. Needless to say, it is only possible to pull off in an industry willing to experiment.
Even so, VR and AR are at the early stages of tech; one thing is for sure they are here to stay and will continue to change business operations and consumer experience for a long while to come. As a result, we will witness more businesses jumping aboard.
Nonetheless, the key is to use this tech more innovatively and unpredictably. Once VR and AR become standard practices, the advertising industry is bound to unlock and shape exceedingly exciting marketing strategies for years to come.
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