This technology is revolutionizing the entertainment industry but, in what ways is VR changing marketing?
The way in which we tell stories, play, and communicate ideas is changing. There’s a transition toward experiences that are and will be more immersive each time. Cinema, TV and -for years now- the gaming industry, have been characterized as the basis for the leading edge when it comes to turning fiction into reality for our senses. But technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) are the ones that will allow the users to take a real leap to new depths in narrative.
Beyond the world of entertainment, Virtual Reality is also becoming a powerful tool for marketing determined by a number of factors, such as:
1. Virtual Reality is getting more and more accessible
For any technology in the market to provide effective results, it needs to be easily used by consumers. This turns it into a popular technology. In this case, Virtual Reality has overcome a great obstacle in the last year by winning an enormous interest and support among consumers. According to data published by the site “Think With Google”, so far this year, they have registered that the “amount of Virtual Reality searches has increased four times“; and that the brands using it notice a huge change in the acceptance and favorable response of the consumers. One explanation is that what some years ago seemed to be science fiction, today is a reality; thanks to the omnipresence and capability of mobile devices above all.
On the other hand, it is also due to the initiative of great fans of this technology, such as Google, who, apart from having the largest repository content on Virtual Reality in the world (YouTube), has been the forerunner in the development of Cardboards -an affordable carton device that turns smartphones into Virtual Reality image viewers. Facebook, for its part, bought in 2014 the startup Oculus Rift for 2 thousand million dollars, and commercially launched a headset at the beginning of this year. Other major players like Sony, HTC, Microsoft and Intel, also possess projects of their own to position themselves in the industry. Another interesting datum belongs to a survey posted by Ericsson ConsumerLab and ensures that 8 out of 10 smartphone users think that Virtual Reality services will represent a great opportunity for the consumption of visual information in a near future.
2. Creating Virtual Reality experiences is increasingly attainable
Some years ago, to offer a fresh and avant-garde Virtual Reality experience, you had to hire a company of professional video production. Now, you can use a configuration such as Google Jumpoffering a jump with a GoPro Odyssey -16 united GoPros that simultaneously film in 360 degrees.
There is an increasingly number of brands joining this trend and developing their own content of Virtual Reality to give consumers greater immersion experiences. For example: Coca Cola invites users to ride on a Christmas sled; McDonald’s allows you to turn the famous “happy meal” into a VR display; Volvo has created an application to test their cars virtually; or even the New York Timesdeveloped a platform to read stories in 360. But this is only a quick look at this technology that is leading the way to a myriad of options that will change users’ experiences all over the world.
This is great news for marketers!
3. The ROI of Virtual Reality is getting clearer and higher
In economic terms, Virtual Reality generates economies of scale: declining marginal costs and generating possibilities of multiplying incomes exponentially. Imagine not having limited amount of tickets for an event, or inviting people to places, shows or meetups that are thousands of miles away, and that this experiences simulate the reality. Many companies have used their events online transmission to attract people from the online world.
Virtual Reality represents a novel experience for Internet users even as we speak; it will certainly attract more people than doing a simple traditional transmission. The additional cost will result from the production expenses and the use of a space for the URL addresses to direct the traffic and convert the users to perform any other preset action. It is recommended that if you have paid to produce and publish a Virtual Reality live video, once the campaign is over, you reuse the space to direct traffic to other places; for example, to your web site or to any communication channel.
4. Virtual Reality is fun!
There are countless reasons why Virtual Reality is useful for marketing, but perhaps the more subjective and less measurable one is that ‘Virtual Reality is fun!’.
These are only some of them reasons to experience with these technologies when in need of raising sales or getting a better positioning. It’s clear that the way in which visual information is produced and consumed is going to evolve to make a more immersed virtual world.
Virtual Reality has long held the potential to be a game changer, but it is only now -2016- that we are experiencing a true explosion of this technology which is on the cutting edge. Is your company prepared to experiment with Virtual Reality?