Technology changes constantly, taking marketing trends along with it. New tools give consumers new digital interests and abilities. Of course, marketers need to establish a presence somehow whenever a new technology emerges. The more connected consumers become with the online world, the more marketers can learn about each consumer. Technological developments are providing consumers an opportunity to disconnect with the outside world – which also means disconnecting from advertisements (but we won’t let that happen).
This past year, we’ve seen new technology like drones, virtual reality, and 360 cameras emerge, changing science fiction to commercially available fact. Each of these technologies make our lives more exciting and entertaining. However, for the casual user, it can be tempting to see these new tools as simply toys.
How can marketing fit into all this? Businesses can capitalize on the hype of a new technology to provide content hungry potential customers with material to explore. The real estate industry has used 360 tours for years to help sell people. Now, however, every business can utilize 360 videos to immerse viewers in their experience. Other businesses are using drones to make their deliveries more efficient.
Additionally, virtual reality has many applications outside of gaming! Pokemon GO provided businesses with opportunities for marketing with augmented reality. Virtual reality takes it one step further. Virtual reality is a fully immersive computer simulated environment that gives users the feeling of being in the environment they see instead of the one they’re actually in. Businesses are showing off the virtual reality they’ve designed and are traveling to various festivals to create experiences for consumers based around their brand.
Virtual reality is literally today’s reality! In fact, virtual reality – sometimes known as simply VR – is going to have one of the biggest impacts on business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) marketing this year. What used to be considered the future is here and accessible. From Oculus Rift to smart-phone powered headsets, anyone has the power to visit a virtual world.
VR campaigns are going to become a common trend within marketing companies sooner than expected. This year, 30% of Forbes Global 200 consumer-facing companies plan to be experiment with augmented and virtual reality. Last year there were 43 million VR active users. The VR active-user growth is expected to increase to 90 million this year and 171 million by next year.
VR can help advertisers create immersive, life-like experiences. For example, rather than creating a Facebook campaign around the NBA Playoffs, consumers can be standing on the sidelines watching the action unfold all around them. They can see the players on the court, the reactions from the bench players, and the fan interactions.
Why VR campaigns are so successful?
When users wear a headset, they are fully immersed in what they see in front of them. This means they will have fewer detractions and will pay more attention to the content they see.
VR is so intense that it impacts viewers in a way that traditional media has never been able to. It can create even stronger emotions than watching videos because they will be in the video. It has also been linked to real behavior change.
Our brains remember events connected to locations. This means that VR experiences stay in the consumers memory even longer.
Because VR is so new, there is automatically a huge interest coming from the media and the public. This will create extra media exposure for a brand. The uses for VR campaigns are diverse. You can:
- Communicate the brand’s mission or share their message
- Help consumers make more informed choices before making their purchases
- Show consumers how a brand can be a part of their daily life
- Demonstrate a product
- Entertain consumers with a memorable experience
There are so many big companies like Coca Cola, Volvo, TopShop, and even the Marriott that have had successful VR campaigns. Many have even tried integrating VR with weather simulations or tangible objects that you can feel on your journey. According to Ask Greenlight, 71% of consumers think that if a brand uses virtual reality, it is a forward-thinking company.
What does the future of ads look like?
If VR is becoming so dominant now, what can we expect for the future of marketing and advertising?
Virtual reality is the type of science fiction magic that people have yearned to play with for years. However, the online marketing trends leading up to this new technological development paint a clear picture of what consumers want.
The ads of the future blend into our everyday lives seamlessly. Authenticity is going to be the most powerful marketing tool to draw in consumers. Some marketers predict that when you reach into your fridge and find out you’re running out of butter, your fridge will also notice and give you a brand recommendation. Companies will be able to really know their consumers and immerse themselves in our world.
Many people hate interrupted advertisements, and marketers understand that. That’s why there will be a shift away from forceful advertising. It will be natural and fitting. People don’t want ads thrown in their faces, bothering them. Instead, marketers see better results – and happier customers – when ads focus on experiences and participation.
Even though the way we advertising to potential customers is changing, content will never slow down – especially good content. Cell phones will still be a huge part of our lives, so visual content will still be relevant. Marketers will need to stay on top of technology trends to know how to create content accordingly and drive business in new ways.
What VR options are in San Antonio, Texas?
It may surprise you to know but San Antonio is actually on the leading edge of virtual reality! Companies like Merge Labs are making VR headsets cheaper and more accessible. If your business is in San Antonio, then you don’t need to invent anything to take advantage of the online marketing potential for VR! Call Digital Marketing Sapiens at 210-582-5852 today to schedule a consultation and find out new technologies can do for you.