In 1972, the world was introduced to video games with Atari’s Pong – a simple yet revolutionary game that involved two paddles (they were just horizontal lines) moving back and forth to hit a ball. Now, only in the span of 50 years, we have unprecedented graphics, the ability to play online withone another across the globe, and are on the precipice of making virtual reality a household commodity.
Virtual and augmented reality will have a large presence in our future; there is no doubt about that. It’s expected to hit a global market size of $296.9 billion in 2024. This is almost ten times the $30.7 billion market size registered in 2021. That’s why it’s important from a marketing perspective to be an early adopter and understand how to market in the virtual space.
In this post, we’ll highlight ways brands are already implementing virtual reality in their own marketing efforts and ways we think will be effective marketing methods in the future. We’re particularly going to focus on how virtual reality can offer unique product experiences, improve customer service, enhance
online events, and give marketers endless possibilities for creative advertising.
Virtually Experience Products
Virtual reality will take the old adage try before you buy to a whole different level. There are already forward-thinking companies, like IKEA, implementing this marketing tactic that gives consumers unique
experiences and insights into products they would never have been able to test out and experience in
their own home before. The possibilities are endless for brands of any industry to allow potential consumers to try out their products in inventive ways.
Imagine this, you’ve picked a vacation destination for you and your loved one(s), and all that’s left now is to book the hotel. It’s happened to all of us at one point or another when we’ve booked a hotel room, and it wasn’t exactly what we were promised, or maybe the photos gave a false perspective on the size of the room. With VR, you can virtually tour any hotel, apartment, or home before being met with any unexpected surprises.
Virtual reality lets you showcase your product in a new light that stands apart from your competitors. By allowing potential customers to interact with your product, you can create a memorable experience that will stay with them when they are ready to purchase.
Improve Customer Experience
Over the last few years, there has been a major shift in power for customers, which has created a customer-centric marketplace. Brands have learned to start listening and putting the customers’ needs first, which, we know especially well, ultimately drives brand, development and service improvements for an unbeatable customer experience.
Already, brands like Gucci and Etsy have set up virtual storefronts people can interact with. This allows them to not only introduce their products to new and younger audiences, but also tell their brand story in a unique and fun way that resonates with customers. With the help of virtual reality, memorable customer journeys can become more frequent and, ultimately, the norm.
Picture one day virtually walking into a store that has everything and more than its brick-and-mortar counterpart without having to leave the convenience of your home. You can interact with a variety of products and services in an unlimited amount of imaginative ways – and if you need help, you can ask for a virtual assistant (a real-life worker) at any time to offer their expertise. This is just one of many ways the customer experience can be improved by virtual reality, and we’re sure in the near future, brands will adopt even more inventive & creative ways to create a more seamless customer experience.
As it’s becoming a more common occurrence to connect with people, places, and brands online, it only makes sense for virtual events to become the next big thing in the virtual space. You’ve probably already attended a virtual event at some point of time during the height of the pandemic and noticed the sense of community is still there as a traditional inperson event would possess.
A great example of a successful online event, which showed the massive opportunity for virtual concerts, was Travis Scott debuting a new song of his on Fortnite that was attended by over 12 million people. Since then, several artists like Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion, and Billie Eilish have started hosting virtual concerts with great success.
It’s important to note that you or your brand don’t need to be rock stars to successfully host a virtual reality event. If you look on any of the event-sharing apps, like Eventbrite, and search for virtual reality events, you will find pages of interesting things going on in the virtual space, like immersive language exchanges, sculpting classes, and much more.
Maybe you’re a fashion brand that wants to host a virtual runway show or an automotive brand that virtually shows people how to fix their car, you can even be an architecture firm showcasing wonky building designs – the moral of the story is as long as you can offer people a unique, memorable experience where they can take away something from it, you’ve successfully built brand awareness.
Creative, Fun Advertising
We believe this is the most important aspect when approaching marketing in the virtual space. People are putting on their VR goggles to escape their troubles and have fun, not experience the same mundane everyday occurrences such as traditional advertisements. Spammy ads like pop-up ads will not work in the virtual space – you’re going to have to get more creative than that, but that shouldn’t be too hard in a world where the possibilities are endless.
Maybe you want prospective customers to go on an adventure and slay a dragon or go on a scavenger hunt through different periods of time for a 20% off coupon to your store.
Honestly, no one can predict what virtual reality will truly look like in the future, but like the internet – most people who adopt future technologies early on put themselves in advantageous positions and reap the benefits with financial success.