Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven
Virtual reality is making waves in New Zealand's marketing industry, and for experiential marketing in particular. Its ability to engage consumers by immersing them in other worlds has huge potential brands can leverage to forge stronger connections between their customers and their products or services.
What is Virtual Reality and why should you care?
Virtual reality, or VR for short, involves using technology to create a virtual environment. Using VR headsets, 360º videos or apps, it enables people to inhabit other environments and interact with people and objects in their minds. Pretty neat, right?
More than neat, in fact – VR is big business. The global VR market is expected to be worth USD30 billion by 2020, according to ResearchInChina’s “Global and China VR and AR Industry Report, 2016-2020.” There’s a reason for this: VR is a form of experiential marketing that enables consumers to interact with products and services in a much more personal way than conventional advertising allows.
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing isn’t about telling someone they need your product or service – it’s about showing them how your offerings can help in an interactive way.
Virtual Reality enables brands to connect with their customers more directly and provide them with experiences they’ll remember.
The benefits of using Virtual Reality for experiential marketers is obvious – it enables brands to connect with their customers more directly and provide them with experiences they’ll remember. You’re not just telling your customers that your product is awesome – you’re showing them.
How can you use Virtual Reality to enhance your experiential marketing campaigns?
VR and experiential marketing are an obvious pair – the former complements the objectives of the latter by providing a captivating customer experience. With this in mind, how can you use VR to attract more people to your brand?
Here are a few ways you can incorporate VR into your marketing campaigns:
- Showcase your products or services: Instead of telling your customers ‘this product will solve this problem/improve your life in this way’, show them. VR can help you transform a seemingly mundane product into something exciting. Let’s say your business sells vacuum cleaners. Using VR headsets, you could get potential customers to ‘use’ your vacuum cleaner as part of a game. This is something fun that also showcases the uses and benefits of your product, and fully immerses consumers in the experience – something that’s difficult to do in this day and age when our concentration spans are so short.
- Take your customers on a journey: The VR experience doesn’t necessarily have to be focused on your products and services. Giving people a memorable experience can be enough to make them associate your business with enjoyment and delight (or whatever emotions you are targeting). Coca-Cola’s Christmas ride is an example of how a brand used VR not to explicitly sell their products, but to offer a joyful experience to potential customers. People weren’t being ‘sold’ Coca-Cola’s products, but were taken on a fun sleigh ride inside a branded truck. The positive emotions they experienced inside would then have been associated with the Coca-Cola brand.
- Build hype for an event: Don’t have the budget for expensive tech gadgets? You can still provide an immersive experience and attract registrations in the process. Harness the power of social media and take potential attendees on a journey through the setup and production of your event – around the stages, through the various stands or rooms. Make them feel like they’re right there using free tools such as Facebook Live, Snapchat or Instagram Stories.
VR is perfectly suited to experiential marketing, allowing customers to get up close and personal with your brand. Find out how I Want Orange can help you use the power of VR to help you attract customers and excite them with your offerings.