VR for Marketing: Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
There’s so much buzz around the world of virtual reality (VR), and industries such as hospitality, tourism, real estate, entertainment and sports are beginning to adopt this immersive video to grow their customer base and even recruit new talent. Major brands like IKEA, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are already utilizing the medium, but it’s key to understand when the right time is for your brand to jump on the bandwagon.
The technology needed to create VR experiences – headsets and cameras to produce content – is evolving and becoming more accessible thanks to Google Cardboard and VR apps, but it’s still a long way from widespread adoption. The IKEAs and McDonalds of the world have the resources and user base to make their foray into VR a success, but for smaller companies VR at this stage might only provide the ‘cool’ factor.
As a marketer, you should harness the tools and technology that make the most sense for the industries you serve, and can provide the ROI you’re looking for, but do your homework before dropping some cash on the technology. Most marketers don’t need to worry about jumping on the bandwagon just yet since the technology can be expensive and the content is limited, creating two big hurdles that are a challenge to overcome.
The good news is that it’s still early in the game for VR, and it would behoove you and your brand to keep your finger on the pulse of the evolving VR landscape, technology and content, preparing you to move into VR seamlessly, and when the timing is right.
So, when do you know the timing is right?
- When your brand is trying to ‘sell’ a tangible experience – there’s no better way than to show your customer base, and creating 360 degree video would make the most sense.
- Showcasing a product experience – if you’re trying to show customers that your product is better than a competitor’s, showing the user experience in VR elicits more emotions.
- When you need to educate the consumer – when you want to tout how something is made or the story behind a product, VR can create a dimensional experience, and consumers love a good story, especially if it’s visually appealing or pulls at the heartstrings.
- Meaningful events and experiences – if you want to convey how spectacular your events are, VR can make the consumer feel as if they are actually there and can create a powerful emotional experience.
Don’t utilize VR just because you can and everyone else is doing it; use VR for certain experiences that require consumers to connect with the brand and that evoke emotion. You’ll get the most bang for your buck.