With the advancement in technology, consumers have become more sophisticated than before. Unlike before, when it was enough to engage consumers and the outcome was a success, you have to surpass their expectations today. The exact reason many companies have been considering incorporating both augmented and virtual reality in their marketing strategies. Consumer sights and sounds are cut off and replaced by a virtual computer-generated environment with virtual reality. On the other hand, Augmented reality relies on technology to overlay graphics, sounds, and messages over the real world.
AR and VR provide creative ways for organizations to humanize brands and bring them to life in the marketing industry, offering a promising and trendy platform to capture their consumer’s attention.
Purpose of the paper
The purpose of this paper is to explain the roles AR and VR play in Marketing;
- How storytelling plays a part in immense AR and VR technologies.
- What companies should consider before they invest in an AR and VR brand promotions
- How the brand will offer an immersive experience to their consumers to engage with while ensuring a higher conversation or purchase rate.
Naturally, virtual and augmented reality remodels our world by creating exciting, immersive knowledge far beyond a brochure, blog, or infographic. They are effective tools used in advertising and marketing through emotive stories about different products and services. As one Gavin Finn, President and CEO at AR and VR specialists Kaon Interactive, once said, with AR and VR, the consumers control their own experience, thus becoming a more engaging prospect than salespeople who rely on PowerPoints.
Virtual reality replaces sight and sound with a virtual computer-generated environment. It envelops one with a 360 degree and three dimensions, making them feel like they are in another world. In most instances, one is in a position to navigate through virtual reality experiences and use their hand to manipulate objects. Virtual reality immerses the user into a new reality with the help of visual aids like goggles and headphones. The VR must manipulate several sensory inputs in creating a new environment (Barnes, 2016). With virtual reality, user perspective changes just as it would in real life. For example, medical institutions use virtual reality when placing students in more realistic situations that may not be present during residency. While conducting immersion therapy sessions, psychiatrists and counselors rely on VR. Businesses with more complex products also rely on VR to dissect several parts of the products in impractical ways.
Augmented reality is an alteration of perceived reality. It uses technology to overlay sounds, graphics, and data over the real world. It’s more of bringing aspects of it to one’s world. Although in virtual reality, people require headphones, one operates the application in their phones in augmented reality. A good example is a car rearview camera app that would show outlines of where one is going, how many kilometers they will cover, and time (Rauschnabel, et. al. 2022). The lines on the screen are unified with the camera feed to look real; as many might think, they are not painted.
To some extent, augmented reality takes after wearable augments technology like Googles Tec specs which allow users to feel, listen to, and see, if not experiencing their space through the lens of the AR software they would consider using. This could mean time display, date, color corrections, facial identification system, or any augmentation device that the preferred user considers effective. The most common example of AR is Pokémon Go is the most known example of AR, a mobile application through which users connect with their surroundings in real-time.
Virtual and Augmented reality in Marketing
According to Angie Tran, the economic impact of virtual and augmented reality is predicted to exceed $29 billion by 2022. All because they create lush, immersive, and interactive user experiences and enable consumers to draw close and personal with products and services. If made good use of, augmented reality and virtual reality can grow buyer awareness, offer better personalization, and speed up sales and procedures. The practical application of AR and VR technologies will keep revolutionizing markets from one industry to another. With VR and AR, marketers can rely on active and dynamic surroundings to give their consumers a feel of their product or services (Zaveri, & Amin, 2019). Like showing someone with limited mobility how it will be to live in an upgraded community. Matterport uses Virtual real estate Tours on their consumers. Retailers use the technology during their products demonstrations. For example, after Khols collaborated with Snapchat, they used AR to design a virtual wardrobe for their consumers.
The best way to integrate AR in marketing is through advertising. Comparing ads with ARS, AR draws more attention from people than ads. I pay no attention to ads. AR creates interactive ad suits for their esteemed customers. In marketing, AR is applicable in
- Helping customers to see personalized products
- Designing AR filters for Brand awareness
- Allowing customers to sample their products with AR
- Visualizing how large purchases will look like
- Offering AR tours of a venue
- Creating a buzz with a viral app
- Offering a unique brand experience.
Importance of AR and VR in marketing strategies.
While VR gives an alternative universe, AR brings life to our surroundings via data, pictures, and exclusive experiences sanctioned in our world. In marketing, AR and VR are used to ensure an immersive experience for customers and boost brand recognition and sales. Unknown to most people, augmented reality was originally designed for marketing advertising. With VR, customers can try products before trying them; they can try out new furniture, get a virtual makeover, try on shoes, and create branded content with filters. BMW released their AR application during their mini promotion in 2008, marketers all over the world realized its potential. With advanced technologies, marketers are better positioned to generate brand buzz, improve communication, and increase engagements. Normally, people love picturing better lives for themselves, and AR does exactly that. Generally, AR A impact the world of adverting and marketing by assuring:
- More personalized Ad experiences
- Elevated social shopping experience
- Virtual engagements that replace in-person events
- Virtual experiential marketing
- Brand interactions and App integrations
Disadvantages of AR and VR
- They require the user to have at least a smartphone.
- The devices might experience some glitch in their systems anytime, an error, or a frozen image.
- Privacy issues in another concern with technology, especially with the users.
Role of storytelling in immersive AR and VR technologies.
Immersive storytelling is an approach that relies on advanced technology to design a fascinating feel of presence. Through AR and VR, storytelling gives the audience a sense of being part of belonging. Storytelling helps blend reality with fiction. Adopting AR/AV in storytelling has an unmistakable sense of presence yet is more engaging. The key advantage of using AR/AV storytelling is that it educates consumers more about products and services.
What to consider before investing in AR/VR
Before making any marketing decision, businesses consider their goal and budget as a guide. With AR/VR, one must;
- Evaluate potential obstacles by answering the following questions: Do my clients have access to VR devices? Are the customers willing to use AR/VR devices to engage with your business? Is there a better way to achieve your goals that is more cost-effective?
- Consider attracting consumers with an In-store VR experience, considering that VR devices are expensive, and some people could be unfamiliar with the technology.
- Consider AR for a mass market. Considering that VRs are not suitable for eCommerce businesses, AR is a better alternative since they are not only promising but highly creative.
- Compare costs to choose the right tool since their prices vary from one another.
With VR and AR becoming more integrated into each phase of the value chain, marketers have no reasons to hang on to immersive consumer promotions. Like in other technologies, the business will keep relying on augmented reality and virtual reality even before their customers have access to AR and VR devices. AR and VR create lush, immersive, and interactive user experience and enables consumers to draw close and personal with products and services. If made good use of, augmented reality and virtual reality can grow buyer awareness, offer better personalization, and speed up sales and procedures.
Barnes, S. (2016). Understanding virtual reality in marketing: Nature, implications and potential. Implications and Potential (November 3, 2016).
Rauschnabel, P. A., Babin, B. J., tom Dieck, M. C., Krey, N., & Jung, T. (2022). What is augmented reality marketing? Its definition, complexity, and future. Journal of Business Research, 142, 1140-1150.
Zaveri, B., & Amin, P. (2019). Augmented and Virtual Reality: Future of Marketing Trends. MANTHAN: Journal of Commerce and Management, 6(1), 16-25.