Authored by Prateek N Kumar, CEO & Founder, Neoniche.
The world of marketing is constantly evolving, and businesses are always on the lookout for innovative strategies to captivate their target audience. In recent years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have emerged as powerful tools that are reshaping the marketing landscape. By seamlessly blending the digital and physical realms, AR and VR have the potential to create immersive brand experiences, engage customers on a deeper level, and drive business growth.
The industrial and enterprise sector is increasingly adopting AR and VR for training, maintenance, and remote collaboration. It is expected that the enterprise VR software and hardware market will reach $4.26 billion in 2023, with a CAGR of 47.1% from 2018 to 2023.
But how is AR affecting the marketing styles? How can marketers use AR and VR to their advantage?
Let us begin with understanding how AR and VR works.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, Augmented reality starts with a camera-equipped device—such as a smartphone, a tablet, or smart glasses—loaded with AR software. When a user points the device and looks at an object, the software recognizes it through computer vision technology, which analyzes the video stream.
The device then downloads information about the object from the cloud, in much the same way that a web browser loads a page via a URL. A fundamental difference is that the AR information is presented in a 3-D “experience” superimposed on the object rather than in a 2-D page on a screen. What the user sees, then, is part real and part digital.
AR can provide a view of the real-time data flowing from products and allow users to control them by touchscreen, voice, or gesture.
Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Some Examples of augmented reality experiences include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokemon Go. Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world.
The Power of Immersive Experiences:
AR and VR enable marketers to transport their audience into unique virtual worlds or overlay digital information onto the real world. By accommodating these technologies, companies can provide interactive and immersive experiences that leave a lasting impression on consumers.
According to an Epsilon study, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. This has led to increased adoption of data-driven marketing techniques.
For instance, IKEA Place, an AR app developed by IKEA, allows customers to visualize how furniture would look in their own homes. By simply pointing their smartphone camera at a space, users can position virtual furniture pieces and explore different options, providing a tangible and realistic preview of their purchase.
Enhancing Product Demonstrations and Trials:
AR and VR offer marketers the ability to showcase products and services in dynamic ways, allowing customers to interact with virtual representations before making a purchase. This capability enhances the decision-making process and boosts consumer confidence.
Jaguar Land Rover used VR technology to create a virtual test drive experience for their luxury vehicles. Prospective customers could explore the car’s features, take it for a virtual spin, and even customize various elements, providing an engaging and informative encounter that goes beyond traditional brochures or videos.
Bridging Online and Offline Experiences:
AR and VR provide a bridge between digital and physical touchpoints, enabling marketers to enhance both online and offline interactions. This integration facilitates a cohesive brand experience across multiple channels, deepening customer engagement and increasing brand loyalty.
Personalization and Targeted Marketing:
AR and VR enable marketers to deliver highly personalized and targeted content to individual consumers, thereby enhancing the relevance and impact of their campaigns. These technologies can collect valuable data on user behavior and preferences, allowing companies to tailor their messages accordingly.
AR and VR can be used in ad creation to provide immersive and interactive experiences for consumers. AR can overlay digital content onto the real world, allowing users to interact with products virtually. VR can transport users to virtual environments, creating impactful storytelling and brand engagement opportunities.
Cost Implications for Companies:
While the benefits of AR and VR in marketing are substantial, it’s essential to consider the cost implications for businesses. Implementing AR and VR technologies requires investments in hardware, software, content creation, and ongoing maintenance. Additionally, training employees to utilize these tools effectively adds to the overall expenses.
However, as the technology matures, costs are gradually becoming more accessible, and the potential return on investment (ROI) justifies the initial expenditure.
Also, it is important to note that the ROI of AR and VR implementations can vary widely based on the specific goals, industry, target audience, and other factors. Conducting a thorough analysis and evaluating the potential benefits and costs specific to your organization’s use case is essential for understanding the ROI.
With the world turning towards the digitally advanced tools to enhance their creativity, such companies that do not comprehend with these new tools will definitely be left behind. Thus, a blend of traditional and new methods in marketing has to be built for exponential results.