What is virtual reality marketing
VR Marketing: 6 Examples of Virtual Reality in Marketing
There are a variety of reasons why companies should consider using VR marketing and these can go far deeper than just jumping on the “hype train” for a moment. (There is a detailed explanation in the article What opportunities does immersive marketing offer?). In the following article, we will provide you with inspiration and guidance on the subject of VR in marketing with regard to the many possible usessix different types of measures for virtual reality in marketing to introduce.
How can virtual reality be used in marketing? Let yourself be inspired by the following 5 measures.
Decision factor for VR marketing: the communication environment
In order not to go beyond the scope of the article, we will ask ourselves questions such as What is Virtual Reality? or how will VR develop? Save at this point and instead jump straight into the colorful world of VR marketing. In recent years, more and more companies have made their first attempts to use VR effectively in marketing, sometimes more and sometimes less successfully. If you take a closer look at the large number of VR measures that have been carried out, you will notice that, although they are all similar in conveying their communication message using virtual realities, there are also some factors that can be used to distinguish and categorize them. And we would like to make exactly such a distinction in the following in order to introduce you to six different types of VR measures. We have that as a key differentiator Communication environment identified, since depending on this, various challenges, planning mechanisms and objectives arise.
VR Marketing No. 1: The VR Experiences for Home
The communication environment that many people think of first when it comes to virtual reality in marketing is the consumer's home environment. Such VR experiences are aimed at a very high-end target group (usually mostly early adopters with an affinity for technology), as consumers must have their own high-end VR glasses for this type of measure. Due to the currently still low prevalence (see also Where is the VR boom?), The range here is comparatively small compared to 360 ° video marketing and other digital communication media, but in contrast it can score with a high degree of interaction and immersion which can increase the consumer's involvement in order to create highly emotional customer experiences.
A specific example of a VR home experience is offered by Beiersdorf's “VR Skin Exploration”, which takes consumers on a virtual journey through human skin. In this playful experience, the user immerses himself in a virtual brand world and can explore it independently. The interactive communication of information enables complex facts to be grasped more quickly and the perceived purchase risk for the consumer is reduced, which means that conative marketing objectives can also be met.
Virtual reality at the point of sale
To support sales, virtual reality measures can also be used directly at the point of sale. There is both the option of using virtual reality as an additional attraction at the POS in order to lure more customers into the store, or of integrating them directly into the sales pitch.
VR Marketing No. 2: Virtual Reality as sales support
VR measures at the POS can be used directly in customer discussions to visualize products, present product features or demonstrate configurations. For the most realistic representation possible, the communication object can be included directly in the measure. For example, the “Walking VR” measure from Audi is used to virtually demonstrate the desired vehicle to potential buyers so that it can be viewed interactively from different perspectives, configurations are shown and the car can be adapted directly to customer requirements. These sales-supporting VR measures could be used in an advanced phase of the sales process in order to meet conative communication goals, as they are directly aimed at increasing sales through an interactive communication of information. They are particularly suitable for consumer goods that require explanation in the high-priced segment, for which the consumer has a high need for information, such as when viewing a property or buying a car.
In addition to the positive effects on marketing communication, distribution policy objectives could also be influenced and, for example, sales costs could be saved. By using VR, physical exhibits and thus sales space can be saved. But the time required for sales talks could also be shortened for both sides by bridging spatial distances more quickly or by allowing the exhibits in the virtual world to be viewed one after the other more quickly.
VR Marketing No. 3: Brand Experience in Virtual Reality
Brand experiences are another way to shine with VR marketing at the point of sale. Marketing departments can take advantage of the lower prevalence of VR glasses and grant customers exclusive access to virtual reality. In contrast to the communication environment “Home” or to temporary trade fairs and events, it is particularly worthwhile here to mix virtual and real elements in order to create a multi-sensual experience that emotionally charges your own brand.
The outdoor retailer Globetrotter provides a successful example, inviting customers on a virtual trip around the world to mark its 40th anniversary. The immersive adventure can be experienced directly in the store, but the elaborate VR installation tours as a roadshow through the branches in Germany. The use of props and additional effects such as vibrations, wind and cold ensure that the adventure feels particularly realistic.
VR Marketing No. 4: VR Terminals
Another sales-oriented VR marketing measure are so-called VR terminals. In contrast to measure no. 2, VR terminals are not integrated directly into the consultation, but rather comparable to information terminals through which customers in the store can receive additional information about the range of services . One advantage of this type of measure is the dismantling of purchase barriers, as consumers can inform themselves independently and try out products virtually at the POS. The emotional involvement increases the incentive to buy. The IKEA “VR Showrooms” shows how it can be done and lets customers set up virtual rooms with IKEA furniture.
VR marketing at trade fairs and events
VR Marketing No. 5: Virtual Reality at the exhibition stand
Why not expand the limited space at the booth virtually and make products and / or companies more tangible for visitors? Virtual Reality at the exhibition stand offers a wide range of possibilities to draw attention to one's own range of services and to positively influence the attitudes of (potential) customers. It is easy to combine factual and emotional communication, as the virtual test drive from Toyota shows:
VR Marketing No. 6: Event Marketing with Virtual Reality
Companies can also benefit from the effects of VR technology at events. The situation here is similar to that at the POS (No. 3) or at the exhibition stand (No. 5), where the VR installation should be integrated into an overall concept. The aim is usually to add a technological component to the event in order to further strengthen the connection between consumers and brands. In this way, communication goals such as awareness, image or brand relationship can primarily be positively influenced, while a specific purchase intention should rather result from a long-term behavioral effect. Coca Cola implemented an extensive VR marketing event with "Santa's VR Sleigh Ride" as part of the Christmas truck tour and takes consumers on a virtual rollercoaster ride with Santa Claus:
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