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AR-VR | Future Of Marketing

21 MinutesDecember 6, 2021

Virtual reality has been steadily gaining momentum over the past few years. As of 2018, 78% were familiar with virtual reality technology. Today, nearly 60 million people use virtual reality each month in 2021. With the recent announcement of Facebook’s moving into the Meta-verse, the virtual reality market is predicted to explode, with the IDC predicting VR shipments to reach 26.7 million shipments a year by 2025. 

Virtual and augmented reality is going to change the face of marketing. Brands are already starting to incorporate this technology into their marketing with great success. This article will explore exactly how virtual and augmented reality is going to change marketing, and will reference how some brands are a step ahead with incorporating this technology into their marketing strategies.

What is Virtual and Augmented Reality?

Virtual reality started with the use of panoramic paintings and stereoscopic image in the early 1900s. Predictions about virtual reality started in the science fiction realm in the 1920s, when science fiction writer Stanley G. Weinbaum wrote Pygmalion’s Spectacles. Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland and his student Bob Sproull invested the first virtual reality head-mounted display system in 1968. Virtual reality continued to move forward with the creation of multiple flight simulators and the MIT Movie Map of 1977.

Today, virtual reality is booming in popularity. Every day, new games, virtual reality technologies and other augmented marketing campaigns are being released. Virtual reality shopping reached new heights following the COVID-19 pandemic. In Australia alone, 44% of consumers say they are more willing to use virtual reality to shop thanks to the pandemic.

Today, virtual reality is all about placing consumers in a computer-generated world. It separates the consumer from the real world and immerses them in the virtual experience. Popular examples of this include VR headsets and virtual reality game offerings.

Augmented reality, on the other hand, involves bringing computer-generated content into the real world. Customers are able to see how digital products would fit in their home, or see what a specific pair of shoes looks like with their outfit, without leaving their home.

Both offer a new, unique way to market products and services to consumers. Virtual and augmented reality is growing more and more popular every single day. In order to offer a unique experience for consumers, businesses need to start incorporating virtual reality into their marketing strategy.

How’s virtual and augmented reality changing marketing? Let’s explore.

› Virtual Reality: Better Customer Experience

Virtual reality means there is a wealth of opportunities for providing an enhanced customer experience. VR means customers can see products at their real scale and experience how they work, improving conversion. VR also reduces the barriers many brands face is persuading customers to use their product or service.

Customer service can be carried out via virtual reality. Offering virtual offices and making it easier than ever before to talk to a real person online, VR means brands can solve customer queries faster than ever before. Cadillac is doing this well with their virtual dealerships, which allow customers to shop their range and speak with salespeople without leaving their homes.

History of VR/AR

› Augmented Reality and the Ability to Virtually Try-On' Products

Virtual Reality technology allows for the potential for consumers to virtually ‘try-on’ products before they buy them. Currently, many brands are using this technology straight from mobile phones. Ikea offers Ikea Place, which allows you to browse Ideas catalog of products and use your mobile phones camera to place the products digitally within your home. This means customers are able to see what the product may look like in the space prior before buying it.

VR headsets and controllers may be used in the future to offer a tactile trying on experience. This technology will be continually developed into the future, and brands should start figuring out how they can use this technology to provide better customer experience. Here are some potential uses for this technology:

  • Allowing customers to ‘try-on’ your product.
  • Allowing customers to walk-through homes, spaces, and other large-scale projects.
  • Letting customers experience the product through virtual reality.

› Virtual and Augmented Reality: Changing the Way We Market Via Mobile

Augmented and virtual reality allows brands to craft experiences and engage consumers in unique, never-before-seen ways. Marketing is driven by consumers, and as new technology continues to grow, brands need to find new ways to meet the needs and desires of consumers.

Augmented reality allows brands to provide customer’s with creative experiences from their mobile device. Augmented reality is a powerful tool for driving sales and allows customers to use their mobile to experience products in new ways.

Augmented shopping experiences are becoming explosively popular. Now, consumers are able to test drive cars and see if a pair of Gucci shoes will suit them without leaving their couch.

This technology is continuing to expand, and brands need to ensure they are involving virtual and augmented reality into their mobile marketing plans.

Here are some ways brands can use augmented reality (AR) in their marketing campaigns:

  • AR digital brochures, pamphlets and experiences that let customers try before they buy.
  • Offering interactive product experiences via mobile.
  • Allow customers to speak directly with sales reps and people within your brand from the comfort of their device using AR or video software.

Provide long and short-form interactive video marketing.

› Product Training for Buyers

Brands are able to create real-world scenarios and allow customers to learn how to use their products effectively using VR. Brands can even offer feedback in some cases, allowing consumers to intuitively learn how the product will benefit their day-to-day life.

Using virtual reality for product training allows consumers to see the product in action. Demo equipment and additional shipping costs are a thing of the past with virtual reality taking the marketing world by storm.

Car dealerships are able to virtually show customers how to use every new feature within the car. Digital service providers can highlight exactly how to use their product effectively without the need for a free demo or trial. All of these vastly reduce the marketing costs for brands whilst ensuring customers get the best experience possible.

› Long-Form Video Virtual Reality Marketing

Younger demographics love video content. The massive growth of platforms like TikTok has proven this. Thus, marketers need to ensure that video marketing is a focal point in their marketing strategy.

Virtual reality provides exciting opportunities to utilize long-form video marketing experiences for consumers. By fully immersing potential buyers in these interactive experiences, brands are able to persuade buyers to purchase and increase conversion rates with ease. There are plenty of applications for this kind of marketing as well.

Interactive mini-courses, interactive brochures, try-ons, product education and interactive advertisements are all unique ways brands can utilize VR in their long-form video marketing. All of these offer a unique experience for consumers that will set brands apart, vastly increasing the success of their marketing strategy.

Interactive Advertising : Shape of Marketing

› The Future of Online Events

Online events have become widely popular due to the pandemic, and we expect to see this continue long after the pandemic. Using virtual reality to host interactive events is the future. Whilst this technology is in its early stages, we expect to see a rapid growth in brands hosting unique virtual online events.

COVID has shown that showcases, launches, exhibitions, networking events and company events can all be hosted via virtual reality. This will allow customers to gain a different insight into the brand and is likely to increase the success of launches. Virtual reality is truly going to change the way we run virtual events, and brands should start utilizing VR today to be a step ahead.

How Brands are Using Virtual Reality

• TopShop:

TopShop utilized virtual reality to create the TopShop VR catwalk experience. This campaign allowed users to sit at the center of a fashion show, and then go backstage to see the behind-the-scenes and meet celebrities. This campaign was very successful, and customers were able to relive the show whenever they wished and shop looks directly from the show.

• TOMS Shoes:

TOMS Virtual Giving Trip took viewers to Peru and chronicled the company’s donation and mission efforts. Consumers were able to meet school children who were about to receive TOMS shoes, and see the impact of the shoes on their lives. TOMS then set up this experience in all of their stores. The campaign was a massive success.

• Oreo:

Oreo released an interactive experience for customers to see how the brands Filled Cupcake flavored Oreos are made. Imaginative and fun, this experience took viewers to the ‘Wonder Vault’ where cookie flavors are created. A fun campaign that was well-targeted, it brought excellent awareness for the new product launch.

• Adidas:

Adidas showcased the mountain-climbing journey of two athletes that are sponsored by TERREX. With 360-degree views, viewers were able to follow the climbers throughout the journey, using a VR headset and two sensory remote controls. Consumers were able to scale Delicatessen mountain alongside the climbers, rock by rock. The campaign was a true success and an unforgettable way to market TERREX’s line of clothing.

• L’Oreal:

L’Oreal’s app MakeUp Genius allows consumers to try out make-up and hair styles from the comfort of their own home. Consumers are able to test make-up without the use of shares samples and without leaving their home. As customers try-on new looks, the app offers recommendations tailored for them. The app has been a massive success, and has been downloaded over 20 million times.

Why is VR and AR Marketing so Successful?

Immersive experiences offer high sensory impact. The brain tricks the body into thinking it’s actually in the virtual environment, which is why virtual reality marketing campaigns are so compelling. This heightened sensory experience creates an emotional link with the experience, and this is very powerful for sales. Global spending on augmented reality and virtual reality is forecast to increase from just over $12.0 billion in 2020 to $72.8 billion in 2024 as we move out of the pandemic. (Source: IDC)

Consumers get to live the story of your brand rather than just being an observer. The lack of fourth wall means that no special editing is needed to convince the brain that you’re there. Consumers get to experience the product and what it means on their own terms, which leads to heightened engagement with the campaign.

VR and AR also captures 100% of the user’s attention. Especially in the case of VR, the headset means the rest of the world is shut out and users are fully immersed in the marketing campaign. This means brands have a higher chance of making a conversion, as there are no distractions and reasons to click away.

Augmented reality allows you to put your product in a consumer’s hands without them leaving their home. This encourages them to buy the product, as they get to fully try the product. Augmented reality also reduces returns rates, as customers expectations are often succeeded thanks to the immersive component of the experience.

Thus, there are many benefits to incorporating VR and AR into your brand’s marketing today. It’s a powerful tool that is changing the way brands market goods and services.

› VR and AR Marketing for Small Businesses

Small businesses can use Facebook’s Spark AR online tool to created augmented reality content for free, with no knowledge of coding required. Instagram and Snapchat are also offering augmented reality features that can be used to boost small businesses marketing efforts for free.

Small businesses can create interactive filters that customers can use to showcase products and user-generated content on their social medias. The upfront cost for doing something like this is small, and users will be able to interact with the brand directly.

Hosting live shows on Facebook and Instagram is another way to offer an immersive virtual experience for small businesses. Again, the upfront cost of this is nothing and it will allow customers to uniquely engage directly with your business.

Adding an element of augmented reality to your business card and brochure does not have to be labor-intensive or costly. You can use Spark AR to create the content and add it directly to your online business card or portfolio. Both of these allow customers to directly interact with your product, and are a good way that small businesses can utilize this technology in their marketing.

› How Virtual Reality will Change Marketing and the Consumer Experience in the Future

We know that customers love great customer experiences. 86% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service when they receive great customer service and experience from the brand.

As virtual reality continues to grow, many stakeholders predict virtual reality to take over from in-store customer experience initiatives within the next five years. VR is changing how shop. Fully immersing us in the shopping experience, the traditional limits on shopping experiences including time or location are a thing of the past. A truly globalised experience, you can shop anywhere from around the world without leaving your couch.

This means customers can try products and shop new brands that they usually wouldn’t be able to, which changes the way we shop for the better.

The emotional and immersive aspects of VR is what will change the consumer experience forever. Marketers can develop experiences that trigger emotions like exhilaration, fear and excitement and fully immerse their audiences in the campaign. We know that when marketing campaigns appeal to human emotions, they tend to be more successful.

VR takes this to a new level. You can market incredible, emotional campaigns and fully immerse the audience within the experience, leading to greater conversions.

AI-powered chatbots and other virtual assistants can really improve the level of customer service your brand offers to consumers. Businesses are able to showcase how much they value their customers and offer intuitive, virtual reality customer service experiences that can operate at any time of the day.

Virtual reality allows us to travel the world from the comfort of our own couch. We can attend concerts and communicate with friends through virtual reality. VR and augmented reality are truly changing the face of marketing radically, and brands need to get on board quickly to get ahead with this technology.

Final Thoughts

Virtual reality and augmented reality are truly changing the way brands market to consumers. Bringing unique experiences, customers are able to try products before they buy them, and fully immerse themselves in different brands advertising campaigns. All of these lead to better conversion rates, as customer’s get to fully experience the product prior to buying it.

Both are highly successful in persuading buyers due to the immersive nature of the experience. Campaigns are more memorable and more compelling when VR and AR are used. Small businesses should strive to incorporate virtual and augmented reality into their marketing campaigns using free programs like Spark AR and Instagram filters. Virtual and augmented reality are truly changing the marketing landscape. Brands need to start incorporating virtual and augmented reality into their marketing strategies today, or risk falling behind.

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    authenticity in brand video

    Authenticity : Hottest Content Trends in 2021

    Authenticity: Hottest Content Trends in 2021

    Creating authentic content for your brand and being transparent in your actions is an incredibly powerful way to build a loyal following.

    There’s an old industry joke that states the most crucial thing in marketing is authenticity, and if you can fake that, you’ve got it made. While that may have worked once upon a time, in today’s digital age, people can smell a rat instantly, so really, the joke’s on you. Creating authentic content for your brand and being transparent in your actions is an incredibly powerful way to build a loyal following. It can build deep connections, create trust and even have your audience care about you and what you do, and for you, the business owner, there’s nothing better than that. Most people are exposed to more than a dozen marketing channels every day, including various social media platforms, emails, Google searches, websites, radio and TV. Take email marketing as an example, the average consumer receives multiple marketing emails every day – ‘EOFY sale’, ‘We thought you’d like these’, ’25 per cent family and friends discount!’. Some could receive in the hundreds. But consumers are savvy, and what this volume of information does is actually make them less tuned into marketing messages because they become familiar with the approaches and all the copy starts blurring into one, so they become unaffected. 

      What does this mean for you? You begin losing any cut-through because everyone is saying the same thing, and consumers scan through the volume of marketing and move on. Nothing gets any real attention. The result – you lose out on sales.

      .: Brand Strategy

      The good news is that you can overcome this. How? Well, as mentioned earlier, authenticity is key. The best way to get through to potential buyers is to build your brand’s personality, as well as your own, letting people get to know you on a deeper level. People want to have deeper connections with the brands they do business with. Suppose a brand can make an effort to speak to their audience on a more personal level. In that case, people will respond positively because the dehumanisation of society resulting from the digitisation of communication has led to a lack of personality and effective communication. Consumers are not interested in gimmicks but rather seek genuine brands and come from a place of sincerity, and brands that understand and embrace this will find that people will respond to them very strongly.

      authentic content for brand messaging

      .: Understand Your Audience

      The first step to being more authentic in your content marketing is to make sure you fully understand your audience, the values they hold dear and subsequently to ensure your brand reflects those values. If your audience is particularly focused on compassion, then you need to build your brand to show that your focus is also on compassion. It’s also important to be articulate, so people understand what your brand stands for. Avoid using jargon and hyperbole and get to the point because it will help your audience understand quicker what your brand represents. Sales talk is off-putting and is the perfect way to make consumers disengage from the conversation you’re so desperate to have with them.

      .: Attributes Window

      Next, understand that people are drawn towards attributes such as friendliness, warmth, honesty, thoughtfulness and open-mindedness. They also like brands that teach, help and assist them, and are not just about the brand themselves. Followers become loyal when they have access to easily digestible and readily available information, when they know it’ll be easy to solve a problem they might encounter, and the brand is friendly and approachable. It’s about making it straightforward for people to access what they need. You only need to look at the success of a little American technology company bearing fruit for its logo to see how this rings true.

      .: Add Value

      When it comes to video content – and this is where it’s really at in this technology-driven era, you need only look at the rise of video platforms such as Tik Tok and YouTube – understand why you are creating the video (building brand awareness? Educating?), plan and be strategic. Ensure the quality is good, be it shooting from your phone or a full-blown set-up, or you can put viewers off, but don’t be rigid as though you’re reading from a script. Above all, be consistent, you can’t build a loyal and long-term following if your views are all over the place. Deliver valuable content your audience wants to consume, and engagement will follow.

      .: Deliver Consistent Message

      Finally, it’s vitally important that your content reflects all these points mentioned across the entire organisation, whether it be your website, social media, or how you interact in stores. And everyone involved needs to be across this and know what it is you stand for and trust in your brand because it can be destroyed in one moment if not everyone is on board. Remember, your actions are as necessary as anything else.

      In a nutshell, authenticity is your brand’s best friend. It is imperative to achieve success, understand your audience and share the same values as them, be focused on the authenticity of your brand, and believe in what you’re doing. Take the opportunity to form a deeper bond with your customers because if done well, these values are the sorts of things that people share with their friends and it, in turn, creates more loyal followers. Build deep connections, generate trust and if you can have your audience care about you and what you do, there’s nothing better than that.

      At redbikini, we live and breathe all things video production, offering more than 20 years’ on-set experience. redbikini and our digital marketing arm, LOOP, which we launched in 2020, helps South Australian businesses set clear, realistic and measurable goals to generate growth. Together we offer an affordable, step-by-step digital marketing program that identifies opportunities and helps take your business to the next level.

      7 Essential Steps To Successful Video Production | 1. Strategy
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        3D Animation Motion Graphics Adelaide

        Winning Tenders – Why Marketing Matters

        “Risk is in the DNA of everything defence related”- Justin O’Brien

        Companies with watertight marketing strategies, strong branding and alluring video content are the most likely to establish strong business connections when competing for defence contracts, according to a leading industry expert.

        A concise and targeted marketing campaign also provided businesses an opportunity to make a great first impression and establish initial connections, said Justin O’Brien, creative director of video production company redbikini and B2B digital marketing business LOOP.

        Mr O’Brien said it was vital for businesses to have a positive digital profile in order to stand out and “nudge” their tender in the right direction, noting the increasing competition vying for defence projects in South Australia.

        “When people start analysing your business as a potential partner, it’s important that you’re putting your best foot forward,” he said.

        “When a tender lands on someone’s desk from a business they may not be overly familiar with, the first thing they’ll do is desktop research to look at who you are.

        “And when you have a competitive tender that makes it through to the second round of evaluation, this is where good marketing, your content, your website, can nudge your tender in the right direction.”

        Justin O'Brien redbikini

        Article: Justin O’Brien

        Mr O’Brien said marketing was about finding the best environment to sell a company’s products and services and putting them in front of the decision makers.

        “Your website, digital communications and media communications all play an important role in continuing the sales process when you’re not in front of your customers,” he said.

        Risk management was also a key factor contributing towards a successful tender process.

        “Risk is in the DNA of everything defence related,” Mr O’Brien said.

        “Keeping our defence force personnel is the principle driving factor in all defence procurement. But other factors such as workplace health and safety, cybersecurity and intellectual property are also vitally important.”

        With contracts worth millions and even billions of dollars, defence companies looking to buy a product or service from another business want to be shown how potential risk factors can be minimized.

        “When an organisation looks to an SME, the first thing they do is look to a risk analysis in order to establish whether they’re in safe hands,” Mr O’Brien said, adding that a lot can be determined based on a company’s website.

        “Having brand and marketing assets that demonstrate your commitment to risk mitigation and effective quality procedures can be very advantageous in a tender environment.

        “If you have a website that looks like it was designed in 1990 and you do little in terms of communication and managing your company’s own story these could be seen as negatives to some procurement officers”.

        Mr O’Brien said this due diligence was also performed by companies moving into the Australian market to facilitate defence procurement.

        “These organisations will be looking to partner with industry to fulfill local content requirements and they will apply the same criteria – the businesses that look to have their act together will be the ones to receive the first phone calls,” he said.

        “Having a good tender is just the price of entry. If you don’t have a good competitive tender with the right product with the right risk with the right profile you won’t go anywhere.”

        Like all business, defence organisations were also more likely to choose companies they knew of or had come recommended so it was imperative to have a well-executed and strategic marketing plan that was ahead of the curve.

        “In defence as in life, familiarity matters,” Mr O’Brien said.

        “People who know a brand or have had some sort of history with it, that familiarity produces an environment where they’re more likely to progress things because they have confidence that they’ll take the right steps going forward. It builds confidence.”

        Mr O’Brien said it was important to note that tenders were never viewed in isolation and those likely to be chosen both ticked all the boxes and were a step ahead of their competitors.

        “Often you’ll have competing products at the same level,” he said.

        “Your website, digital communications, media communications all play an important role in continuing the sales pitch when you’re not in front of your customers and in order to work effectively, they need to be strategic.”

        Mr O’Brien said video was a valuable marketing tool to effectively drive home the abilities of a business.

        “A really well-executed video about your commitment to quality and employee safety might be what puts your tender within one per cent of the finish line,” he said.

        “Whether someone is the CEO or a junior procurement officer, the one thing that unites them is that they find video easier to consume than the written word.

        “A well-made short video that is of interest to them will perform better than a page of text – it’s strategic content, readily available and easy to consume.”

        Mr O’Brien said often businesses made the mistake of not investing time and money into marketing themselves properly, which was detrimental to their brand.

        “A lot of SMEs looking to target defence don’t have the time or money to put into it, it’s one of those things that get left on the to-do list,” he said.

        “Those organisations that can recognise the opportunities that come with sound marketing and communication, and spend time and money on their brand so their organisation looks professional across the board, understand that it could be the difference between making it on the tender list to begin with.”

        Mr O’Brien said it was vital for businesses to see the bigger picture.

        “The bottom line is if you don’t view your business holistically and view marketing and communications as one of a number of vital cogs required to drive your business you’ll miss out on opportunities.”

        Redbikini/LOOP boasts more than a decade of experience working for organisations in a B2B environment in defence and helps South Australian businesses set clear, realistic and measurable goals to generate growth.

        With one of Australia’s largest defence vision libraries and an affordable step-by-step digital marketing program that identifies opportunities and assists clients to take advantage of them, the team at redbikini/LOOP stand ready to take your business to the next level.

        Follow our blog to stay up to date with the latest from redbikini.

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