The future of virtual and augmented reality in digital marketing

Introduction 

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two different technologies that allow users to experience digital content in a more immersive way.

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be experienced through a VR headset. When you put on a VR headset, you are completely immersed in the digital environment, and you can look around and interact with it as if it were real. This technology is often used for gaming, but it also has applications in areas like education, training, and therapy. VR is no longer in vision; but a reality. The market size of VR is being estimated at more than 28 billion US dollars and is expected to grow at a rate of 15% in a 15-year period. 

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays digital information in the real world. AR can be experienced through a smartphone or tablet, or with special AR glasses. AR is often used to enhance real-world experiences, such as adding digital information to museum exhibits or providing instructions for assembling furniture. It can also be used for entertainment, like games, and also training, education, and in industries like manufacturing, construction, and many more. As per Statista, by 2028, the Augmented Reality industry will reach $250 billion. AR has the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us. It has the ability to create experiences that are more personal and engaging than traditional marketing techniques.

Both VR and AR are rapidly gaining popularity and becoming more accessible to the general public. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for these technologies are becoming increasingly diverse, and they have the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us.

In recent years, VR and AR have made significant advances in fields such as gaming, entertainment, education, healthcare, and retail. More industries are exploring how they can use VR and AR to create new products, enhance customer experiences, and improve training and collaboration. The gaming industry is one of the most prominent sectors that have used VR and AR to offer highly immersive gaming experiences. The use of VR in the Healthcare, education, and retail sectors is also increasing, allowing the user to get the most out of the experience. As technology develops and becomes more accessible, it is likely that we will see VR and AR used in a wider variety of applications and revolutionize the way we live, work, and play.

How are virtual and augmented reality used in digital marketing?

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming increasingly popular in digital marketing as they offer new and unique ways to engage with customers and promote products and services.

Modern businesses of all sizes need to use digital marketing. Due to its capacity to reach a global audience and establish personal connections with customers, digital marketing has irrevocably changed the advertising landscape. In recent years, companies and marketers have embraced augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to engage with customers and market their products and services. As digital marketing evolves, so do the strategies and techniques that businesses use to connect with their customers. The most recent developments in the field of digital marketing—augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—have the potential to fundamentally alter the industry. 

Ways in which AR and VR are being used in Digital Marketing

Let’s go through some of the ways in which AR and VR are being used in Digital Marketing:

Creation of virtual reality experiences through VR: One of the ways that VR is being used in digital marketing is through the creation of virtual reality experiences. This can include virtual tours of a product or service, such as virtual walk-throughs of real estate properties or virtual test drives of vehicles. For example, a car manufacturer can create a VR experience that allows potential customers to take a virtual test drive of a new car model, complete with all the features and capabilities, which is much more realistic than a simple video.

Another example can be given of a furniture brand that allows its users to enter into VR and have an experience of how a particular product will look at their home. Brands like IKEA have developed VR-based applications where they can decide the look and feel of their home. All they have to do is choose the item from the catalog, then place it where they want it with their finger. It implies that they can choose which furniture would look better in their home decor—the bed or the sofa. 

digital marketing

Source: Youtube

Many makeup companies are using AR to allow customers to virtually try on different shades of lipstick to see which would look best on them before making a purchase. Companies like Sugar, Lakme, MyGlamm, Chanel, M.A.C., Sephora, etc., are already following it. During the global pandemic, this was one of the best tools used by beauty brands to reach their customers, who were unwilling to come out of their homes and contact anyone. 

digital marketing

Source: MAC Cosmetics

AR is also used in digital marketing, particularly retail and e-commerce. Companies are using AR to allow customers to see how a product will look in their homes before buying it, like furniture and clothing, by superimposing the product onto a live view of the customer’s room or body.

Creation of AR-enabled product packaging and advertising: Another way that AR is being used in digital marketing is through the creation of AR-enabled product packaging and advertising. By making a name for itself across a range of market segments, augmented reality technology is gradually broadening its reach. Particularly, augmented reality has been gaining a lot of attention in the product packaging industry. For example, a company might create an AR-enabled cereal box that comes to life with a fun animation when viewed through a smartphone app.

Another example is a wine and spirits company, Jack Daniel’s. Customers can experience the Jack Daniel Distillery virtually through a series of pop-up book-style dioramas. The Jack Daniel Distillery’s augmented reality app offers a virtual tour of the facility, allowing users to get a closer look at the production of whiskey and discover interesting facts about Mr. Jack Daniel. 

Result: A total of 30.000+ iOS and Android users watched over 110,000 ‘Jack Stories’ AR experiences with an average of 5:42 minutes of total session time per user thirty days after the official global Jack Daniel’s AR Experience app launch.

Source: Wikitude

For creating brand experiences: Lastly, VR and AR can also be used for creating brand experiences. Both VR and AR can be used to create interactive, engaging brand experiences that allow users to interact with a product or service in a new and exciting way. These make great marketing tools that are effective for the tourism industry. The advantages of the destination, airlines, or hotels are no longer sufficient to convince customers to make a reservation. Consumers want real-time stories. Text, images, or even videos cannot offer the same level of immersion in the environment as virtual reality. Let’s explore how virtual reality can help you market tourism and hospitality in new ways. Some examples of brand experiences include virtual tours of a car factory, product demonstrations in an augmented reality showroom, and virtual reality-enabled branding and gaming activities.

For example, a travel company could create a VR experience that immerses potential customers in a virtual vacation with beautiful scenery and activities. They can also use AR to create an interactive scavenger hunt game that leads the player to learn more about their products or services while having fun.

Similarly, hotels can use VR to market their rooms and facilities. The hospitality industry has undergone a radical transformation thanks to online travel agencies. Users were primarily comparing prices between hotels as they looked for the best deal, and hotels now have a tool to bring visitors back to their websites. Travelers can be persuaded of the benefits and cost justifications of the hotel’s amenities by interactive 3D tours of the rooms, lobby, restrooms, or even the hotel kitchen. Before making a reservation, Best Western Hotels and Resorts offers virtual reality tours of each of their properties.

Airlines are using VR for in-flight entertainment. Airlines must implement the most cutting-edge technologies for in-flight entertainment, particularly in the premium market. In order to make travel as comfortable and discreet as possible, virtual reality applications can immerse users in an entirely new world. The best use of virtual in-flight entertainment is a video about the location the passengers are visiting. Customer loyalty will rise with helpful advice about excellent eateries, attractions, and interesting non-tourist places.

An excellent example of a virtual reality in-flight app is Qantas Airlines. They advertise future travel destinations with captivating 360-degree movies that compel viewers to travel to all locations.

Creating interactive and engaging content: AR and VR can be used to create more engaging content than traditional forms. AR and VR can be incorporated into videos, images, and even text to achieve this. 

AR can be used, for instance, to develop interactive product demonstrations or augmented reality advertisements that let users have a more immersive experience with a product or service. For social media websites like Instagram and Snapchat, AR can also be used to produce interactive content. As a result, users will have more memorable interactions with brands. AR is used by the Instagram and Snapchat apps to create amusing filters that are intended for advertising. One great example is promoting movies and games through Snapchat filters or promoting a new product through facial filters on Snapchat or Instagram. 

Overall, the use of VR and AR in digital marketing is still in its early stages, but as the technology becomes more widely available and more affordable, it is likely that we will see more and more companies adopt these technologies as a way to engage with customers and stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

The future of virtual and augmented reality in digital marketing

Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are rapidly growing technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way digital marketing is done. These technologies offer a new way to engage with customers and create immersive and interactive experiences that can make products and services more appealing.

As VR and AR technology continues to advance and become more accessible, we’ll likely see more and more companies incorporating these technologies into their digital marketing strategies. Ultimately, the goal is to create an immersive and personalized experience for the customer, which in turn can lead to increased brand loyalty and sales.

At present, AR and VR are expensive options for brands because it takes a lot to adapt and use AR and VR. The brands have to focus on being unique and true to their personality. The brand teams should have it in mind to develop something that can go viral and is shareable. 

VR can be used to create virtual product demonstrations and enable customers to “try on” clothes and jewelry from the comfort of their own homes, while AR can be used to create more engaging and interactive online ads. Additionally, these technologies can also be useful for events, like product launching, seminars, training, and so on, to give customers a sense of presence and make them feel closer to the brand and products. Overall, the use of VR and AR in digital marketing will continue to evolve, but they are expected to become an integral part of the digital marketing landscape in the future.

Augmented reality and Virtual reality are set to have a significant impact on the future of digital marketing, which is currently undergoing change.  Marketers are increasingly looking for new and creative ways to engage with their audiences as consumer behavior changes and technology develops. 

Currently, only 1% of retailers offer augmented reality to customers. Furthermore, 52% of the merchants claim that they are not ready to incorporate augmented reality into their retail. The reason is the requirement for a lot of inventory. But according to 61% of consumers, they favor retailers who offer augmented reality experiences because they reduce their concerns and thus, sales are boosted. 

This demonstrates the broad application of AR in retail and digital marketing. By 2024, the AR market is anticipated to be worth $50 billion. Even large corporations like Facebook are buying up AR startups in an effort to invest more in technology and integrate it into marketing. 

Augmented reality and Virtual reality are still in their development phase, which means there is huge potential for marketers to experiment with it and look for future opportunities. The methods for interacting with audiences will change as technology advances. 

So what does the future of augmented reality in digital marketing hold? Although only time will tell, it is undoubtedly a fascinating possibility.

Conclusion

Virtual reality (VR) is a fully immersive experience where the user is entirely transported to a digital environment. VR can be used for a variety of applications, including product demonstrations, virtual showrooms, and brand experiences. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays digital information onto the user’s view of the real world. This can be done through a smartphone camera or a specialized device like smart glasses. AR can be used for a variety of applications, including product visualization, interactive advertising, and gaming. 

Both VR and AR can be used to create highly engaging and interactive experiences that can help build brand awareness and drive sales. These experiences can be highly personalized to individual customer needs and preferences. 

There are many possibilities and uses that VR and AR can offer in the field of digital marketing, especially with the continued development and growth of technology. However, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed, such as cost, accessibility, and making sure the experience is smooth and seamless. Companies also have to make sure they are not overwhelming the customers and keeping their data private while incorporating VR and AR technologies.

Bio

AKRITI GALAV

Akriti Galav is a Content Strategist with over 8 years of experience in content marketing. She has a deep understanding of digital marketing, management, and other topics that create a lasting impact on the audience. She is an avid researcher and has a knack for finding the latest studies, reports, original research, and up-to-date information to include in her content.

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