Virtual Reality in 2020: How to Make it Beneficial for Your Marketing

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By this time, you’ve certainly already heard of virtual reality. You’ve most likely seen it being used by people playing games, wherein they wear a headset over their eyes so that they can “exist” in the computer-generated world contained in the headset or VR glasses. 

But nowadays, the gaming industry is no longer the only one utilizing VR. From manufacturing to healthcare, VR has found a purpose, too, particularly in marketing. Many big corporations, including Google, Facebook, and Samsung, are already employing VR technology to reach out to their audiences since it has been introduced.

However, since this technology isn’t exactly the norm in business yet, a highly sophisticated virtual reality set is still priced high. Considering the benefits, though, your investment will likely earn high returns. But how do you use VR to enjoy the benefits? 

Understanding Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a form of Extended Reality (XR) that places the user in a “virtual” world, as though in another dimension. Not to be confused with AR (Augmented Reality), which only places immersive content on the actual reality, (e.g. Pokemon Go) but not pull the user into a computer-generated world, VR lets users can play a game or be educated about a certain topic while being inside the “reality” of the game or activity they’re engaging in. 

Applying VR trends on Your Marketing Strategy

Many VR users may agree that the oversize headset is a drawback to their exhilarating experience. But this year, “untethered” VR is seen to trend. Facebook’s Oculus, which initially began as a VR headset that needed to be connected to a powerful PC, but is now available as the self-contained version called “Oculus Quest,” arguably paved the way for this.

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Another new trend for VR is its combination with AR and AI (Artificial Intelligence). If you’ve used Instagram’s and Snapchat’s filters, those are examples of VR, AR, AI merging. But apart from recording quirky stories and snaps, the VR-AR-AI combination can also be used to give retail customers a personalized experience when they shop.

For example, if a person takes a photo of your product, they may simply use that photo to find out the product’s brand, thanks to VR, AR, AI’s image recognition feature. This increases brand awareness, potentially gaining your brand a new customer.

This year also sees a rise in VR and AR application in education and on-the-job training. If you’re a fast-growing startup company, you may now consider using AR to train your interns and new hires, providing a more engaging learning experience that says a lot about your company and how you value interactive and innovative learning.

Examples of Successful VR Applications

  1. New York Times – A few years ago, NYT rewarded their most loyal subscribers with Google Cardboard glasses. The VR glasses showed different films that tapped into NYT’s subscribers’ emotions, and as a result, brand loyalty was reinforced not only for NYT, but also for Google Cardboard glasses, and the films shown.
  2. Lowe’s Home Improvement – Lowe’s Home Improvement created Holoroom, a VR-powered setting that let their customers see what their homes would look like after a makeover with Lowe’s products.
  3. Volvo – Volvo released an app that let interested buyers do a test drive using only their smartphones. This has greatly improved Volvo’s image, and made them associated with the word “adventure.”

The new VR trends and its successful applications should give you a clearer idea of how to implement it on your latest marketing strategy. Make it a goal to invest in the best VR set to maximize the benefits and boost your company’s image.

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