Digital marketing is going through a paradigm shift each year. Let's go back, and more precisely to July 2016.
A young man is walking around town, his nose glued to his smart device. Nothing new, you say. And yet, he’s not on Messenger or Snapchat. He is looking for virtual creatures mingling with real life that he can see through his device. This game caused disruption in the gaming world - Pokémon Go. This video game skillfully mixed real and virtual worlds and its monstrous success showed the world that augmented reality (AR) can be very lucrative.
Even if the days of Pokémon Go are now over, its success has been a case study for many organizations. The world has realized that AR has a real capacity to bring people together, to force the consumer to interact with his real environment.
IDC estimates that the AR/VR market will explode in the coming years, with sales of around 81 million units by 2021, of which 75% will be virtual reality (VR) headsets, and 25% AR headsets.
Virtual and augmented reality applications would bring in, by 2025, almost $19 billion at the consumer level, and $ 16 billion at the corporate level.
What is AR or Augmented Reality?
AR essentially adds graphics, sounds, and haptic feedback to the natural world as it exists.
Since the first video game of the 1970s (Pong), the video game industry has contributed enormously to its growth and development. On a larger scale, augmented reality is now beneficial to the e-commerce sector, which thereby manages to innovate and stand out.
A good example of augmented reality used in the real world is the virtual showroom by Ikea. The software allows users to place 3D furniture representations at home from a tablet or smartphone. This facilitates the purchase of furniture and transforms it into a fun activity.
Companies have seen improved sales, faster decision-making, easier brand identification and even more sharing on social media. An application such as Ikea makes potential customers active in their approach.
What is VR or Virtual Reality?
Unlike augmented reality which "enhances" the real world with virtual elements, virtual reality gives you the impression that you are in a completely computerized world. By putting on a virtual reality headset, you can access a computer-generated virtual space.
By moving your eyes and your head, the world moves with you, as if you were really there! Virtual reality is, therefore, a great tool for immersing the user in a parallel world.
It is also a great communication tool for brands to promote their products or services through VR campaigns. Users are very fond of these innovative experiences - they are more attractive than conventional campaigns. The user is completely immersed in the universe of the brand, which makes the promotion of a product or service more effective.
The role of AR/VR
New tech comes with innovative methods to interact with the users and engage with them. In the current scenario, marketers leave no stone unturned to create unique and immersive experiences for users.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are increasingly well-known terms in the world of technology and marketing. These two innovations could allow companies to present their products, services, and solutions in an innovative and attractive way. These are potential advertising tools.
Thanks to the development of augmented reality glasses from Apple and Microsoft Hololens, augmented reality is on the way to become inevitable in our daily lives and to revolutionize many sectors, including e-commerce.
Both AR/VR are soon becoming a part of experiential marketing. Brands are using these near to real-life experiences to improve the brand-recall value.
How AR and VR are changing the face of marketing?
People are already buying products from social media with the evolution of technology, but with the help of AR, the experience can be much more attractive. This allows the user to purchase the products without having to travel to a store, as he is able to enter a virtual store, where he can try the products and buy them online. Walmart is one such classic example which has developed its own VR store.
1. Augmented reality is building a new market on social networks
New markets are helping to develop future social media trends. Therefore, companies are ready to use technology by focusing on achieving their sales goals. Brands are targeting new markets and making sure to leverage the help of AR/VR by providing exceptional user experience. In addition, the main players are more focused on developing the right content for markets to succeed and get the most out of their investments. In addition, advertisers will adopt interactive content by targeting social media users with appropriate content.
2. Live experiences can increase the number of purchases
The future trends of social networks lead to impulse purchases that will be motivated by attractive VR advertisements presented to users. Social media users will gain a lot of customers through AR ads because they attract them and turn them into potential customers.
Brands have already leveraged video ads; the user wants something more. With the help of augmented reality, digital marketing companies and agencies will encourage social media users to take an interest in their real environment and can really expect them to make multiple purchases on a continuous basis. High-quality AR commercials are the kind of attraction that fascinates the public with the appearance of objects in their own reality.
3. A cheap headset can bring more people to VR
We certainly cannot underestimate the impact of augmented reality in the world of video games, as players find more entertainment on social media platforms. It's easier for brands to advertise on social media so people can follow their trends. This will improve the marketing experience since AR and VR can connect people around the world.
4. The future of AR and VR in marketing
From the automotive industry (Peugeot, Audi, BMW) to journalism (NY Times, CNN, Guardian) and tech companies (Google, Facebook), the brands that have adopted VR are numerous and the results are visible.
Marriott hotels use it to showcase their resorts to travelers, McDonald's has distributed VR headsets in its Happy Meal menus in a few countries and London Fashion Week has enabled owners of the Oculus Rift to attend live shows.
The possibilities of use are huge and customizable according to the brands.AR and VR trends offer a bright future for social media users and businesses. Additionally, AR can be used to drive engagement by adding creative content and animation.
Tanmay is Founder & CEO of MeDigit Solutions. A first-generation entrepreneur, he started MeDigit because of his passion for marketing & strategy. He loves traveling, motorcycling & movies!