Virtual Reality (VR) isn’t just for gamers. Although VR is still in its infancy, it has the potential to become a powerful marketing tool. By 2023, over 26 million VR headsets will be sold every year. There are several reasons why you should add VR marketing to your repertoire, let’s find out why.
VR is an emerging industry.
People around the nation are becoming increasingly aware of VR technology. While back in 2015 only 45% of Americans were familiar with VR technology, that number today has made its way up to 78%. Especially with the impending arrival of the Metaverse, VR technology is only going to become more relevant as people become more informed. While it may be true that most of the VR market skews towards gamers, marketers can use this audience as a prime target for advertising. For example, advertisements can be placed within games, and companies can sponsor eSports athletes and competitive gaming tournaments. But as more people become aware of VR, it will become more normalized and more versatile. Therefore, early adopters of the technology are likely to experience massive benefits.
VR is becoming more accessible.
One of the greatest complaints about VR is the cost of equipment. With higher-end VR kits costing upwards of $1,000, hesitation to purchase can be understandable. But there are now alternatives that may be more favorable to some consumers and businesses. There are VR sets like Google Cardboard, which costs around $30, and the Samsung Gear VR, which costs around $100. While there are downsides to cheaper options, such as latency issues and clunky controllers, these options are a much more reasonable price for both consumers and companies.
VR elicits an intense emotional response.
As stated, gaming is not the only use for VR. VR technology can be used to appeal to a consumer’s pathos. For example, the brand of tequila, Patrón created the “Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience,” which can be used either with an Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. In the Patrón experience, you walk through the distillery and become acquainted with the workers and the tequila-making process. This walk-through serves the purpose of emotionally connecting people with the story behind Patrón. When people connect to a business’ story, they also connect to its brand, increasing loyalty.
VR marketing can have a fun angle.
In a world with an unprecedented number of ads being run every day, it is safe to say that most consumers find them to be an annoyance. Therefore, adblockers exist. VR can create an experience that entertains people and keeps them engaged. For example, in 2016, fast-food giant McDonald’s sold Happy Meals that could be converted into cardboard VR headsets. These headsets came with a game called Slope Stars, which was endorsed by the Swedish National Ski Team. By turning Happy Meals into a game, they provided buyers with a fun and engaging way to experience their product. Also, this increased satisfaction and provided consumers with yet another reason to go to McDonald’s. The McDonald’s story leads us to conclude that gamifying advertisements, or at least providing users with a deeply interactive and immersive experience, will increase the satisfaction of viewers.
VR can be a fun and unique way to market your products or services. It can give you, even as a small business, an edge over competitors who have not adopted the technology yet. While only 19% of adults have tried VR, 55% of those have found it extremely or moderately satisfying. Why not be the one who introduces customers to VR technology to create a customer connection that brings those numbers up?