Rakesh R

Why now’s the right time for businesses to dive into AR and VR

Digital marketing, based on augmented and virtual reality, will help change the game, writes our guest author.

Right from the traditional methods such as hoardings, billboards, print ads, fliers to the new-age digital ones, the world of marketing and advertising has evolved immensely over the years. We know that digital marketing is about understanding the needs and demands of the consumers so that businesses can offer them a great user experience.

However, as the digital landscape continues to undergo groundbreaking transformation, so does the way firms interact with their customer base. With deep Internet penetration and technological advancements at an all-time high, it's not surprising that digital marketers are making the best use of emerging and immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (VR) for their advertising campaigns.

According to a report by Statista, the global VR market is advancing and estimated to go beyond $12 billion by 2024, from nearly $5 billion in 2021. When it comes to AR, the number of its users are predicted to grow to close to two billion over the next three years.

Evidently, these technologies are not just influencing digital marketing, but also changing the landscape forever. Let’s explore how AR, VR will bring transformation in the digital marketing space in 2022.

What is VR marketing?

In contrast to AR, VR does not club the real and simulated environment. Rather, VR engages the consumers into a whole new reality. This is possible by utilising visual assistance like 3D glasses, audio tools like headphones or speakers, or a mix of technologies. VR often manipulates multiple sensory inputs to create a new environment.

By and large, VR exercises a 360-degree approach in a computer-generated environment that the consumers can interact in and with. As an individual stands up or bows down, their point of view changes, as it would in reality.

There are numerous practical applications for VR already in place for organisations to implement and reach their target consumers efficiently and effectively. Simply put, businesses with complex services and products can enable VR marketing to break down the various pieces of their product in ways that would make it easy for the end-users to comprehend. Consequently, this will push them to opt for your brand, rather than choose the competitors, thereby, directly increasing the ROI.

What is AR marketing?

In simple terms, AR offers digital marketers the power to transform a stagnant entity. For instance, a printed advertisement or magazine cover into a vivid 3D encounter. AR is way different from VR. The latter works by completely submerging the user in a simulated world, while AR adds to the world the user would normally see and improve it by utilising computerised overlays.

From the marketing perspective, AR allows a brand to directly communicate with its consumers, while at the same time letting them explore its products virtually. For instance, an AR marketing campaign for a furniture brand will allow the customers to view products from their displayed catalogue as if they were set up in their own homes. Moreover, the technology has the potential to adjust the size of the products, so they match the dimensions of the customers’ rooms, offering them the option of ‘try-before-you-buy’.

How are AR and VR bringing transformation in the digital marketing space?

It would be appropriate to say that new technologies like AR and VR are the biggest disruptors to hit the marketing industry. Undoubtedly, they are bringing transformation in the digital marketing space. AR and VR digital marketing campaigns help in increasing brand awareness by creating a wow factor.

The experience of interacting with a brand via AR/VR is still a novel experience for most users, thus, they are effective in raising awareness. Interestingly, one of the biggest advantages they provide is the ability to link digital marketing campaigns to the customers' physical experience in new and imaginative ways. They bridge the gap between traditional and digital marketing channels. This allows a brand to transform a static physical advert or pamphlet into a digital experience, which can be connected to the digital marketing campaign.

The bottom line

Organisations can efficiently offer consumers a unique perspective by leveraging the potential of AR and VR. The users can evaluate countless items in minutes to track down the ideal fit, or they can see firsthand the social effect their purchases have.

In addition, the best part is that these marketing techniques are achievable even for small businesses. Now is the time for businesses to embrace VR and AR digital marketing in order to thrive and touch new heights.

(The author is founder of Deepsense Digital.)

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