Learning from the Past for VR Marketing Today
If you thought mobile phones were a relatively recent addition to the modern tech landscape, you’d be wrong. The first mobile phone was introduced by Motorola more than 4 decades ago in 1973.
It would be more than 20 years before mobile phone technology became commonplace, and another ten years after that when the first touch screens appeared.
The transition from Motorola’s original design—a bulky, unattractive monstrosity with antennas—to the sleek, internet-friendly models which are an all-but-necessity today—was forged by forward-thinking entrepreneurs who understood that the technology would eventually evolve, design and manufacturing would ultimately become more scalable, costs would come down, and consumers would stand in endless lines just to get their hands on the latest iPhone.
Those doubters who looked only at the emerging technology as it existed in the moment were consigned to the dustbin of history.
VR Is the Future of Marketing
The same could be said about VR marketing. Many of the technologies which enable VR and VR marketing have been around for decades, but the marketplace is only beginning to catch up. Although only 8% of marketers are currently using VR marketing, the rest of the marketing world is beginning to take notice—and the smart ones are planning to integrate VR into their marketing plans sooner rather than later. According to the Guardian:
The anticipated surge (in VR marketing) has thrown the medium into sharp relief for marketers, with many busy penciling VR into their 2016 budgets.General Electric (GE), one of the early adopters, has been experimenting with VR for a year, and launched a VR animated video on the New York Times app. GE’s global chief marketing officer Linda Boff, believes VR has the potential to revolutionize marketing.
Here are 3 companies which are already successfully leveraging the power of VR marketing:
1. Volvo Reality delivers more than a beautifully designed virtual reality test drive—its individual episodes flow seamlessly together to create a compelling narrative, one which has impressed both consumers and the media. Volvo cleverly chose to push out its VR experience through multiple levels of distribution, optimizing it for Google Cardboard and creating easy access through a variety of smartphones and applications. That strategy helped make Volvo Reality a viral hit, garnering more than 238 million individual media impressions, including those in PC Magazine and FastCoCreate.
2. North Face ,the international manufacturer of outdoor gear, stunned shoppers when it unveiled its in-store VR experience. Sales clerks asked shoppers if they wanted to test their new gear before leaving the store. Those who said “yes” assumed they’d maybe get to try on their new coat so the clerk could sell them of durability or comfort. Instead, they were led to what looked like a dog sled and asked to strap on Oculus Rift VR goggles. Suddenly, they found themselves climbing a mountain in Yosemite, or driving a team of huskies through some ice-bound landscape. The VR experience, designed for Google Cardboard, can be accessed through Google Play and has had media hits in the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, Chain Store Age and Digiday.
3. Lowe’s Holoroom is a creation of the retail giant’s Innovation Lab. Lowe’s shoppers are invited to use a home improvement design and visualization tool and experience a 3D VR, immersive experience in the new room they envision. The 3D showroom instantly transforms the shopping experience into a VR design experience, giving them thousands of models from which to choose, and a real-time view of how their selections will work together in their home. Lowe’s tested its VR showroom for 6 months in 2 of its Toronto stores in 2014, then expanded to 19 stores across the US the following year. Holoroom was featured in the CES 2015 Best of Tech by Digital Trends and awarded Best Enterprise Solution at the Augmented World Expo.
Businesses that want to succeed can’t be satisfied with the status quo, or content to do things the way they always have. Technology changes, and consumers change with it. The most successful companies are able to read more than marketing reports: they can also read the signs of the times.
Forward-leaning companies like Volvo, North Face and Lowe’s are pointing the way to the future, a future in which VR marketing will be pervasive and dominant. To learn more about the ways 360 video, stereo 360 video and interactive 360 video apps can help you improve your corporate communications and grow your business, contact us today.