Exciting new marketing tools are coming. The demand to change our perception of reality through technology is expected to create a $692 billion market by 2025. There are already 24 million digital reality headsets but prepare for that number to increase 20 fold to 500 million by 2025. In addition, Apple is designing its new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X to better support augmented reality, giving consumers better platforms to experience augmented reality right in their pockets.
That’s right, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are here. Virtual Reality is defined as “the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment.” Think of an entirely virtual world. Augmented Reality is “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to add digital information on an image of something.” Think of the real world with a sprinkle of the virtual.
When dealing with AR and VR marketing, we’re quickly moving beyond teenagers roaming the streets playing Pokémon Go, or Snapchat Lens filters that add cute animal features for sharing with friends. AR and VR are now starting to compete for consumer’s attention through phone apps, goggles and helmet devices.
The big question is: How do you take advantage of AR and VR technology for your marketing campaigns?
As a marketer, I am on the lookout for new trends, especially for ones that are here to stay. So here are several ways I believe leaders like Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Managers should use VR and AR in their marketing strategy – today and in the future.
Enhance your products at trade shows with VR marketing
When I attended last fall’s Solar Power World trade show in Las Vegas, a manufacturer used VR headsets to display their products in a virtual home. Wearing a VR helmet I explored the manufacturer’s products. The system provided more information when I fixed my attention on an object. At first, I admit, I thought it was a fun trade show gimmick, but quickly realized its value. It was very helpful to experience the products in a home before signing on the dotted line.
Add a layer of information inside a physical space with AR
Delight your customers by adding a layer of information in your app. A good example is the Hub Hotel from Premier Inn. U.K.’s largest lodging chain made waves by using AR to help guests navigate around the local area. All they do is point their smartphone at the wall map and local points of interest pop up. Talk about helping guests save time from the concierge line!
Leverage data to customize the shopping experience with AR
This is a big opportunity for retail marketers. Augmented Reality will let shoppers see relevant product information and even variable pricing as they go down the shopping aisle. For example, if a customer is allergic to gluten, a phone or AR glasses will highlight gluten-free products or blur out ones that are not.
Take the time to educate yourself about AR and VR marketing
One of the best ways to learn about new technology is to surround yourself with people who are at the forefront of it. By helping to organize the DC Marketing Tech Talks I can bring marketers face-to-face with some of the most innovative AR and VR companies in the Washington D.C. Metro area.
The goals of the upcoming AR and VR marketing meetup are twofold. Firstly, to understand the value of AR and VR by experiencing it yourself like I could at last fall’s conference. Secondly, to discuss how sales and marketing leaders can leverage AR and VR to effectively market, grow revenue, and stay ahead of the competition. The meetup will feature these innovative speakers who are changing the way we experience reality: Cathy Hackl at HTC Vive, Joseph Cathey at Capitol Interactive, Kristian Bouw at NotionTheory, Jonathan Powell at Look On Media, and James Lauzun at AVA Solutions.
If you’re in the Washington DC area, join me at the upcoming joint DC Enterprise Sales Forum and DC Marketing Tech Talk on January 22, 2018, at 6 pm The Hatchery at AARP in DC.
This article was contributed by Maciej Godlewski, the CEO of Fired Up Digital, a digital marketing firm in Washington D.C. and Boston. Maciej writes on technology trends facing the marketers of tomorrow.