Marketers have always been one of the early adopters of any new technology and the communication platform that comes with it. When television became popular, they penetrated the TV network. Before that, it was the radio and now it is the internet. Companies make sure they are available to the customers on every relevant platform.
XR is already leading the way into the evolution of the marketing landscape. In a time where brands are becoming interactive and advertisements do not resonate anymore, integration of the latest technologies in day to day life seems like natural progression. Here are some parameters that marketers keep in mind while adopting XR for a new marketing strategy:
1. Product Awareness:
XR allows room for gamification like never before. It is perfect for product awareness campaigns and has 300% higher engagement. The novel nature of the technology helps spread awareness much faster and farther.
A recent study states that AR is perceived as practical and useful for day to day operations like finding a place on the map. It gives credibility to the brand, whereas VR is looked at as a form of entertainment by people because it has the ability to give you an entirely new experience.
Therefore, a lot of brands have now started using VR to help customers visualize which product would be the best fit for them. VR is a big support to industries like home design and online clothing retail. Asian Paints released the “Colours with Asian Paints” app to help customers visualize how their wall will look like without having to apply sample paint.
The technology is also attractive because it further enables sale of products online, thereby, saving the cost of showrooming.
2. Brand Value
As the idea of ‘marketing without advertising’ is becoming more popular, the search for different and innovative ways of engaging customers has become intense. Established brands are foraging into the XR space in the hope of getting Pokémon GO like success with their products and brands. Customer involvement in personalizing experiences is becoming the norm more than the exception.
Last year, Oreo rolled out “The Great Oreo Cookie Quest” campaign in the form of an engaging game that got the consumers involved with the brand. They partnered with Google for this project and were hoping to successfully target avid tech users, especially the Millennial generation and their Gen Alpha offspring.
In order to sustain, old brands have to become tech savvy to keep up with the mood swings of the latest generation. In 2012, BBC conducted an augmented reality tour in USA to engage the Gen Z with the intent of increasing the brand awareness and brand loyalty in that age group.
3. Brand Affinity
Brand Affinity is the next milestone after awareness and loyalty. It is the most difficult to achieve. Many organisations formulate their values during the planning stage, some companies are born because they stand for a cause, but most develop a personality as they continue maturing. A lot of companies also go through an image overhaul to keep up with times. When a brand gets to a stage where customers can relate to it, it becomes easier to manage customer relationship.
In order for a brand to be relatable, it is important to do proper research. XR happens to have the tools to get perfect understanding of customer behaviour through gamified simulations.
Let’s say that the movie franchise “How To Train Your Dragon” wants to release some merchandise or wants to understand the TG better so that the next movie they release is even more appealing to the public. Instead of doing a survey, they could release an AR game that will engage the fans and also help them understand customer decision making and reaction based on the way they train their dragons.
It not only makes it possible for companies to get a deeper understanding of the customer needs and aspirations but also helps save time and cost resources, while keeping customers engaged and make the buzz around the product and the brand.
The symbiotic relationship of XR and Marketing is only going to get stronger with time. By 2020, there will be over 2 billion XR users. Experts say that 67% of media planners will want XR ads in marketing campaigns.
When T.V was all the rage, it was flooded with advertisements. Now, with the OTT disrupting the cable T.V., new forms of opportunities and platforms have opened up for marketing, XR being the most intriguing and disruptive. We are now breaking out of the advertisement format for marketing and focusing on giving a live experience to the customer.