Storytelling has been in existence for thousands of years. It was the earliest form of storing and passing on information. Experts say that we find it easier to remember information when it is in the form of a narrative. In 2009, Volkswagen came up with “The Fun Theory” where they conducted several social experiments that proved that people are more likely to respond positively to something if it was made interesting and fun. In the 1980s a group of scientists came up with a way of presenting their findings in a comic way and called themselves “Infotainers”. Since then, the credibility of “infotainment” has been discussed on varied platforms, though the idea has been toyed with since the mid-70s.
But whatever the argument, it has been proven that it is easier for people to connect with information when it is wrapped up in an artistic form. It gets them emotionally involved, which helps create a lasting impact. Businesses, therefore, are foraging in this ancient art form to market their products. When they tell its story, people are able to relate to it better.
This is not the only way marketers are striving to keep their TG engaged. A recent study said that major brands are now focusing more on customer experience. Engagement marketing is a spillover of it. Customer experience journey is not only limited to the buying process and after sales service.
Engagement is expected to be the next stage of evolution for marketing. We could also call it the Virtual Orientation. In a traditional form of marketing, the potential customer is the viewer. But when you involve them in a live promotion by giving them an experience, the rate of brand recall is higher.
Traditionally, engagement marketing (or live marketing as it is now being called) was viewed as something to do with promotion and sales – a BTL tactic. It was never the central part of a marketing strategy. But now, with the emergence of technologies that enable customer engagement on a wider scale, the entire definition of engagement marketing is changing and at the centre of it is XR.
With the help of XR – specifically VR, brands can have a wider experiential reach, which means that they are now able to emotionally connect with customers on an individual basis. This leads to higher rates of engagement and customer loyalty. Connecting with the customer is becoming more important as Millennials are beginning to dominate the workspace, giving them higher economic power.
We are an inherently social species. We built our entire civilization in a way that accommodates and encourages social engagement. The biggest technological advancements of this century were also inspired by the basic human need for society. It is one of the most basic needs mentioned by Maslow, coming right after survival and safety needs. Now with globalization providing an abundance of brands to Millennials, they want them to be interactive too. They don’t just look at the product, but also the cause and values a company stands for.
By 2028, Millennials and Gen Z will constitute 67% of our workforce. Therefore, a lot of big brands are now relying on XR technologies to provide that personalized connection with the customer. The technology helps with the personification of the brand. Live marketing in the digital space also allows room for more innovative content and doesn’t restrict the campaign to a small geographic area. It is not only cost and time effective, but also helps collect real-time data and analyze customer reaction to the product.
The technology also helps with easy personification of the brand. The technology helps personify the brand easily. It is possible for people to now talk to their favourite brand mascots.
We are just beginning to lay the foundation of our Virtual Era and XR is what glues it all together. XR is here to stay. It is not a fad or a 5 minute technological marvel that will become obselete. It is time we started talking about the Virtual Orientation of Marketing.