How and To What Extent Virtual Reality Will Impact Marketing?

Virtual Reality MarketingThis column is by Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps

With the increasing adoption of virtual reality, 2016 can well be the year for VR technology to evolve as the next big platform for emerging technology, as per many industry leaders including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. With endless possibilities unfolding with this emerging platform how will marketers are going to tap on this new horizon of opportunity we are all eager to know.

Facebook already gurgled out $2 billion on new Oculus VR headset and Mark Zuckerberg commented that the new tie-up marks a long term collaboration betting on the futuristic computing. Sony also came up with its visionary Project Morpheus, a VR headset workable with PlayStation 4 gaming console. Similarly, Paypal co-founder Elin Musk joining hands with Hollywood star Ashton Kurtcher and Zuckerberg invested a sum of $ 40 million in software company Vicarious which is working in the field of artificial intelligence. Google also came up with its futuristic Glass Smart Specs as the new computing platform. By making a recent strategic alliance with high end eyewear company Luxottica, Google is keen on mass producing its Glass computer products. So, the big players are making big investments and showing increasing interest in VR technology it is going to make big impact in the world of business in the coming time.

So, What is Exactly Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality refers to an advanced computing environment and interface capable to offer simulated and immersive experience to users. This immersive experience and simulation of real life experience can be offered through special gadgets like a wearable computer like computing glasses, headsets, and a projection room or simply on your device screen.

The beginning of VR has been in Augmented reality technologies like Google maps, geo-localization, etc which equally provided an immersive environment. Gradually this augmented reality technologies also moved towards augmented virtuality with the strengthening and proliferation of VR technology.

Now let us see some of the ways virtual reality will impact business and marketing in the time to come.

Virtual Shopping is Looming Large as a Big Possibility

Already delivery of goods via drones has been experimented in some parts of the world. Now virtual reality coupled up with drone delivery is bound to ensure optimum efficiency customer delivery system. While we continue to crave for more convenience and ease in buying, this is something bound to happen in the time to come.

Moreover, thanks to VR technology we can roam in the streets of Paris or go window-shop browsing while physically we sit at home only. After selecting your choice products and completing the transaction, the aerial drones will ensure fastest delivery of goods.

Education and Product Demos

Thanks to VR distant demonstration of products by marketers now is about to become a reality. Just consider the huge possibilities of giving the demo of products or service experiences for prospective customers. Users will be capable to experience the products and service experiences in a more life-like immersive environment. This is bound to open the doors for marketers to offer demo of their products, experiences and marketing promotions in livelier ways than ever before. Similarly, such distant yet life-like experience will allow incorporating immersive experience in online learning systems.

VR Advertisements

Thanks to virtual reality the war among marketers for ad space may take a new turn as so called advertising billboards and banners are going to be replaced by superimposed ad space inside the immersive videos and live streams of advertisements taking the walls and floors of city buildings. With all visible spaces being subject of VR display in the time to come, ads are going to be more context-oriented, immersive and deep scorching.  

VR Will Make Service Based Business More Accountable

Just think by treating a customer poorly could it make a huge impact on your business decades before? No, it often could not have any impact at all. The negative sentiment of poorly treated customers simply could not be escalated as they were disjointed. But then web and social media collectively changed it for the customers. Now social media emerged as a modern PR platform for companies and to save their reputation they need to respond to customer complaints throughout the day. Such accountability on part of businesses has been possible because of web and emerging technologies that made real time collaboration and sharing of opinions possible.

Will VR amplify this effect further? Obviously immersive customer reactions in real time videos along with demonstration of the faulty products can make a bigger impact and at the same time companies can take the scope of VR technology to address reviews and explain their reasons in failing to serve a customer properly. So, VR will add more to the real time effect of social sharing and business communication.

No Limit to Event Ticket Sales

Virtual reality allowing enjoying an event from any part of the globe with life-like experience will make sold out events practically impossible because there will be no limit to access to an event streamed on VR platform.  So, from enjoying a movie to being present in the Oscars to experiencing African safari, all are available on your headset without constraints. Tickets will still be there but they will be session ticket for virtual watchers.

Huge Impact on Research and Development

How much time is taken for a product to launch in the market after being conceptualized and developed by a company? Yes, a product goes through whole range of sales efforts like trade shows, phone calls, web marketing, social media campaign and distribution channels. All these contribute to the time taken for the product to hit market which is referred astime to market.

Virtual design allowing cost effective interactive simulations of the product will make it possible for the customers and reviewers to experience it while it is in the design stage. This will also make it possible to build costly prototypes of the product. Moreover, the real time feedback from various sources will contribute to the development and design of the product.

How Long it Will Take For the VR to Make Such Impact?

Well, it is just the beginning of this new tech platform which is promising enough to grow by leaps and bounds in the time to come and once it gets matured the impact is bound to be monumental on every facets of life. It will have more impact than what computer and mobile technology put together did in the last two decades or so. But to grow up to a cultural tipping point it may take several years from now though the real life integration of VR technology may take far less than a decade. At least, so it seems from the huge participation and collaboration of tech heads for this emerging platform.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).

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Image Source: Marketing Week

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