So you regularly produce stories on Instagram, live stream events, and utilize chatbots for conversion. But there’s one thing in your laundry list of marketing technology trends that you haven’t explored. Virtual Reality or VR uses specialized headsets to simulate artificial environments using high-end graphics and high fidelity audio. The experience transports users into a virtual world where they can interact with what’s around them.VR has been consistently mentioned in hot marketing trends since Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014. Though there are notable VR campaigns like Volvo Reality, TOMS Virtual Giving and McDonald’s Happy Lens, locally it has yet to go mainstream as a marketing tool.
If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of VR in your marketing strategy, but are unsure how to shape it to the needs of your company, here are our top three insights from Jay Jaboneta, Chief Marketing officer of homegrown virtual reality solutions startup, Chibot VR.
1. Start by Experimenting
Before you jump in and incorporate VR into your marketing plan, it’s important to invest in learning and understanding the technology. Through gaining a deeper understanding of VR’s capabilities, marketers can ensure that the investment in VR isn’t just about chasing the newest trend, but that the initiative can deliver bottom-line results. Jay shares, “Most marketers in the Philippines have heard of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality), but they are not sure yet how to approach it. Most of the questions they ask revolve around cost and the time it takes to create the content. But I believe what they are not asking is really how to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns.”
To get you started, here’s a tip: VR is powered by different types of technology and tools: Microsoft Hololens, Meta, Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Google Daydream, and many more. Experiment with them, savor the experiences, see what makes them different from each other, and choose what best suits your purpose!
2. VR is a Tool for Great Content
At the end of the day, VR is meant to create an immersive environment for the user, heightening the power of the content or story. The technology is nothing without the narrative and experience you create for your customers. Amazing technology can’t do all the talking. Jay shares, “[Filipinos] have so many stories to tell the world. Why don’t we start from that?”
VR content platforms such as Vicarious are also making VR experiences more accessible and beginner-friendly by allowing users to both create and consume VR content on their mobile devices.
3. Understand Globally, Apply Locally
Your manipulation of VR has to work in the Philippine context. Admittedly, not all Filipinos will have access to VR. Jay shares, “Benchmark globally but look at how these best practices can be applied locally. The execution always has to be from a local perspective. I believe it’s important to experiment today because that’s the only way we build enough wisdom to see what works and what doesn’t work. We need the 10,000 experiments to mastery.”
There’s no telling when VR will become an indispensable part of your marketing mix. One thing’s sure though: only early adapters will be able to take advantage of this emerging technology.
To learn more about VR, check out the links below:
Virtual Reality 101 – Your guide to VR
Immersive storytelling is everywhere and there’s no going back
Imagineering the era of experiences