The Virtual Reality Report Card

Where is VR Going, Who’s Doing What And What Is The Best Way For You To Use It For Marketing Or To Drive Leads. A Recap of What the Experts Had to Say

‘81% Of People Who Try VR Tell Their Friends About It’

Tyler Calder, CMO at YulioTyler Calder – CMO, Yulio Technologies: The best ways to use VR for marketing and/or to drive leads will depend on the nature of a business and what it’s trying to achieve. However, in my opinion, it should now be considered in every marketing conversation.  A few reasons why:

Adoption is On The Rise

Right now estimates are there are around 43 million people using the technology and that figure is set to double next year and double again the following. That’s a pretty big audience you can’t ignore.

People who Use It, Tell Others

An estimated 81% of people who try VR tell their friends about it and 71% of Gen Z – the generation following millennials who make up the next wave of serious consumers – are interested in seeing what it can deliver and will grow up with corporate leaders that are working with VR for marketing.

It Adds Something Special Which People Respond to

Whether it’s immersive storytelling, communication of complex spatial design, the showcasing of products in curated environments or virtual, ‘in-the-seat’ experiences, VR brings a heightened platform for translating ideas into experiences that people are engaged by. A recent study showed 53% of people would prefer to buy from a company that uses VR over one that doesn’t.

A Lot of Serious Organizations are Getting Involved.

30% of Forbes Global 2000 consumer-facing companies will experiment with augmented and virtual reality this year and many of those experiments will be with VR for marketing.

People are Wired to Respond

VR has a power that goes beyond simply providing a cool experience. Humans are wired to have their behavior more directly influenced by virtual experiences as they appeal to three key areas of our brains responsible for our perceptions and reaction – neo cortex (higher-level thinking), limbic system (emotion, behavior, motivation), and reptilian brain (primitive instincts). What this means is that content and experiences communicated through VR are ‘experienced’ versus simply being ‘seen’ and this triggers the parts of the brain that more clearly influence behavior and decision making.

Read More: Data in the New Year: Five Steps for Success in 2018

‘There Is Limitless Potential There’

Jeffrey Finch
Jeffrey Finch

Jeffrey Finch – Co-founder, Choozle: Though I am not getting too excited just yet I cannot help but think where immersive VR experiences are going to take us in the next 5 – 10 years. Advertising and business opportunities aside, just imagine the benefits gained through the sharing of experiential information, on nearly any topic, across cultures and continents, on demand and delivered through a seamless hands-free experience. There is limitless potential there and I can’t wait to see where it ends up.

‘Engage Customers And Build A Relationship With Them’

Sharat Sharan
Sharat Sharan

Sharat Sharan – President, Co-Founder & CEO at ON24: Today, there really is no excuse not to know our customers. Marketers need to find a way to integrate the entire Martech stack to provide a 360-degree view of their customers and build campaigns that are informed by every touchpoint across any channel.

There’s a lot of conversation around consolidation in Martech as a solution to the integration problem, but I don’t think that’s the answer. Instead, the major marketing platforms can differentiate by maximizing the value of the Martech applications built on their platform and strengthen their respective integrations. That’s how we’ll be able to leverage cutting-edge, experimental technologies like virtual reality, interactive video, live messaging, etc. to engage customers and build a relationship with them.

‘We Anticipate The B2B Opportunity Will Overtake The Consumer Space’

Sam Rosen
Sam Rosen

Sam Rosen, Managing Director and VP at ABI Research: For any application that benefits from deeply immersive experiences, VR is often a natural fit.  We’re starting to see some early experimentation where VR will expand its horizons. The combination of a VR headset with a camera pass-through for merged reality experience in particular, will open it up to a much wider range of applications. We still expect the consumer segment of the VR market to hold the largest revenue share over the next five years, but eventually, we anticipate the B2B opportunity will overtake the consumer space, especially if VR and related technologies do become the next computing platform.

‘Can Now Yield Tangible Campaigns For Marketers’

Cary Tilds
Cary Tilds

Cary Tilds, Chief Innovation Officer at GroupM: It’s exciting to see that advancements in augmented reality technology can now yield tangible campaigns for marketers. Many of the most engaging AR formats today are limited to individual publishers or platforms, but Blippar’s ARDP solution allows us to work in almost any camera-accessible web and mobile environment. That makes the issue of scaling exposure across publishers and audience segments much more simple. With contextual consumer targeting and data on the physical world in real-time, we’re enabling our brands to understand more about their consumers’ interests and behavior.”

‘Don’t Be Daunted By The Up-Front Investment’

Marco Argenti
Marco Argenti

Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS: Customers across industries see the potential of VR and AR technologies for a wide range of uses—from educating and training employees to creating new customer experiences. But, customers are daunted and overwhelmed by the up-front investment in specialized skills and tools required to even get started building a VR or AR application. With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours.

Recommended Read: Top Insights on the CMO’s Best Allies, Content Marketing, and the Art of Story-Telling for Brands

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