By Daniel Emery

Could it be the future of marketing – or simply a fad?

There’s no question the immersive technology involved in Virtual Reality provides the kind of excitement and magic that’s impossible to find elsewhere.

But at the same time sceptics say putting on a headset cuts people off from human interaction, making them isolated and disassociated from the world outside.

So does VR technology have a future when it comes to marketing?

Mark Zuckerberg predicts it will be the norm in 10 years, in the same way smartphones have become today.

He predicts that in less than a decade we will be walking around our Facebook timelines, interacting with pictures, videos and connections as if we’re part of the stories.

Imagine the excitement for brands, facing of the prospect of getting the customer to engage with a product or service – ultimately inspiring them to spend money.

Virtual Reality technology would enable them to reach a market anywhere in the world.

Because VR takes brand storytelling to the next level, allowing the customer to be a character in the story.

And Google Cardboard has made VR easier for everyone to use (this is literally a piece of cardboard to pair up to a customer’s smartphone).

At the moment Virtual Reality devices are still seen as very niche. But that doesn’t mean VR lacks potential for the future as a mobile marketing tool.

The virtual world has mainly been used for gaming so far, but it can work its magic at special marketing events. And the more accessible it becomes, the more useful it will be for advertising. A platform like YouTube could expand more into VR, for example.

At the moment 360 video/photography is more useful for marketing as it can be viewed on more platforms without the need for expensive hardware.

But there’s no doubt big brands are investing a lot into VR devices and we’ve got much more to come.

The attraction of Virtual Reality for brands is obvious.

Nike, Redbull and Amazon are already implementing strategic marketing solutions that have VR at the core of their execution. Be it audio books turned into animated Virtual Reality films, or sporting events viewed in a whole new perspective, the VR movement is here.

There is a growing VR market.

Brands cannot afford to ignore this. I would suggest that Virtual Reality marketing is the next big thing.

And that is why if you don’t get on the VR train right now, you will miss out on what promises to be a very exciting ride.

 

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