How can CMOs boost their brand presence using AR-VR?
VR and AR are swiftly transforming every industry
While it might seem hard to believe, but Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for decades, we are yet to witness their mass adoption. However, thankfully due to decreasing costs of headsets and COVID-19, this technology has been receiving a massive uptick in its importance and adoption across several industry verticals. Soon they shall be changing the way we interact and communicate with each other, blurring lines between real and virtual immersive life. Therefore, CMOs of companies need to be prepared for the transformative momentum that will be brought by AR-VR.
Analytics Insight predicts in its report, “Reinventing Businesses with Disruptive Technologies” that, the global AR-VR market is projected to increase from US$13.6 billion in 2019 to US$51.2 billion in 2023. With the largest share of 90%, AR is expected to reach a net value of US$46.5 billion in 2023 from US$12.3 billion in 2019 with a CAGR of 30.4 percent. Meanwhile, VR is estimated to have a CAGR of 28.4 percent, with a worth of US$4.7 billion in 2023 from US$1.3 billion in 2019. So it is no brainer that CMOs will soon look for a way to utilize the said tech, and channelize them into their brands’ marketing strategy. Some have already adopted AR and VR into their marketing mix to boost sales and make customer experience hassle-free. Here are some key ways that highlight changes to occur in this sector.
- New Customer Experience: With the advent of AR-VR, marketers have the opportunity to create a virtual brand world where interested or potential buyers can try on their products or services virtually. E.g. trying a watch or cloth item to see how it looks on them. This allows the customer to have a better idea about the brands and develop a good relationship with it, sometimes in the comfort of their homes. AR can bring a volumetric capture of a product right into your living room. Both are value-add solutions for customers and business partners to meet, interact, and purchase. This is what brands can tap on to revamp the way they connect with customers to give a unique experience and turning them into loyal leads. Some of the brands like IKEA, Lenskart are already ahead in this game.
- Reshaping social media: Well, we have been amazed by the endless number of Instagram and Snapchat AR filters, or the new AR features by Google Chrome or have heard of Facebook’s investment in virtual reality. This highlights how social media impacts our lives. Brands can make use of these features to encourage people to try their own filters or design them and thereby promoting brand awareness. Even when people are not aware of AR-VR or their applications!
- Recruitment and training: Much like training of military soldiers and football players through VR, brand CMOs can exploit the same in their training of associates and department heads. In 2017, Walmart introduced VR to the world of employee training and development by using the technology to upgrade training at Walmart Academies nationwide. This is immensely helpful in teaching the importance of possessing soft skills like empathy and customer service, and compliance, to the associates. Other companies can follow Walmart’s footsteps, especially the ones catering to customers services like restaurants, travel and tourism and others.
- Virtual Beings: Yes, you heard it right! These human resembling digital characters designed using machine learning and artificial intelligence can mimic real-world behaviors to create a new model for interacting online. Consumers are no longer interacting with websites. They shall soon be interacting with these virtual beings. CMOs can give this trend a thought and invest in creating a virtual being character that is synonymous which their brand features and values. This is interesting as virtual beings can offer companies more control over their brand’s image, improved customer experience, while still maintaining a sense of authenticity.