Marketing agencies have been steadily expanding their use of immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for a while now, utilising it to spread brand awareness. This can be found even more so in the run up to Christmas as new research conducted by Adobe and Goldsmiths, University of London indicates.
The study found that over a quarter (27 percent) of consumers are now expecting brands to use VR and AR as part of their Christmas experiences. And when over 500 UK marketers preparing their Christmas campaigns were surveyed, over two thirds of respondents surveyed (68 percent) felt that using technologies like VR provides brands with a competitive edge. 32 percent of marketers also agreed that the tech helps drive customer loyalty to the brand, and more than half (55 percent) believe that it is useful in attracting potential customers.
But there is a flip side to this interest in VR and AR marketing. While marketers are interested in the opportunities VR holds they don’t widespread usage occurring until at least next Christmas. 32 percent said that implementing campaigns at present are still too difficult, with suggestions that budgets and lack of knowledge are some of the key challenges to implementation. Tying into this, actual awareness of VR is still relatively low. A YouGov poll of over 2,000 UK adults, found that 44 percent admitted to not seening these technologies used around the festive season. But the poll did find 29 percent of consumers would be interested in seeing these technologies used in future, with 22 percent saying emerging technologies would attract them to a specific brand at Christmas.
John Watton, EMEA Marketing Director, Adobe says: “Our research has revealed that both marketers and consumers are only just beginning to get to grips with emerging technologies like VR and AR. The demand is increasing, but many organisations are still evaluating whether they have a viable place in their marketing strategies. There can be no better time than Christmas to get a better understanding of how, or indeed if, brands are creating new and deeper connections with potential and existing customers using these technologies – in an era when the customer experience is everything. The examples explored in this report really bring to life the possibilities of The Future of Experience and I am excited to see how brands continue to innovate around the customer experience in 2017.”
“This Christmas, we’re seeing early adopters and progressive organisations harness the power of emerging technologies to engage customers and extend the reach of their brands. However, the relative lack of awareness and readiness amongst the wider marketing community for harnessing the power of the emerging technologies driving empathetic customer experiences like serendipity and adaptability is staggering,” said Dr Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London. “The research shows widespread lack of recognition and emphasis on the need for brands to market both through and to smart machines for meaningful engagement with customers. There is a revolution in marketing underway and the exceptional use cases in our research demonstrate progressive brands experimenting and shaping the possibilities before the Future of Experience becomes the mainstream present in 2017.”
VRFocus has reported on many instances of VR being used for marketing, and as adoption of the tech grows so will its advertising potential. As further developments continue VRFocus will bring you the latest updates.