Digital marketing has seen a big uplift in the past decade with more companies investing in it than before. With millions of sponsored advertisements appearing on search engines, social media and many other places, marketing online has become increasingly popular and competitive. This has lead to consumers becoming savvy and disengaged from online marketing efforts. With these limitations beginning to form, doors need to be opened for marketers to find new ways of getting their message out to their audience and looking towards newer more novel technologies could help to tap into previously unused advertising options.
Increasingly popular technologies that have recently started to come into their own element are Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; these could see a new level of digital marketing come into play. Most of us should remember the popularity and runaway success of the mobile AR game Pokémon Go in mid-2016 – this fame led to partnership deals with some big marketing players such as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
VR has also taken off, providing more immersive digital entertainment by providing the implementation of 360 videos. This could open many doors for advertisers, with the likes of Audi and Porsche have already begun offering their clients a VR showroom experience that allows consumers to view vehicles in different configurations and colours, including the interior of the cars.
Although both VR and AR are still in their relative infancies, they could become an important part in the future of marketing. Big players such as Microsoft, Google and Apple are only just working on their first iteration of devices and software development regarding AR. Manufacturers are expecting wearable AR to be the next big thing, providing effortless integration of people’s digital lives in everyday life. If this comes to fruition ordinary items, such as coffee cups, could be brought to life to provide a full 3D experience. We are already seeing some techniques of VR being implemented in the form of Facebook 360°.
These new technologies could bring a whole new element to marketing, allowing companies to become more relevant and engaging to the audience. We could even see the start of new, more personable customer service techniques, with the potential of consumers being able to talk to a person face-to-face using VR. Interactive product demonstrations are more possible with VR, allowing the user to truly get to know a product before they decide to invest; this could also provide better accessibility for users who cannot get to a shop or a showroom for various reasons.
Other companies have followed in the footsteps of Nintendo and have started using AR for marketing activities, providing value and entertainment to their consumers; while helping the company move towards achieving their marketing goals.
As the technologies are still in the early stages of developmental progress and are still relatively expensive, both for consumers and to market on, it will be a while yet before we see any real effects from marketing through these channels. Chances are that bigger companies with larger budgets will be the first to properly try their hands at marketing using these channels, however, like many other types of marketing we could see even small companies using these techniques in the future.