Virtual Reality Marketing In The Real World
[dropcap]V[/dropcap]irtual reality marketing has been around for some time if you include site like Second Life, a virtual reality space where you can do almost anything that you can do in real life, except touch and feel what you touch.
Maybe that’s finally set to change. Google has got into the Virtual Reality game and if Google sees it as a marketing opportunity (it can sell advertising) then smart money might be placed on it becoming something that retailers might begin to think about.
Of course Google is already in the VR space with its Cardboard headset, a cheap version that works with multiple
phone brands. If you want to try it, it’s available on Ebay from as little as 0.99 pence, average price seems to be £3.75 or thereabouts. What’s interesting is that Google are getting into the VR space seriously with the Daydream platform.
Imagine what that could mean to you as a marketer. If you have a product that people might want to touch, haptic feedback (the same thing that makes your touch screen ‘buzz’ when you touch it) allows that. Of course, Google Daydream doesn’t yet have haptic gloves but it does have controllers and, haptic gloves are available. How long before a developer integrates the two for Daydream?
Then, the sky’s the limit really. Someone wants to feel how smooth or rough your product is? With the gloves they can. Want to swing a golf club? A tennis racquet? Try out a theme park ride? All of these can be done in virtual reality.
How will marketing in virtual reality develop? It will depend a lot on how people use VR. After all, it’s their use of smart phones that’s driven the explosion in mobile marketing and translated into a change in how we ‘scan’ desktop screens. Eye-tracking studies using heat maps used to show the top left triangle as being the most important space on the screen (for English speaking countries), now we scan up and down as we would on a smart phone.
Google has changed the layout or its results page to reflect that. So it doesn’t stretch the imagination much to believe that they’ll be monitoring how people use their Daydream headset and apps, to enable them to sell advertising on it.
When that time comes, it could change the face of marketing once again (as did the advent of the internet) and lead to many new innovations in how businesses market their products and services.
As a business are you at the very least keeping an eye on this new field? Virtual Reality is here to stay, just like smart phones, and both are powerful marketing tools. Don’t be left behind, you could be very sorry indeed.