Virtual reality is a gift to marketers.
“It’s amazing that you can take a cardboard box and add it to everybody’s smartphone and have an experience like that together,” filmmaker Chris Milk said after pulling off the largest collective virtual reality viewing in history at the Ted 2016 conference. “People talk about VR as this isolating experience, where you go inside it and shut out the whole world. But I’m making things not just for people to relate to other human beings through them, not just the characters [in the story].”
Milk's words ring true for a technology still in its infancy, but with astronomical potential.
Marketo's infographic below explains why both B2B and B2C marketers should start incorporating new technologies into their marketing strategy, with 30% of Forbes 2000 companies already experimenting in augmented and virtual reality in 2017.
You might say "Our company has nothing to do with VR," which is likely true, but it's not about selling virtual reality itself—it's about using it as a tool to leverage your own products and brand along every step of the buyer's journey by tapping into emotion.
The charitable shoe company TOMS has incorporated virtual reality marketing for brand affinity. Through virtual reality marketing, TOMS' showcases its commitment to helping impoverished children through footage of one of their "Giving Trips." In the video, you're transported to rural Peru, where you see the brand in action and living up to their promise, by handing out shoes to a group of schoolchildren—creating an undeniable emotional connection for the viewer with the work TOMS does.
Another company, Lowe's home hardware, takes virtual reality a step further by allowing homeowners to learn how to do renovations by visiting their in-store interactive installation.
The reason Lowe's is adding more tech to their marketing strategy is to keep their brick and mortar stores competitive with online retailers, by using virtual reality as a tool to make Lowe's a source of knowledge, as well as supplies.
Ultimately, virtual reality is about interaction, and offers a major boost to get people in the door for in-person events.