Experiential marketing—using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and other interactive, 3D touchscreen technologies—is a massively growing field. It places your customers into a fully immersive, branded environment, delivering an engaging and memorable physical interaction.
Consumers have always expected increasingly innovative and hi-tech ways of viewing and assessing their investments. And here’s why you should consider experiential marketing, too:
1. Let natural interaction do the selling for you
Everyone loves digital interactivity. Our brains are programmed to respond to colour, movement, sound and physical interaction. The act of physically engaging with an interface has been proven time and again to increase the memorability of the content and leave a lasting impression.
Tracking technologies such as RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags are already being integrated into events and experiences, allowing developments such as intelligent signage, and personalized sound, video, lighting… the list goes on. Beacons on physical objects are unlocking interactive content in a live event or retail area by linking them to the Internet of Things.
Experiences that give rise to positive emotions and generate powerful mental imagery in potential customers are incredibly valuable to any brand. Designed well, with a little creative spark, such interactions create a closer bond between the brand and the consumer.
2. Describe complexity without words
Words only go so far in describing your product’s inner workings and the components and other characteristics that set it apart from your competitors. If your business is dependent upon customers understanding and engaging with the technical or mechanical detail of what you do and what you produce, it might be time to invest in a way of accurately visualising these ‘hidden’ assets.
Computer-generated versions of upcoming projects and technologies—especially if delivered in impressive VR or AR consistently win new clients.
Why? Your customers can suddenly see your products as they function, in incredible detail. And this can now be a more inspiring, engaging and cohesive process thanks to the development of interactive digital media such as holographic projections, CGI, 3D modelling, complex photorealistic animations and interactive touchscreen technology.
The outcomes for products that are hard to visualise or demonstrate to potential customers—either because they take no physical form, can’t usually be seen in action, are technically complex, or can’t be brought into meetings—are especially impressive.
3. Make visually uninspiring products eye-catching
Humans are visual creatures and it’s often tricky to make your company stand out at pitches, trade shows and exhibitions. Whatever it is that makes your product unique may not always be immediately obvious, and it’s all too easy to fade into the background.
But showcasing futuristic technologies is a sure-fire way to grab the attention of passers-by and engage potential customers from the get-go.
We’ve developed eye-catching 3D visualisations for Aish Technologies, which accurately show how their anti-rust cathodic protection systems extend the life of submarines, comparing their technology to that of their competitors. Aish say that these visualisations will help them deliver their key marketing messages in face-to-face situations.
At PAULEY, we’re really excited about the future of experiential marketing. Cameras and facial recognition systems can already be used to determine the gender, ethnicity and emotional reaction of audiences to content on an interactive screen. Imagine if that content could be customized to each person in a sales meeting!
4. Equip sales team to explain products accurately and consistently
State-of-the-art digital technologies – platforms such as mobile apps, Microsoft’s HoloLens, biometric recognition software, virtual reality, and the much-hyped Magic Leap augmented reality – can deliver complex experiences in ways that are reusable, repeatable and reach more customers in a cost effective way.
VR and AR experiences and demonstrations can be delivered with portable technologies. And their digital basis means that content can be easily edited and translated into different languages—useful for companies which want to use the same key sales messages globally.
The kinds of technology we’ve mentioned here have many other business applications beyond experiential marketing. Interactive content can also be used to deliver immersive training, cost-effective simulations and dynamic sales tools.
We’ve created 360-degree training demonstrations, for example, in which live video is streamed into virtual military vehicle cockpits using AR and VR technologies. This gives trainees an ultra-realistic, hands-on experience before they’re ready to engage with the real thing.
When it comes to virtual and augmented reality, the opportunities with experiential marketing are endless!