Virtual Reality as a sales-support measure

Marketing Trend 2022: The importance of augmented and virtual reality

What are the trends in marketing in 2022?

Digitalization has undergone extreme development. Influenced by the pandemic and the associated lockdowns, digitalization has made substantial leaps in recent times. Increasingly, new technologies open up possibilities of the digital kind to address customers and users. Of course, this is also noticeable in marketing. There are a variety of possibilities.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are among the most important marketing trends in 2022

Applications for augmented and virtual reality are already here today. Thanks to 5G, the range of applications is constantly expanding and practical and high-performance AR and VR devices are becoming suitable for mass use. The new applications also allow enormous amounts of information to be made available quickly and conveniently. This means that AR and VR technologies will inevitably be a marketing trend in 2022.

Augmented Reality (AR) is the connection of the real and virtual world and serves as an extension of reality. From a technical point of view, an additional layer is placed on top of the real world. In this additional layer, symbols, objects or further information can be added or faded in. The hardware required for this is AR glasses, which are often also referred to as smart glasses. However, the technology can also be used with the appropriate apps in almost any modern smartphone or tablet.

Marketing Trend Augmented Reality
VR Meeting mit VR Brille
Virtual Reality (VR) is a virtual, i.e. fictitious world. Everything that the user sees happens exclusively virtually. In contrast to Augmented Reality, no subjects from the real world are included or integrated. The hardware required is VR goggles or Head Mounted Display (HMD). For a comprehensive experience, audio information is often added.

What are the advantages of the Virtual Reality marketing trend?

There are countless reasons why companies should consider using VR marketing. And it’s also worth looking at the long-term prospects and not just jumping on the bandwagon for a short time. What opportunities are already available and what can be implemented today? Here follows a little guidance and inspiration. In the past few years, more and more companies have made initial efforts to use virtual reality or VR efficiently in marketing, sometimes more and sometimes less successfully. If you take a closer look at the VR measures that have been implemented, it is easy to see that they are all similar in one respect: The marketing message should be conveyed through VR. However, there are some criteria how to distinguish and categorize them. It is precisely these distinguishing features that we are concerned with below. The most urgent characteristic is the communication environment, because depending on this, different challenges, planning processes and of course objectives arise.

Advantages of AR and VR in marketing

  • New, intensive presentation experience for the user
  • User has impressive experiences
  • User gets the feeling of having actively contributed to a product
  • Addressing on an emotional level leads to higher customer loyalty
  • Strengthening of the purchase decision as well as brand reinforcement through breathtaking shopping experiences
  • Working with several employees in a virtual room
  • Potentials for the most diverse areas of application
  • Messages can be conveyed more impressively
  • Enables detailed insights into complicated products
  • Connecting with people leads to effective communication
  • Pioneer image through the use of the most innovative technology
  • Campaigns become effective and eventful

The VR experience at home

The four walls at home are probably the first environment that comes to mind when it comes to Virtual Reality (VR) in marketing. However, the corresponding target group is still very narrow, because consumers must have their own VR glasses. Since the distribution is still very low, the reach is not as high as in the case of 360° video marketing and other digital media. However, this measure can convince through the high degree of interaction and immersion, through which the involvement of the consumer is increased and strong emotional experiences can be created. Beiersdorf’s “VR Skin Exploration” is a tangible example of a VR experience at home. It takes consumers on a virtual journey across our skin. The user thus enters the virtual product world in a playful way and can discover it completely independently. Difficult facts in particular can be grasped more quickly by means of interactive communication of information, and the customer’s perceived purchasing risk is reduced. This in turn has a positive influence on their buying behavior.
Marketing Trend Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality as a sales-support measure

VR at the point of sale (POS) can be directly integrated into customer conversations, for example to illustrate products, describe properties or present individual product variants. This measure is particularly realistic when the product is directly involved. In this way, Audi’s “Walking VR” measure is used and the corresponding vehicle is made virtually accessible. The customer thus has the opportunity to view the vehicle from different perspectives. The configuration of the equipment is also displayed and customer wishes can be directly adjusted. The goal of the information transfer is the sale, which is why this measure is very well suited for the advanced phase in the sales process. It is particularly effective for high-priced products with a large need for information, such as buying a car or viewing real estate.

Especially in the area of high-priced segments, such as mechanical engineering, plant engineering or factory planning, VR is particularly exciting. The VR viewer i4 VIRTUAL REVIEW offers planners, designers and engineers the possibility to view and walk through CAD models of any kind in virtual reality. The VR application is also highly interesting for marketing and sales. Because no matter whether it is a customer visit, a trade fair or an event, the corresponding plant or machine is always in the luggage in original size.

Virtual Reality and brand experience

Here, you can mix virtual and real elements in a very targeted way. By creating a stimulating experience that appeals to all the senses, the method of a VR brand experience is particularly suitable for customer loyalty. The outdoor retailer Globetrotter used this opportunity for a company anniversary and took customers on a virtual trip around the world. Thus, this immersive adventure could be experienced directly in the store. Through the further use of equipment and effects such as cold, wind and vibrations, this adventure trip felt very realistic.

VR terminals and VR showrooms – new possibilities in marketing

VR terminals are usually not part of the sales talk, but are rather comparable to so-called info terminals. Customers can use them to obtain additional information about the corresponding offer or the individual product. The incentive to buy is promoted by the immersion.
IKEA’s VR showroom shows how it’s done. Customers can design virtual rooms with the corresponding furniture. But also in the automotive trade, showrooms in virtual reality are increasingly used by car dealers. Thus, the car dealer can present their complete car dealership with all available vehicles to the customer in virtual reality.
Virtual reality (VR) is particularly interesting when space is limited, as is always the case at trade fairs. The trade fair stand can be virtually expanded and made more interesting for visitors. In this way, the range of services can be highlighted and the positive attitude of potential customers towards the product is increased. Factual and emotional communication can be linked very easily with the help of VR.

Virtual Reality and event marketing

Similar to the trade fair stand, VR is integrated into an overall concept in event marketing. As a rule, the event is expanded to include the VR component, which is then used to strengthen customer loyalty to the brand. Thus, the image, awareness and brand relationship are first and foremost to be linked with this measure. The roller coaster ride with Santa Claus from Coca-Cola is exemplary here. Meetings are also a kind of event. There are many meeting platforms, but the i4 MEETING VR meeting platform offers something unique. The meeting takes place virtually and the participant enters the virtual room as an named avatar. Participants can interact with each other just like in the real world. The highlight of i4 MEETING is that in this room it is possible to present 3D models, and customers have the opportunity to view them in detail. This works across multiple platforms including PCs, web-browsers, tablets and VR glasses.

What does the Augmented Reality marketing trend offer?

As described earlier, VR is about immersion in virtual worlds. Augmented reality or AR supplements the real environment with digital information and elements. Nowadays, this is usually done using a smartphone or tablet. The AR software augments the live image provided by the camera with digital content. Modern mobile devices do not need any special software, an app is sufficient and the quality is impressive.

Possible applications of AR and VR in marketing

  • VR and AR as a sales-support measure
  • particularly effective for high-priced products with a large information requirement
  • VR experience for the home
  • creating emotional experiences for the user
  • VR terminals and VR showrooms: new possibilities in marketing
  • virtual walk-in online shops
  • VR at the trade fair stand or in event marketing
  • presentation of complex products or walk-in machines
  • AR in stationary retail: turning the shopping experience into a highlight
  • enormous amounts of information are quickly and conveniently available

Augmented Reality and online shopping

Products that need to be explained are often difficult to describe adequately via photos and videos. AR is actually the perfect complement for this, as many apps now show. With the IKEA app, you can look at various pieces of furniture or the entire interior directly in your own home. With the app from paint manufacturer Dulux, you can also visualize the new paint for your walls. And another app turns your smartphone or tablet into a makeup mirror and allows you to try out cosmetic products. These playful links make it easier for customers to buy products. In an industrial context, for example, the i4 AUGMENTED REVIEW AR viewer app allows 3D models to be displayed in the real world. Even cranes, robots and machines can be displayed as AR models in any environment.

Augmented Reality in retail

In classic retail, AR can also be very helpful and turn the shopping experience into a highlight. The virtual changing room is an outstanding example. A high-tech mirror with almost magical abilities makes it possible to avoid having to wait for the next free cubicle. Many different combinations of garments can be tried on virtually and even the colors can be adjusted dynamically. Even if not all products are in stock in the store, this virtual dressing is very helpful in finding the right clothes.

Augmented Reality in the social media

AR filters with funny and fancy effects for selfies and other photos are particularly well suited for marketing. Characters from movies, mascots or the products themselves can be part of these filters. It just has to be fun. Snapchat speaks of around 30% of users who use filters and even interact with the ads, mostly on their own, and then spread the results. Netflix used an AR environment for one of its series. Feature films, especially comedies, also use funny selfie options. The US fast food chain Taco Bell reached 224 million views in a single day with a selfie filter. Facebook is also now using similar filters to Snapchat with great success.

AR Viewer App

For example, to view 3D models in augmented reality, you need a suitable app. With the help of the i4 AUGMENTED REVIEW AR viewer app, the everyday usability of augmented reality becomes perfectly visible. This app makes it possible to superimpose 3D models in the real world. All that is needed is an AR-enabled smartphone or tablet. On modern mobile devices, even very complex 3D models can be used on the AR viewer in this way. The simple user interface guarantees an easy start for every user. After loading the 3D model, it is placed into the real world and can be shrunk, enlarged, rotated and moved.
Virtual Reality und Markenerfahrung

Augmented RealityAR in print and outdoor advertising

Even static advertising in newspapers or magazines and posters can be refined and enhanced by AR. There are already many examples of this from recent years. And the necessary technology has become widespread. Porsche, for example, has used the AR functions of the Shazam app. This allowed readers of a motorsport magazine to bring cars to life. Each model had a stored video that started automatically. Basically, AR is a further development of the QR code, because here any image can be recognized and suitable content can be displayed. The user does not just land on some website like with a regular QR code, but rather the printed and digital are directly combined and linked with each other and an overall experience is created.

AR App for catalogues

With this AR app, impressive 3D models of products are superimposed directly over images in catalogues, brochures or data sheets. Thus, with the help of augmented reality or AR, it is possible to optimally enhance marketing documents, as they no longer contain simple photos and images, but also 3D models that are adapted to the content and displayed above the corresponding images. The i4 AUGMENTED CATALOG app and the associated cloud service offer a simple introduction to augmented reality. The selected 3D models are stored in the cloud and are thus available worldwide via the Internet. The individual models are linked to an image in the corresponding documents. From then on, anyone holding the catalog or the documents in their hands can see the linked models and be much more convinced of the quality.

“The new technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality provide a broad foundation for making campaigns impactful and experiential, which will later be reflected in sales figures.”

Marketing trends for 2022: AR and VR, a conclusion

The trend is clear. More and more, new technologies like AR and VR are influencing marketing. The development of AR and VR has progressed rapidly in recent years. Meanwhile, there are enough special headsets and glasses. The new glasses from Oculus or the Microsoft Mixed Reality glasses as well as the HoloLens clearly show the trend. And with all the novelties come new experiences. These technologies offer a broad basis for making campaigns effective and rich in experience, which should later be reflected in the sales figures. And if corresponding standard solutions do not suffice, completely individual AR and VR solutions can undoubtedly be developed and implemented. In this context, interested parties can seek advice directly from CAD Schroer to find out which app is best suited for their campaigns. The various i4 products mentioned in this article can already be used and can take many marketing measures to a whole new level. The development of customer-specific AR/VR apps is also possible in cooperation with CAD Schroer.