When the internet became available to a broader public in the early 1990s, a long dreamed form of technology finally seemed to be in reach: often imagined and described in science fiction literature and movies, the cyberspace promised to revolutionize communications, information procurement, and to offer new digital realities. But despite data traffic being on the rise and some attempts to market VR devices, it took another twenty years before technical advances allowed the technology to reach the masses.
Today, virtual reality experiences have come to a point, where consumers and businesses alike can profit from this new technology. After the Oculus Rift was proposed on Kickstarter in 2012, almost all major tech manufacturers and corporations have come up with their own interpretation of virtual, augmented, or merged reality, mostly in the form of headsets. Whether it is the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear-VR, Microsoft HoloLens or even the View-Master by Mattel, they all offer new ways of interaction and immersion.
Most of these devices are designed with gaming in mind, but VR is obviously not limited to that. Potential Audi customers can use VR to make purchasing decisions, IKEA is experimenting with a virtual version of its furniture stores and Microsoft advertises its HoloLens to architects, product designers or for uses in education.
The industry is still young and under heavy development, of course, but it very much looks as if VR is here to stay this time. As SuperData Research reports, industry funding had most likely reachead $2.8B by the end of 2016. Worldwide, total revenues of VR products are even estimated to reach $40B over the five next years.
But what do these new platforms with their new possibilities mean in terms of marketing? Can we transfer our established marketing activities to VR or do we need to come up with new ways of reaching users?
In order to really understand virtual reality, we at MOTHERSHIP think it is essential to experience all the different realities first hand. That is why we have built a VR Innovation Lab in our Cologne office.
Virtual Reality is not limited to a specific platform, as it utilizes stand-alone devices, consoles, mobile platforms and PCs. That is why we equipped our lab with all major VR devices and gaming platforms. Our goal was not (only) to build a nerd’s dream room for lunch breaks, but to understand and find new ways to market everything related to VR. At the moment, we devote ourselves to the following topics:
- Forms of advertising in virtual realities
- Seamless implementations of ad formats
- Distribution channels
- Freemium business models and VR
- Production of fitting VR content
- Telling engaging stories
- The future of Incent Traffic
- Marketing implementation for developers
- Development of Performance Marketing and Brand Marketing
- Consumer expectations
VR marketing has just started and while a lot is already happening, there are many ways to improve and expand it. After experimenting in our lab for a while now, we have made some great progress and are confident we are on a good path to finding the right answers to our questions.
Phone: +49 (0) 221 95437305