Experiential marketing agencies have always been not only appealing, but also a practical and beneficial method to involve clients through their hands on approach and more connecting experiences. However, as technology advances and evolves, picture a new phase in marketing, where virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift, META pro, or Eyeborg Cam create a digital customer or client experience that could spell disaster for the traditional experiential marketing agency.
All About That VR Tech.
Virtual and augmented reality marketing differs from traditional hands on experiential marketing by creating an independent environment for clients to interact how and when they wish.
Visual reality and augmented reality devices will completely redefine the customer experience by limiting elements of outside interaction. A customer involved with a visually augmented experience will be participating in a predetermined program through which they will advance at their own speed.
Hesitation occurs when traditional experiential marketing tactics attempt to not only involve the hands on user but all other observers as well. Is this where VR falls short?
But Is It Applicable?
VR and augmented reality offers definite potential to show retail products in greater depth and detail, however, is unlikely to revolutionize the world of experiential marketing. This is due to its unsocial design in an ever increasingly social environment, something that may change in the future.
VR immerses users in a fictional world, and while this is beneficial for the opportunity of involvement and choice, it forces brands to relinquish certain aspects of their control over the customer experience. That is of course unless an experiential marketing agency starts developing VR programs and experiences, which is doubtful.
I’m Onboard, So Now What?
Setup requires linking several components to a central VR console with which to launch an experience. While it is capable of being done at home with a one-time set-up, it is much preferred to have a skilled agency on hand.
Sourcing, setting up, maintaining and running the machines can quickly become overwhelming to say the least, especially on a large scale. This is a management skill where an experiential marketing agency can be greatly beneficial
Pairing traditional experiential marketing with virtual reality technology can offer new ways for potential clients to experience products. When promoting a new car model, picture getting into the seat, putting on a virtual reality device, and being able to floor the gas pedal to experience some of the thrill of the new cars potential. Leveraging this in a traditional experiential way is what becomes a tricky balancing act.
The practical applications of Virtual reality in combination with traditional marketing tools are endless, and the potential for advancement is definitely still growing rapidly.
VR does not spell the death of the traditional experiential marketing agency yet an opportunity for the two to grow in harmony together.