IKEA, Gucci, Nike, McDonald’s and Disney. Do you know what all these brands have in common? Well, you could say they’re very rich and successful. And you would be right. But they are similar in another way. They all use innovative marketing solutions that include virtual and augmented reality experiences.
It’s no secret that marketing is constantly evolving. And traditional marketing methods are no longer enough to ensure success. In a world where consumers are bombarded with up to 10,000 marketing messages a day (at least according to Forbes), it’s more important than ever for businesses to cut through the noise and deliver innovative marketing solutions that are creative and engaging.
We believe that XR and metaverses are precisely what many companies need to get through to customers. So why do relatively few brands invest in such opportunities?
Perceived challenges & obstacles
Some people think such innovative marketing solutions are reserved only for the largest companies. However, with a bit of creativity and outside-the-box thinking, even smaller businesses can significantly improve their marketing with extended reality.
But XR and metaverses are expensive, right? Well, sometimes it might be, and we make no bones about it. But smaller AR projects can cost very little, especially when compared to the impressive ROI, they can generate. What’s more, it can be really fast and easily measured.
What about the audience reach? That’s obviously a very important factor in marketing, and not everybody has a mixed-reality headset. But we’ve all got smartphones capable of running augmented reality! And most metaverses can be accessed from a PC. Finally, when it comes to VR, you can use it during tradeshows with your own equipment or create experiences for smartphone-based VR.
Creative concepts in marketing using AR
The biggest advantage of augmented reality experiences is their unquestionable accessibility. A report created by Snapchat states that by 2025 almost 75% of the population will be using AR frequently.
Interactive experiences in your marketing campaigns have a few practical benefits. The fact that they aren’t just text and images makes it easier for you to deliver your message in a way that will be understood and remembered by the audience. And if you’re using your own app for promotional purposes, it’s also easier to collect data about the people who interact with your content.
AR filters and UGC
Do you know what you would look like as an animated Disney character? If you’re regularly on TikTok, chances are you do. Last year a cartoon AR filter that allowed you to transform into a character from a Disney movie went crazy on the platform. People loved it and used it for hundreds of thousands of TikToks, creating what we call user-generated content (UGC).
Branded AR filters on social media platforms are a great way to generate word-of-mouth buzz and organic reach by getting users to share the content with their friends and followers. They can be customized to include your company logo, colors, and slogan. You can also choose to have the filter available for a specific time period or location.
Here’s a case study of a Snapchat business filter we’ve worked on.
Try on before you buy
To stay ahead of the competition, many retailers are turning to another innovative marketing solution – virtual fitting rooms. These AR applications allow customers to try on clothes through a mobile or computer with a camera. No need to drive to the store!
Using virtual dressing rooms, you can offer customers a more personalized shopping experience and therefore increase sales. In addition, they can also help to reduce the amount of time and money spent on returns. Finally, they can help to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
You can combine this idea with the concept of AR filters in popular social media platforms. This is something that Gucci did in collaboration with Snapchat. They launched a series of filters that allowed users to try out their sneakers. Once a filter like that becomes viral, it naturally creates demand for its brands’ products.
Another one of our ideas for innovative marketing solutions is creating gamified experiences for product launches, branding and product advertising. This will further increase the engagement of the audience. And you don’t need a dedicated app! Web-based augmented reality can work just as well. You can even create a gamified experience based on AR filters!
What exactly do we mean by gamified experiences? For example, you could offer a potential prize in exchange for completing an AR quiz. Or you could create a themed mini-game with scoreboards to spark up some rivalry in people. And we know from apps like Flappy Bird that you don’t need something super complicated for it to go viral. All you need is a good idea.
Augmented reality catalogs
Augmented reality catalogs are, in principle, catalogs with products or services that include additional digital features. Users can view 3D AR images, visualizations, animations, and interactive content using a smartphone or tablet.
AR catalogs are used to provide a more immersive and interactive experience for users. They can be used to promote products, showcase features, and provide instructions. As with the other innovative marketing solutions, the benefits include the ability to provide a more engaging and informative experience for users, as well as the ability to track user interactions and collect data.
Here’s a case study of an AR travel catalog we’ve developed for one of our clients.
Moving on to the next one of our innovative marketing solutions, let’s use our imagination for a moment. Suppose you had ordered a new coffee table online, and you’ve just received it. It’s a DIY kit, and you’re anxious about putting it together yourself. What if the instructions are unclear or you forget about something?
The courier drops the parcel at your doorstep, and you go to pick it up. After taking off the outer packaging, a QR code appears before your eyes. You scan it and get transferred to a web-based AR app. It’s a step-by-step interactive guide on how to assemble the product with 3D models and visualizations!
The AR app could also recognize pieces or parts of the product and display instructions accordingly. We can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t love that! It’s practical, helping consumers assemble or start up their new product. It’s also a great selling point.
VR innovative marketing solutions
Virtual tours and 360° videos
If you’re running a business in the services sector, like a restaurant or amusement park, many of your guests likely want to get an image of what they can expect before paying a visit. And even if you’re a manufacturer, why not show your customers how the products are made and what daily life at the office looks like? Of course, you can do this with images and traditional videos, but why not make it more immersive?
Offer your potential customers an immersive 360° tour of your premises. Show them the production facilities, let them virtually meet your employees and build your position as a transparent and trustworthy company. This is also a great tool for enhancing employer branding efforts.
VR for meetings with clients
Virtual reality has immense potential for creative marketing concepts, but still, quite few people use VR headsets on a daily basis. So how can we use the power of VR, keeping this in mind? Well, you could have your own equipment and use it when you meet your clients.
We’re talking about showrooms, tradeshows, industry events, and any other meetings you arrange with your clients. This does require some investment in the infrastructure, you need at least two headsets, but it’s not as expensive as many think.
Why should you consider such an investment? Virtual reality applications have tremendous potential to create a desire for purchase in your clients. They enable realistic and natural presentations of products, experiences and places, even if they haven’t been designed or built yet. A realistic presentation of your offer can also help them make more informed decisions.
3D configurators & visualizations
People love personalized products. We like to be different, so we naturally also like the things we buy to be unique. So it’s no wonder that 3D product configurators are becoming a standard. They’re easy to implement and very effective too. Studies show that they can increase conversion rates by up to 40%! Most of us are also willing to spend more on personalized articles.
What about if you don’t sell products that can be customized? In that case, you can still benefit greatly from 3D product visualizations. They make it easier for potential customers to see what a product looks like, how it works and what features it has. After all, they’re way more realistic representations than 2D images. To read more on the subject, check out our article about 3D product configurators.
Reach your customers through metaverses
If you’re looking for truly innovative marketing solutions, you should definitely consider entering the metaverse with your brand. Although metaverses have actually been around for a while, only now are people starting to use them en masse. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to change. So this is your company’s time to become one of the original metaverse brands!
The first step many brands take into the metaverse is creating and publishing branded spaces and assets. Branded assets can be sold in marketplaces, and if users like them, you can have the additional benefit of a lot of UGC, just like with trending AR filters. They can be anything from virtual makeup and clothing all the way to full characters and furniture.
How could this look in practice? Let’s look at what L’Oreal, who recently partnered with Ready Player Me. If you’re new to the topic, Ready Player Me is a platform that allows users to create and share avatars. They can later be used in more than 3000 metaverses! Thanks to the collaboration with L’Oreal, the platform now offers five new trendy hairstyles which players can use to customize their avatars.
Besides creating items and objects for the metaverse, you can buy or build your own plot of land or environment in one of the popular platforms like Roblox, AltspaceVR or Decentraland. This will allow you to establish your presence and open the way for community building in the virtual realm.
Once you have your virtual spaces in the metaverse, you can encourage people to gather, interact and engage with the brand. How? By hosting events, creating fun games and experiences, giving people access to exclusive content and building relationships with customers through meetups.
If you’d like to read more on the topic, make sure to check out our latest article about metaverse business opportunities that lay ahead.
Let’s spice up your marketing!
As you can see, metaverses and XR technologies can really enhance the way you reach customers and promote your product. They can also help you build a strong community around your brand. With a bit of creativity, you can combine our innovative marketing solutions to create a genuinely unique, universal and effective marketing strategy.
We’re available if you’d like to discuss opportunities for using 3D immersive solutions in your company. Drop us a line, and we’ll get back to you within a few hours!
Marketing specialist with four years of experience. Having spent part of his childhood in Ireland, he's fascinated with its culture and language. Loves history, football and any form of writing.