As marketers, we often rely on tried and true methods to reach our target audience. But competition is fierce, and getting your message is getting harder and harder. Especially since we’re all literally bombarded with marketing messages wherever we look.
Trying to research something on the internet? Pop-ups seem to come out of nowhere, and static ads cover half of the screen space. Want to watch a video on Youtube? First, check these three ads you absolutely hate and have already seen twenty times. Many people are simply tired of known and repetitive forms of advertising. What if there was a more engaging and exciting way to get your message across?
You’ve already read the headline, so you know that the answer is immersive marketing. It’s a powerful method of engaging with customers in new and exciting ways. These techniques utilize interactive technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, to create a more personalized and appealing experience for customers.
Immersive advertising can create powerful campaigns that drive brand recognition, engagement, and loyalty from customers. They also allow companies to gain more detailed insight into their target audience’s needs, desires, and behaviors. With immersive marketing, you can create truly unique and memorable experiences that impact consumers.
Types of immersive marketing experiences
Immersive marketing encompasses different experiences, from virtual and augmented reality apps to interactive exhibitions with displays, games and hands-on activities. As immersive marketing is a form of experiential marketing, you could argue that concepts like sensory branding are a part of it too.
But in this article, we will focus on immersive advertising that uses technology like mobile devices and extended reality (an umbrella term for VR, AR and MR).
- Virtual and augmented reality experiences are marketing tactics that use technology to create a realistic, computer-generated environment for customers to explore.
- 360-degree videos display an environment in a complete circle. This allows viewers to see the entire scene in one shot and experience the full atmosphere of an event or place. They can be viewed with a PC or smartphone-based VR headset.
- Interactive exhibitions allow guests to explore a brand’s products or services through interactive displays, games, and hands-on activities. For example, an exhibition may include motion sensors that allow participants to manipulate objects within a given space.
- Holographic displays are a type of projection technology that creates the illusion of physical objects in three dimensions. Companies use these displays at trade shows to give visitors the impression that they are interacting with real people or objects even when they cannot be physically present.
- Games and gamification offer customers an entertaining way to learn more about a company’s offerings while competing against others for prizes or rewards.
How you can benefit
Immersive marketing allows companies to create experiences that transport customers into their world, immersing them in the sights, sounds, and emotions of the brand. By engaging their clientele through interactive media, businesses can ultimately drive sales and increase customer satisfaction. Let’s discuss five advantages of immersive advertising that lead to these favorable outcomes.
Increase brand engagement
The most significant advantage of immersive marketing is how it genuinely engages clients. Interactive experiences allow the audience to interact with a brand more personally and meaningfully than by simply reading an advertisement or watching a video. Immersive advertising is something fresh, and most people don’t see it as pushy or unwanted.
By allowing customers to directly experience a product, service, or brand in a tangible and meaningful way, companies can create an emotional connection with the customer that will leave a lasting impression.
For example, a company could use virtual reality (VR) and invite thousands of customers to a new product launch in the metaverse, get a virtual tour of a company’s headquarters, or explore a unique promotional event. By engaging in this interactive way, customers can create a more personal connection with the brand, leading to increased brand loyalty and engagement.
Generate valuable insights
Immersive marketing and advertising can also be used to collect valuable customer data. Collecting information about your audience through a mobile or VR app is always easier. The process is automated and efficient.
By using interactive experiences to collect customer feedback, companies can gain valuable insights into what features customers prefer and what aspects of a product they find most attractive. You can use this data to develop services tailored to meet the customer’s needs, leading to increased customer engagement and loyalty.
Boost reach & visibility
Immersive marketing and advertising have become increasingly popular for businesses looking to expand their reach. By engaging with potential customers in more places and situations, companies can gain access to a larger audience.
For example, in the metaverse. Virtual happenings such as product launches or trade events are becoming increasingly common. Not only do they provide an opportunity to engage with a large number of people without having them travel great distances, but these events typically offer more interactive elements that allow attendees to connect with the brand on a deeper level.
Improve customer experience
Many immersive experiences can be personalized to meet the user’s needs and preferences in the best way. Additionally, through them, companies can create engaging stories that draw customers in and encourage them to interact with the brand more deeply. This allows for a greater level of engagement which helps build relationships between companies and consumers.
Efficiency & scalability
The return on investment (ROI) of immersive marketing strategies varies greatly depending on the type of strategy used and the industry in which it is used. Generally, companies have seen an ROI of up to 10 times their initial investment when using an immersive marketing approach.
These types of strategies can also reduce costs in several ways. First, by leveraging digital platforms to create interactive experiences, businesses can reach a larger audience with less effort and cost than traditional methods.
Moreover, immersive campaigns sometimes require fewer resources, allowing for efficient planning and execution. For example, hosting a VR event in the metaverse is usually cheaper than a physical one. And the effects can be just as good or even better.
Immersive marketing is also highly scalable, meaning that it can be adjusted to fit the budget of any business. Companies can start small by creating minigames for smartphones and gradually expand their campaigns to include more sophisticated technology like virtual or augmented reality.
How companies use immersive marketing
Major companies utilize extended reality to create immersive experiences that enable customers to “try on” products without leaving their homes. Businesses also use it to allow their audience to experience products in a 3D environment and create interactive experiences.
What’s more, some brands create immersive experiences with 360-degree videos. They’re great for promotional materials because of their more engaging nature. Finally, most companies have dedicated mobile apps which can be used to launch a branded mini-game. Let’s look at some examples of companies that use immersive marketing strategies.
Chipotle Burrito Builder in Roblox
As part of National Burrito Day 2022, Chipotle launched the Burrito Builder game in Roblox. It lets players roll burritos and earn Burrito Bucks, an in-game currency. Chipotle’s app offered a free entree to the first 100,000 players that rolled a burrito.
In addition to meeting young people where they are (online gaming), Chipotle has created an association with exciting technology that keeps its brand fresh. In addition, rolling a virtual burrito will make you want to eat a real one. Watch the video below to see what the Burrito Builder looked like.
Coca-Cola x FIFA World Cup – AR experience
A Coca-Cola augmented reality experience enabled football fans to play alongside Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri for the FIFA World Cup 2018. It was set up in the Zurich Central Station.
A green screen was used to record Shaqiri’s footage, which was then adapted so that participants could play with him. He would show off his skills before playing a few shots against the participants. Next, they could take a picture with the star and enter their details to receive the photo and have a chance to win a FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball.
How to get started
As we’ve already discussed, immersive marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for driving engagement with your target audience. To get started, it’s important to do extensive research into the preferences and behaviors of your customers in order to craft a campaign that resonates with them.
You don’t need to invest in expensive new technology either; there are plenty of lower-cost options like a mobile app or augmented reality experience. Of course, it’s essential to test different design elements, measure results and optimize once you’ve launched your campaign.
But unlike traditional methods, your marketing team will need assistance creating immersive marketing campaigns, at least in the development phase. If you’re going to release a mobile game or AR experience, you need an experienced and effective software development company. To find a trustworthy and competent partner, look for things like a rich portfolio with successful projects and great reviews by clients.
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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.