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The author

Alex Bennett

Front-end Developer

We’re always trying out new technologies and software to identify opportunities to improve our digital marketing approach for clients, and recently, we’ve been exploring and experimenting with virtual reality.

Virtual reality offers a truly revolutionary digital experience and has caught the imagination of the tech and gaming worlds; but more recently, the digital marketing world has recognised the opportunity to provide a ground-breaking experience for customers, too.

What's the opportunity?

For marketers, virtual reality offers the opportunity to allow audiences to fully immerse themselves in a brand. Customers can get closer to products than they’ve ever been before – without physically being close to them.

Brands have already been testing this out; earlier in the year, IKEA released their app – IKEA VR Experience – which allows users to explore different kitchen styles.

The US Air Force is using it to potentially recruit – allowing those interested in joining to virtually fly a fighter jet. On a smaller scale, companies could use virtual reality to allow potential recruits to experience a day in the life of a staff member.

Tesco used virtual reality for market research, asking customers to walk around a virtual store before it was built to gain feedback.

The possibilities really are endless – and far from being a technology ‘gimmick’, virtual reality has the potential to revolutionise marketing and the way we interact with brands.

We’ve already begun experimenting with ideas and scoping out the potential of what we can achieve in the virtual reality space.

Is virtual reality here to stay?

Virtual and augmented reality are now rapidly evolving fields, with companies such as Google and Microsoft spearheading innovation with augmented reality through the Glass and Hololens projects.

More consumer focused application-based products are soon being launched by the likes of Sony and Xbox in the form of Playstation VR and the announcement of the Xbox Scorpio (a VR-ready console).

Fortune magazine predicts that by the year 2020, the AR and VR market is expected to generate $150 billion worldwide.

There has already been an explosion of content for virtual reality headsets from multiple developers and there is a genuine excitement that comes from working with devices like these.

Is virtual reality the future? I certainly think so, and given the movement of the major technology players into the market, I believe they have the same expectation.