What does your brand stand for? Peace and equality? Laughter and love? Fitness and health? Innovation and efficiency? Whatever you’re trying to promote to your target audience can be enhanced by incorporating mixed reality (MR) into your marketing mix.
Mixed reality can expand your consumer base, keep them engaged, and skyrocket your brand into the digital age, landing in the top position in your market. Not only will implementing mixed reality experiences give you a competitive edge, but it will also become your key to survival.
The global market size of mixed reality is estimated to increase from $47 million in 2018 to over $3.7 billion by 2025 (Statista). Needless to say, the future is looking increasingly technological and we as consumers, will demand to take part in these digital experiences. As MR technology continues to roll out, the costs associated with MR marketing will fall, and digital-reality marketing will become the norm.
Applications for VR and AR: (Statista)
By 2010, augmented reality (AR) had broken into people’s lives, homes and businesses. The technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, has been followed by the popularity of virtual reality (VR). Virtual reality is a simulated experience of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way.
Both AR and VR have found their way to the marketing mix and have helped to improve efficiencies and quality of outcome across departments in all sectors and industries. Mixed reality is ultimately a ‘hybrid’ digital reality. In this environment, MR enables interactive virtual objects to be mapped out onto the physical world and blurs the lines between physical and digital realities.
Mixed reality in marketing
Mixed reality market size: (Statista)
Undeniably, MR is transforming the relationship between consumer and brand – just as the technological waves before it did. Only the most innovative and engaging will lead the way. More than ever, consumers are demanding information, products and services that meet their needs. The branches of glossy magazine ads are becoming fruitless when it comes to conversion rates.
Consumer – brand interaction
Instead, consumers are taking it upon themselves to seek out what they need. In the age of instant information and social sharing; consumers no longer expect brands to reach out to them with pushy content, spam emails or TV ads. We follow and are loyal to the brands we love on social media, we share our experiences with friends and use the internet to search for products and services we need.
As our daily lives become more consumed by technology, they also become more convenient, efficient, exciting and engaging. Consumers will reach out to and look for brands that are on top of the latest most innovative ways of connecting with them.
Engagement from the get-go
Before the marketing stage of anything, comes the development of a brand’s product, service or idea. But the two stages can be intertwined for maximum efficiencies both ways. Mixed reality technology enables product designers and developers to meet in virtual reality rooms to showcase, discuss and iterate on their designs.
Typically, at this stage, the prototypes and developments are collaborated on by the company. But MR knows no bounds. Products and features can be examined in real-size, from all angles, by as many people as you like. Customers can join the virtual room via an integrated video call to be part of the design process.
Product development meets marketing. As such, it’s a special way to generate buzz and awareness of a new product and to get critical feedback and input from those who matter. There’s value for your brand and a chance for you to show your target audience that they matter. This sense of value is likely to play a key role in a brand’s ability to promote customer loyalty.
Visualise your social initiatives
Mixed reality is a powerful tool of visualisation. In fact, the technology can be used to make visual representations of complex data that is simply beyond the cognitive abilities and perception of humans. Anything is possible.
Consider using MR to generate visual content associated with your social and ethical initiatives. Millennials are on average more willing to engage with and buy from brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods and ethical business standards. There’s been a particular preference for socially responsible marketing.
But it’s not just millennials, the Global Corporate Sustainability Report in 2015 found that 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. And now companies have the chance to hone in on their particular social initiatives and create content to allow customers to visualise and experience the social changes their brand makes or hopes to make.
It’s a great way to deliver the content that a) young consumers want to know about; b) drive awareness of your brands’ ethical and social initiatives; and c) do so in a way that is engaging, interactive and in line with the digital age.
Build your brand for the future
There is no question that we are only at the very beginning of the journey MR will take us on. The future is set to revolve around mixed reality technologies across industries and departments. It will trickle into everyday consumer life, and brands will be expected to deliver the best MR experiences available to engage with their customers.