Brand marketers are maximising immersive innovations to drive experience and engagement
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” This apt quote from Harper Lee’s 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was used to kickstart our recent event on immersive innovation in brand marketing. Emily Savage, Immersive and Partnerships Lead for Digital Catapult, our event partners, started her presentation with this vivid message, setting the tone for what immersive can offer and how it can be used to drive greater consumer experience and engagement.
Immersive innovations provide a personalised, engaging and interactive way of experiencing a brand. Consumers consistently seek control in their daily lives and immersive technologies can enhance this, creating experiences they want to enjoy again and again. The multidimensional and multisensorial nature of immersive is key here. It is about putting the consumer in the experience and talking with them – not to them.
Immersive technology is an integration of virtual content with the physical environment in a way that allows the user to engage naturally with the blended reality. In an immersive experience, the user accepts virtual elements of their environment as part of the whole, potentially becoming less conscious that those elements are not part of physical reality.
This might sound futuristic, but you’re likely familiar with some of the most commonly used immersive technologies:
- 360-degree video/photos - Images and videos with 360 degrees of freedom that can be viewed in a headset or on a smartphone
- Virtual reality (VR) – a digital environment that replaces the user’s physical surroundings
- Augmented reality (AR) – digital content that is superimposed over a live stream of the physical environment
- Mixed reality (MR) – an integration of virtual content and the real-world environment that enables interaction among elements of both
Our expert panel focused on some areas where is immersive technologies can particularly add consumer value.
Virtual reality is ultimately a medium for creating intimate experiences. Making these types of connections with consumers is something unique to VR. With storytelling such an integral part of brand marketing strategies, this might be a tool worth exploring.
2. Unique experiences
Brands can create a point of differentiation. Full location-based immersive entertainment is just one of the many unique ways of taking your product or service to the consumer.
3. Additional user services and experiences
From trying on a new pair of sunglasses or viewing a new chair in your living room with augmented reality, to exploring the inside of a new car range with virtual reality, brands are actively searching for new ways of engaging customers.
As with any new technology, there are of course some simple rules marketers should follow when implementing immersive innovations.
1. The technology alone will not get you eyeballs. A clear, defined strategy is what ultimately drives the adoption and engagement of these technologies.
2. Think beyond the home with consumer experience and engagement.
3. Find your audience. This sounds obvious, but many are still tripping up here.
4. Unique and additional user experiences will drive value.
How can we help?
For advice or support on bringing in the right marketing, digital, and innovation talent into your business, get in touch with me via the form below.
If you’re looking to explore the use of immersive media in your marketing strategy, I thoroughly recommend speaking with the team at Digital Catapult and looking at some of the immersive case studies of other creative agencies, such as VisMedia agency.