What components make up a lucrative marketing or advertising campaign? How can we be certain that a billboard, YouTube video, or video playing on the Dallas Cowboys’ jumbotron, will positively influence the way consumers feel about a brand, product, or service? Are consumers getting tired of the same old advertising interrupting their lives? The most successful marketing and advertising efforts influence consumers (specifically your decision makers) to choose your company over your competition. Whether acquiring new clients or retaining current ones, the best way to get consumers’ attention nowadays is to hack into the decision making process.
There are five steps to the decision making process:
Problem recognition – Example: “I need a hotel for my trip this weekend.”
Internal and external search – Example: “I’ve stayed at Hotel X before, and the internet says Hotel Y is nice as well.”
Alternative evaluation – Example: “Hotel X has larger rooms, but Hotel Y is cheaper.”
Choice – Example: “I’m going to stay at Hotel Y.”
Outcome – Example: “My stay at Hotel Y was exemplary.”
At 900lbs, we believe virtual and augmented reality technology can hack into the decision making process.
You’re probably thinking, “How exactly does virtual reality fit in?” Here’s how:
Marketing and advertising works best when the content connects with the audience, especially in an experiential way. An ad should be original, believable, emotional, concrete, and tell a story. Great ads are perceived as different from the rest, in a favorable and unforgettable way, because they’re able to break through the “fourth wall” and connect with a person’s emotions. When good content meets these standards, the results are impressive. Take for example the 2013 Super Bowl commercial by Ram Trucks, Farmer. What made this ad successful (with 20 million YouTube views and counting) is that the highlight of the commercial wasn’t the truck. Dallas’ own Richards Group created an ad that engaged the audience on almost all five senses – from the music, imagery and the iconic, nostalgic voice of Paul Harvey – the “secret” influencer in “Farmer” was giving the audience an experience without making them feel like they were being sold to. Now imagine if the audience could’ve been transported into or been an active participant of this commercial? How many more impressions, accolades, or more importantly, sales would Ram have garnered?
That’s the secret of hacking the decision making process in 2016 – give your consumer a novel experience they won’t regret or forget.
Our virtual and augmented reality experiences engage people in a way that normal advertising efforts cannot. With VR (or AR), we can create a sensory experience that transcends the norms of traditional television ads, or gives a better visceral reaction that exceeds what giving out free branded t-shirts and water bottles can do. Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Be memorable and unique? A good virtual reality experience can get you there because it’s completely immersive for the participant.
To continue the hotel example, with the help of virtual reality headsets, consumers and potential customers can step into one of the hotel rooms and share in the experience of staying there, all from the comfort of their own home. An interactive experience such as this would engage a person on a sensory level that photos and videos cannot. With experiential marketing (i.e. virtual reality and augmented reality), your brand or company can differentiate itself from the competition, especially during the alternative evaluation step of the decision making process. When someone considers all of their options, you want your company to be the one that stands out in their minds. Virtual reality can activate your brand, bringing it to life for the consumer.
By taking advantage of what virtual reality has to offer, you could change the way someone thinks about your brand, the way they feel about your brand, and the way they behave and engage with your brand.