VR & AR Technology Examples for Digital Marketers

This post is an excerpt from our Digital Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for digital marketers to openly discuss tactics for building a better online presence and tracking results. All of the content from the Digital Marketing Conference is available as Digital Marketing Videos

Here are some key takeaways from the VR & AR Technology Examples for Digital Marketers panel:

  • Determine the story you are trying to tell
    Whether you are creating an AR or VR experience, focus on telling a story through an overarching experience. Consider your customer’s journey on how you can use AR or VR to improve their experience with your brand.
  • VR is immersive while AR introduces a digital plane into real environments
    A perfect example of AR technology is Pokemon Go, which adds a digital plane to the user’s real environment. VR includes a headset that totally immerses the user into that experience.

What are some of the things that you are looking for in order to run a successful project using VR & AR technology? What are some of the things that you see that are missing from the table that some of your clients may not always understand?

I think from a creative side it is really determining what is that story that we are telling them and what is the overarching experience. From a retail lens, it is what is the customer's journey and at what point in the customer's journey are we touching them? When are we telling that story and how are we capturing their attention emotionally? When it relates to VR/AR, it's within the customer journey's path, we need to know at what point do they use the technology to augment the choices that they are making and how do we better their choices and give them the amount of information that they need to make the correct choice for themselves. –Bryan Pieper, KNOCK

For us, we have what we think is a very beautiful campus at Chapman University and we have created a virtual tour with VR/AR technology. We love to focus on international recruiting and for those people, if they cannot come to tour the campus and see it, we can give these people the opportunity to tour the campus virtually through a headset or through a 360 video on Facebook. –David May, Chapman University

What is the difference between VR and AR?

AR is the introduction of a digital plane into the real environment. –Bryan Pieper

AR is the introduction of a digital plane into the real environment whereas VR is the introduction of the environment in a digital plane. So it's a reverse of it. When you have a headset on with VR, you are completely in that environment whereas in AR you have the real world and you are layering on top of that. I think the best example of AR is Pokemon Go. When that became huge, it had an augmented reality component to it that was fairly simple. It put little monsters in the world in front of you using your phone as a viewfinder. We love to build that kind of creative, immersive environment in VR where you are taking yourself out of the world. –Bryan Pieper, KNOCK

What is the difference between worlds and realities? How does virtual reality intersect with online virtual games?

Try to reach people and make them think about what they get out of their time inside virtual reality. –Jon Jacobs

I create worlds and not realities. When you go back twenty years, you see the movies like Tron where they depict these online worlds, which were the first form of a virtual reality. You saw this with online RPGs such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Those massive multi-player games had people actually living inside of the online world. On the other hand, there were a couple of worlds such as Second Life and Entropia Universe and these were less gamified, but more focused on the true value of your avatar as a reflection of you. Today the Oculus and the Hololens are the virtual reality systems that most people are familiar with. Try to reach people and get them to think about the value of their time. All digital gaming has been so immersive that people have blown hundreds and millions of hours around the world unproductively. It’s great fun and developers develop more and more immersive games that are literally designed to take as much of your life as possible. From a marketing perspective, I try to reach people and actually make them think about what they get out of their time inside virtual reality. –Jon Jacobs, Virtual Reality

What are some examples of companies using AR/VR technologies?

Both of these technologies allow you to take something complex and to allow you to understand it better. –Brandon Middleton

One example that I have is the Tesla factory and showroom. They use AR/VR technologies to explain to their potential buyers what is going on under the hood. Both of these technologies allow you to take something complex and to allow you to understand it better. If you are already a fan of a product then being able to understand it at a deeper level gives you that emotional attachment to it and may allow you to sell more. With the technology, you also have a chance to de-mystify things. –Brandon Middleton, Microsoft

How do you capture data points related to VR and AR technologies?

You have to build applications, which sit on VR or AR and the way that you build those applications is monitoring what the user is doing whether that is how they are moving their head or -- if you have built a virtual world -- what pieces they are interacting with the most. In terms of how to collect data, you need to work backwards from what your desired outcome is. You need to figure out what data is important to you. –Brandon Middleton, Microsoft