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5 kinds of customers to target using VR marketing

10th Aug 2017
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Virtual reality (VR), alongside augmented reality (AR), has emerged as the newest kid on the technology block. It is yet to gain ground in the mainstream, but more and more people are becoming aware of its applications. The business world is not one to get left behind.

According to an AR/VR report compiled by iContact, VR makes brands seem “forward-thinking and modern” to consumers. Citing a Greenlight VR survey, the report says that more than half or 53% of respondents are likely to buy from businesses employing the medium.

So, if you want to build street cred for your brand, you can customize content around this tech. But first, be honest with yourself. Is your target customer the kind who would appreciate the virtual reality experience? Use this quick guide to find out.

Luxury car lovers

Premium car makers face the challenge of convincing their target market that the “perceived luxury and performance of their brand is really worth the dollar value,” points out this article on Forbes. So it only made sense that Volvo invited people to test drive its XC90 SUV using virtual reality. And this happened back in 2014. The experience only required a Google Cardboard as the headset and a smartphone.

Volvo set an example for even higher-end car companies when it comes to introducing new models and highlighting specs. Does throwing VR into the scene mean people will immediately be willing to part with their money? Certainly not. But it does help bring in the wow factor and add cred to luxury vehicle brands.

DIY homemakers

First, there were virtual reality showrooms. Now, there are virtual reality home projects that people can do themselves. The disruptive tech that is VR is enabling individuals to reimagine their homes. For example, Lowe’s Innovation Labs allows homeowners to learn DIY skills and complete projects in a VR setting. Through Holoroom, a skills-training clinic, the company offers an immersive environment for customers to visualize home improvements such as bath and kitchen renovations.

Though this kind of application seems difficult and expensive, it is worth considering if you are targeting clients in the real estate sector. Imagine how much time and effort you can save if VR viewing is possible. And don’t VR open houses sound exciting, too?

Frequent travelers

The hospitality industry is already ripe for VR adoption. Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts lets potential clients download and view 360-degree videos of its different hotels and destinations across Asia Pacific. Marriott is testing a program called VRoom Service, which will allow guests to request a Samsung Gear VR headset and view “VR postcards” in their room. The service will be available to them for 24 hours. Think about giving guests a virtual trip while they are on a trip — but maybe stuck in the hotel room because of bad weather.

Fitness buffs

VR tools helping consumers improve their health and fitness is not far-fetched. In fact, the concept is closely connected to the gaming territory from which VR originated. Opportunities abound in this area. You can create multiple environments in which people can immerse themselves. For instance, Holodia lets users bike, row, or work out in a fitness center. Black Box VR claims it is the world’s first virtual reality gym.

If anything, these applications can solve the declining attendance issues in gyms and fitness centers. Keep in mind: customers now want to be able to exercise wherever, whenever.

Millennials and boomers

Sometimes, you have to go beyond categories based on industry or product type. Look at the most-talked about generation by marketers, the millennials. In the United States, they are the largest in terms of population at 92 million. They are the first digital natives — a millennial co-created Facebook, one of the most engaging platforms the tech world has ever seen yet. Time and again, this generation has shown its openness to new experiences. It follows that you have to know the millennials you are targeting, so you can offer a meaningful VR experience to them. Because, certainly, not everyone has the same priorities even if FOMO* is real for the Gen Y.

Okay, but how about boomers? Ages 51 to 69, they are still the biggest spenders according to recent Forrester stats. If you are targeting this generation, you may have to take on a different approach. Adoption can be challenging. But when it comes to VR, there is no age limit.

* Fear of missing out

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