Will Marketers Find VR a Soon-to-be Reality? Maybe Not.

February 14th, 2017 by | No Comments

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If you’re a marketer who’s been long hoping to integrate virtual reality (VR) in his marketing campaign, you might want to put your plans on hold. Forrester Research recently published Virtual Reality Isn’t Ready for Marketing Yet, which finds that “critical-mass consumer adoption of high-end VR headsets is five years away,” although 360-degree video “will flourish on low-to-mid-end VR devices in the meantime.”

Augmented reality, which was a breakout mass hit last year through Pokemon Go, involve generated objects that are laid on top of real scenes inside a mobile device viewer. Meanwhile, mixed reality is a form of augmented reality where 3D objects are superimposed on real scenes.

Although the Forrester report recognizes augmented and mixed reality, it doesn’t make any predictions on when these will be widespread. The study also reiterates that augmented and mixed reality are not immersive, so they technically aren’t considered VR. The study acknowledges the potential of VR in creating new kinds of storytelling that offer new, more immersive opportunities for marketing, but it still has a long way to go. Forrester reports that in 2016, nearly half of US online adults said that they’ve never heard of VR headsets and that they didn’t see how it can be useful in their lives.

In the current environment, the Forrester study recommends that VR headsets need to be more affordable and available to the public, especially if marketers are looking to reach beyond VR’s current core market of gaming enthusiasts. Furthermore, the kind of content and the ways that VR materials are distributed need to increase significantly in order to support the would-be-plugged-in consumers who are waiting for quality content before deciding to purchase a headset. Finally, brands can hugely benefit from investing in the technology only if they want to be known as a pioneering brand. Eventually, VR can transform the nature of advertising, as well as how social networks and other industries such as travel or intelligence work. However, that marketing future is not here yet.

About the author:
Jehan S. Ismael is a full-time writer and editor for a leading Internet Marketing firm. She has a love-hate relationship with food, likes to listen to rock and rap music, and enjoys reading books by self-absorbed writers like J.D. Salinger and Anthony Bourdain.

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