Immersive Technology in Business Leads to Digital Marketing Career Opportunities

EKU Online > Immersive Technology in Business Leads to Digital Marketing Career Opportunities

Future marketers will have a lot of tools for interacting with consumers and getting their brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace. One of these tools, immersive technology, includes the integration of virtual content with consumers’ physical environment to blur the line between the physical and virtual worlds. Marketers need to be aware of how to best engage with consumers, who can access almost limitless information through their digital devices, in the online environment where they regularly search for information, evaluate products, purchase items, and post product reviews. Immersive technology can help reach these consumers in both virtual and physical environments. The three types of immersive technology currently utilized by marketers are augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality allows consumers to interact with digital content that is superimposed in their physical environment. As a result, digital resources are placed throughout the physical world for consumers to interact with in their daily lives. One example of this technology Pokémon Go, is the popular game where individuals catch Pokémon that appear in their physical environment.

IKEA recently launched an augmented reality app that allows consumers to see how IKEA furniture fits and looks in their living space. Having access to this technology is beneficial to both IKEA and consumers. It minimizes the possibility for cognitive dissonance (buyer’s remorse) from purchasing a piece of furniture, assembling it, and finding it does not fit or match the current design of the room. Augmented reality has become so advanced that one application, mTailor has been found to be more accurate in measuring the size of consumers for tailored clothing than an actual in-person tailor. Poushneh and Vasquez-Parraga found augmented reality influenced the experience of consumers using this technology in a retail setting including their perceptions of product quality, satisfaction levels, and willingness to buy. These insights about how augmented reality positively impacts the consumer shopping experience suggest more of this technology will be utilized by brands and consumers in the marketplace moving forward.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality simulates a real-world experience through an interactive virtual environment. There are two types of virtual reality: non-immersive and immersive. Non-immersive virtual reality is displayed through the screen of a device whereas immersive virtual reality involves wearing equipment that allows the consumer to be encompassed by the environment.

Non-Immersive Virtual Reality

Minecraft is a popular videogame where users create their own world through building and editing the surrounding environment. This game can be played individually, or consumers can interact in this world with other consumers online. With more than 238 million copies of the game being sold, it is considered the best-selling video game of all time. Being such a popular game, brands have recently tried to capitalize on the high number of active users regularly participating in this environment. As a result, the parent company of Minecraft has put in barriers to prevent brands from using the platform as a marketing opportunity.

Immersive Virtual Reality

Oculus is a new gaming console that utilizes hand equipment and headgear to immerse consumers in a virtual environment. This gaming console has grown in popularity and consumers feel as though they are actually in the virtual world when playing on Oculus. Recently, Oculus has started testing advertising in their virtual worlds.

Mixed Reality (MR)

Lastly, mixed reality is the place where the virtual and physical worlds coincide. Real and virtual objects are presented together in this environment. One example of this technology is Microsoft’s Hololens, which allows users to wear a headset with lenses that project holograms they can manipulate in their physical environment.

For brands to succeed now and in the future marketers need to be well-versed in emerging trends and digital advancements, such as immersive technology. EKU’s 100% online bachelor of business administration in marketing provides students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to help companies succeed. Students gain valuable experience with cutting-edge communication strategies and digital technology that can be utilized in advertising campaigns as well as turn them into a highly desirable job candidate.

By: Dr. James Robert Blair, Assistant Professor of Marketing


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References

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