Marketing is always looking for the next step forward. That step is here — but it’s more like a giant leap!
That giant leap is virtual reality. Once a back-burner project for video games in the 1990s, VR has made a major comeback over the past few year — and it’s slated to grow exponentially more every year coming.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Just check out the stats for yourself in below infographic which comes courtesy of WebpageFX!
Breaking down VR marketingThe first part of this infographic glosses over important VR terminology. That’s so you can stay up-to-date with the latest in VR advancements and understand the context of the infographic itself.
Next, you’ll find a breakdown of major VR brands in the world. The most recognized name is Oculus Rift, a project that started in 2012 and arguably started the VR comeback we’re experiencing today. Today, it’s owned by Facebook.
Google Cardboard has outsold Oculus Rift though, partly because of its more affordable price. Cardboard has only been around for a few years, but it’s making huge strides in VR by pairing with Google’s Nexus and Pixel lines of smartphones.
After that, we have Gear. This is a major bid from Korean tech giant Samsung to compete against Google and Facebook.
HTC also threw its hat into the ring with Vive, one of the most advanced and expensive VR systems in the world.
Last, Sony laced up its gloves with PlayStation VR, which couples with their PlayStation game consoles.
Along with other off-brands, that brings VR adoption to 43 million users worldwide. Additionally, 44% of all people are “very interested” in VR, and 35% of people have at least heard of Oculus Rift.
On top of that, Google’s Cardboard app has been downloaded 10 million times. In fact, 98% of all VR headsets sold in the world are now mobile devices, and Google Play hosts more than 250 VR-specific apps.
All of that is impressive, but VR marketing is still in its infancy.
However, the stats on its ad successes are through the roof.
VR ads have a 12.5% installation rate with a 29.8% overall success rate. Compare that to mobile and desktop, and VR is the clear winner.
Plus, VR adoption is expected to grow almost four-fold over the next two years with a worldwide audience of 171 million by 2018.
All of that makes sense when you consider the buzz behind VR.
81% of people who try VR would tell their friends about it, and 73% of Generation Z — the generation after Millennials — say they’re interested in VR.
Additionally, 66% of consumers say they want VR shopping experiences, essentially bringing department stores to them via the Internet.
53% of adults say they would buy from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn’t as well, but only 30% of B2C companies on the Forbes 2000 will use VR marketing in 2017.
Surprised? We expected that last number to be larger too.
That’s because VR offers immersive storytelling, unparalleled product demonstrations, and an excellent opportunity for content marketing expansion, among other advantages.
Plus, when you consider the success of VR with previous brands, it’s hard to deny VR’s importance to marketing as a whole.
Destination British Columbia created an experience of the Great Bear Rainforest and got a 5% increase in visitation from one marketing move.
Marriot offered VR room service and “postcards” that made 51% of their test group say they wished they stayed in Marriots more often.
Last, travel agency Thomas Cook offered a VR fly-over experience of New York City and earned 40% ROI with a 190% overall increase in NYC bookings.
Clearly, VR is the future.
But what does its future look like?
Goldman Sachs predicts VR will be a $35 billion industry by 2025. That includes $11.6 billion for video games, $5.1 billion for healthcare, $4.7 billion for engineering, and $4.1 billion for live events, among other sectors.
Fortunately, the diversity of VR brands will probably drive prices down in the near future. In addition, VR brands will most likely consolidate in the future to offer fewer products, but at a higher quality.
Regardless of what happens, one point is absolutely clear: Virtual reality is essential to marketing.