Immersive technologies: how to cut through the noise
27 February 2017
Adrian Leu, CEO INITION
Magical. Mesmerising. Personal. These qualities allow virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality to reach the consumer in powerful new ways, says Adrian Leu, INITION’s chief executive. They can help brands overcome the challenges of signal, distance and time by creating differentiation, presence and engagement in a noisy digital world.
“Immersive technologies offer a distinctive, innovative, personalised, engaging and interactive way of experiencing a brand,” says Leu. Consumers invariably seek control in their daily lives and he points out that immersive technologies can enhance this, creating experiences they want to enjoy again and again. Their multi-dimensional and multi-sensorial nature he sees as key. “It’s about putting the consumer in the experience and talking with them – not to them.”
In the retail industry, for example, he sees immersive technologies bringing new life to bricks and mortar stores. Instead of simply offering goods in exchange for cash, these will allow customers to benefit from full experiential engagement with the brand. This would help retailers to better bridge the gap between their physical and digital presence as well as providing extremely high value in both the attention and experience economies. Perhaps even triggering new business models?
If people’s current perception of virtual reality is a bulky cabled headset, Leu charts a trajectory towards more natural controls, portability, miniaturisation and sensor rich devices. Far from being a fad, he thinks these technologies are here to stay – and brands need to think about long-term strategic investment to integrate them with existing tools and systems.
Alongside careful planning, it’s important to experiment as an aid to adoption and integration. But he cautions that brands should be mindful that hardware costs are usually dwarfed by the expense of creating content. Distribution, publishing and ROI also need to be considered. He advises brands to plan for the journey ahead.
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