Home Online Business Blog The Future of Marketing With Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Immersive Experiences and Brand Engagement

The Future of Marketing With Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Immersive Experiences and Brand Engagement

27 Mar
Shopping with smart phone and augmented reality app showing a dress.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) aren’t just for games anymore. These technologies provide innovative ways for brands to engage with their audiences. Marketers can create better customer experiences and open up new avenues for immersive storytelling and personalized marketing strategies.

In this post, we will explore how AR and VR technologies can be applied in marketing to drive better brand awareness, customer engagement and much more.

Immersive Brand Experiences With AR and VR

Immersive brand experiences powered by AR and VR technologies can create opportunities at all points of the customer journey and foster deeper brand loyalty and connections.

Creating Interactive Product Demonstrations and Virtual Showrooms

AR and VR allow customers to explore and interact with a product immersively. For instance, AR apps let customers see how a product works in real time, exploring its features and functionalities by simply pointing their smartphone at the product or a marker. Customers can explore how a product will look in their home before buying it.1

VR places the customer in a completely immersive environment where they can interact with virtual products as if they were real. This level of interaction helps boost customer satisfaction by demonstrating the value and utility of products in a way that static images or videos can’t match.1

Customers can navigate virtual showrooms from the comfort of their own homes. These virtual spaces can be designed to mimic the look and feel of a brand's physical store or to create entirely new, imaginative environments that showcase products in unique ways. Virtual showrooms are particularly effective in industries like automotive, furniture, and real estate, where the spatial context can help customers make informed purchasing decisions.1

Augmented Reality for In-Store Experiences

Customers can try on clothes, accessories, or makeup virtually using AR technology, such as AR mirrors, or their mobile devices. This technology uses cameras to capture the customer's image and then superimposes digital images of the products onto their reflection or image so they can see how they would look without physically trying anything on. This can significantly reduce the time and effort involved in trying on multiple items.2

AR product try-ons extend to accessories, furniture, and even home improvements. Customers can see how a new watch would look on their wrist, how a couch would fit in their living room, or how a shade of paint would change the look of their room, all through their smartphone screens. This interactive and immersive experience eliminates the guesswork involved in online shopping.2

Virtual Reality Simulations

VR can create immersive travel experiences that allow potential travelers to explore destinations, hotels, and attractions in virtual reality before booking their trip. These simulations can provide a 360-degree view of locations, making them feel like they are actually there. This powerful marketing tool for travel companies can also help customers make travel decisions.3

Consumers can attend concerts, conferences, and other events in a virtual space. This opens up new possibilities for event organizers to reach global audiences and for the audience to experience events they can’t physically attend—creating a sense of presence and participation in virtual worlds that is remarkably close to being there in person.3

One of VR’s most popular marketing uses is in real estate. Potential buyers can walk through homes, explore layouts, and customize elements like furniture and wall colors virtually. Buyers and sellers working in a virtual environment can save time, and it expands the market reach of properties to potential buyers who live far away.3

Engaging Marketing Campaigns and Interactive Content

AR and VR offer companies unique ways to involve consumers directly in their brand narratives. Customers can go from passive observers to active participants and brand advocates.

Gamification in Marketing: AR-Based Games and VR Challenges

Gamification applies game-design elements and principles in non-game contexts. Brands increasingly incorporate augmented reality into mobile apps and marketing campaigns to create interactive experiences that entertain while subtly promoting products or services.4

Virtual reality challenges immerse users in branded environments where they can participate in activities or solve puzzles. This approach can be especially effective for product launches or experiential marketing campaigns, offering memorable experiences to target audiences that drive brand affinity and social sharing.4

Interactive Storytelling: Creating Narratives in Augmented and Virtual Environments

Interactive storytelling in AR and VR takes brand narratives beyond traditional mediums and allows consumers to experience stories in a dynamic and personal way. In augmented environments, brands can overlay digital content onto the real world, guiding users through stories that unfold as they move through physical spaces. Virtual environments create fully realized worlds where users can explore narratives at their own pace, make choices that influence the story, and truly feel like they're part of the brand's universe.5

Augmented Reality Filters and Lenses on Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms were among the first to embrace the possibilities of augmented reality filters and lenses. Users can interact with brands in fun and shareable ways. These filters can transform users' appearances, place them in branded environments, or let them interact with virtual objects. Brands can create custom filters to promote new products, celebrate events, or increase their visibility. These AR marketing experiences encourage users to spread branded content organically across their networks, increasing the brand’s reach and engagement.6

User-Generated Content and Community and Customer Engagement in AR/VR Campaigns

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most authentic types of marketing. Incorporating UGC into AR/VR campaigns can encourage consumer behavior and community engagement on a deeper level. Users can create their own content using branded augmented reality filters or virtual reality environments and then share it on social media or within the brand's platform. Potential customers can see real people interacting with the brand in creative and personalized ways. Campaigns that successfully leverage UGC can generate significant buzz, as content created by users is often viewed as more trustworthy and relatable than traditional advertising.7

Discover the Future of Marketing

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The Online MS in Marketing is a personally tailored experience for working professionals, designed to help you achieve your specific career goals. In this program, you’ll develop unique analytical, strategic and creative skills that comprise your first step toward a dynamic new career trajectory. William & Mary’s world-class faculty provides an unparalleled education that trains you not only in the tools and techniques successful marketers use but the mindset required for strategic, effective, empathetic leadership. At William & Mary, you’ll prepare to thrive in an ever-changing field, build a culture of openness on your marketing team, and view challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities.

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