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Better for biz: Virtual reality OR on augmented reality?

There’s a lot of hype surround the concepts of augmented reality and virtual reality marketing. So what’s the difference, and which one should you be spending money on?

virtual reality VR

Beyond the hype

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the concepts of augmented reality and virtual reality marketing, especially if South by Southwest is any indicator, where people loudly clamored for a view of the latest technologies.

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However, hype doesn’t help you understand how it will help your business. That’s why the fine folks at eConsultancy put together a comparison of the two formats. The winner? Well, it depends.

Non-answers are no fun. However, the article does offer key facts to help you answer the question as it pertains to your own business. So, let’s dive in!

Augmented reality

Augmented reality enhances your view of the real world using computer-generated information. For example, IKEA knows that after taking two profanity-laced hours to put together one of their nightstands, consumers want to know it will look just right in the corner of their living room, so they built an app for that. Other augmented reality apps, like Yelp’s Monocle, superimpose information and reviews about your surroundings onto your surroundings.

If you’re in the business of eCommerce space, this type of marketing tool is invaluable for your consumers. It’s also a boon for businesses that can collect and utilize lots of data, such as web communities and social media sites.

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Augmented reality marketing has a few other logistical benefits. For one, many campaigns can integrate into an app format.

With everybody glued to their smartphones, you can tap into a captive audience. Plus, 84 percent of that audience uses their phones at the point of decision. Score!

Second, augmented reality marketing is a bit older, which means there are more best practice resources, like this one from Catchoom, to help you get started. This can come in handy if you’re working an early-stage startup where you have to wear many hats.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality creates a new reality through computer-generated sensory experiences. It also creates demand for some sweet new head gear.

vr sony gif

Because it can create these experiences, it’s a great tool for businesses trying to sell something that a consumer can’t fully experience before they buy it.

While you could test-drive a Volvo, your experience with their VR test-drive can be even more enriching! Most importantly, many businesses use virtual reality marketing to create an experience for their current or potential customers. Qantas Airlines helps airplane travelers survive long-distance flights using virtual reality simulations. Marriott allows you to travel to exotic destinations from the comfort of the hotel bed. Any business selling an experience as a way to augment or sell their service will eventually be invested in virtual reality marketing.

I say eventually because, for the moment, virtual reality marketing costs a lot of money. The camera equipment needed to produce 3D content can cost over 10,000 dollars, according to Wired. Plus, being the burgeoning trend that it is, consumers and businesses are just beginning to adopt the technology.

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As much as we all love the challenge of navigating uncharted territory, the journey into virtual reality marketing is a costly one.

If you’re a startup looking to dip into these marketing channels, your best bet for the moment seems to be augmented reality. Still, as price becomes less of an obstacle for virtual reality marketing, you’ll have to carefully consider which technology better communicates the values of your product and your brand.

#VRvsAugmented

Written By

Born in Boston and raised in California, Connor arrived in Texas for college and was (lovingly) ensnared by southern hospitality and copious helpings of queso. As an SEO professional, he lives and breathes online marketing and its impact on businesses. His loves include disc-related sports, a pint of a top-notch craft beer, historical non-fiction novels, and Austin's live music scene.

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