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​Is this the time for VR marketing?

Published on: 12-Oct-2020

With people spending less time in store and more time online, there would seem to be potential for using virtual reality (VR) technology to acquire and engage consumers. Research from Nanyang Business School suggests VR marketing can help to promote consumer learning and brand trust.

Writing for WARC, Dr Wong King Yin, lecturer in the marketing division of Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University, outlines a study carried out in Taiwan.

In this, participants were shown either a video or a VR experience about a 3-star hotel (the information provided in both was the same) before being asked to consider if they would choose the hotel for an imaginary trip and to recall the information they learnt about the hotel.

The result of the study shows that the positive effect of media richness on product learning is stronger among the participants who had the VR experience than those who watched the video, suggesting that VR marketing is more effective than the 2D marketing media in facilitating consumer learning.

“Specifically, using structural equation modelling to analyse our data, we found that there is a 96.2% chance that a person picked at random from the VR group would undergo a stronger positive influence by media richness and recall more product information of the hotel than a person picked at random from the video group,” Dr Wong writes.

The participants were also asked to rate their level of trust in the hotel after watching the video or having the VR experience.

Again, the positive effect of product learning on building consumer trust was found to be stronger among the participants who had the VR experience than those who watched the video.

“Specifically, there is a 94.6% chance that a person picked at random from the VR group will undergo a stronger positive influence by product learning and give a higher trust rating to the hotel than a person picked at random from the video group,” Dr Wong reports.

But, she adds, the effectiveness of VR marketing may depend on an individual’s “thinking style” and how they tend to use their imagination when processing information.

Source: WARC, 12 Oct 2020

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