One of 2016’s biggest marketing highlights was watching Pokemon Go take off. I remember going down to the beach just after this happened, and it was virtually impossible not to find people walking around staring down at their phone like this…
Obsessed with this phenomenon. But this is just the tip of the iceberg on everything that’s going on in the background.
For instance, did you know Mark Zuckerberg paid $2 billion for this technology in March, 2014…
It’s called an Oculus Rift, and it was released on March 28th, 2016 after a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to fund its development.
That’s more than the $1 billion he paid for the 13-person app, Instagram, in April 2012… which is now eclipsing that in sales on an annual basis.
He clearly sees this as a huge trend.
Did you know the world’s first ever virtual reality cinema sprang to life in Amsterdam this year? (we’re expecting many more to come to life in 2017). I’m not joking…
Appropriately named The Virtual Reality Cinema, the room features 360-degree swivel chairs so you can spin right round and catch all of the action. Each customer is loaned a Samsung Gear VR, a Galazy S6, and a pair of Senheiser HD 201 headphones to enjoy the virtual reality.
Here’s the sort of stats that are being predicted by the statistics portal, statista: that numbers will jump from around 200,000 in 2014 to a projected 90 million in 2017, and up to 171 million in 2018.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is a huge trend to keep your eyes open for. It’s not just home entertainment that will fundamanetally change: theme parks, sports, shopping, you name it – virtual reality will have its fingerprints on virtually every social activity you can imagine.
So how can you as a business owner take advantage of this?
Well, if you’re a retailer, you could follow in Ikea’s footsteps who have already taken on augmented reality and are using it as a way for consumers to visualize what items would look like in their own homes before they make a purchase.
Real estate firms are creating interactive tours of homes. Auto companies have created virtual reality to repair and create cars. How will it impact your industry? Time will tell, but please don’t ignore this trend or you’ll be kicking yourself.
You may have noticed there’s no shortage of content available right now. And for good reason – as there is no cost to share content, it is in oversupply.
Take the music industry for example. A decade ago they would make their money selling their songs. These days, most music is listened to for free, as you can see by the declining CD revenues…
Instead, musicians generate income from concerts and merchandise. They no longer rely on their content for revenue, and instead generate it from experiences.
Concerts, sporting events and adventure travel are booming – newspaper sales are not. Just look at the post 2000 decline here, even when it takes into account online sales…
Going forward, you can expect all content to move towards zero cost, and revenue to instead be generated via a number of other factors…
Experiences: Instead of offering a monthly paid newsletter to your members, offer physical events where your community can bond.
Connection: Look for opportunities to connect and engage with your market. For instance, perhaps create a special app where you can communicate with members real time, and offer them specific advice that you can charge for.
Easy to Use: Uber broke through in the local travel market by creating an app that was easy to use. The iPhone cut through because they simplified the ability to do more with your phone. Look at the things that are complex within your industry and ask the question: how can I make them easier?
Exclusive Access: Think of your favorite sports star… would you be willing to pay a premium in order to get exclusive access to them? So will your customers. They may not want to wade through heaps of information from them, but a percentage will certainly pay for access.
Know How: Your prospects are far more likely to pay for someone who can do it for them, rather than a piece of content – because it simplifies the process and makes it faster for them to get the results they’re after.
It really all boils down to supply and demand.
There is now an ample supply of content, so it has lost it’s value.
But there is a big need for those who can quickly make sense of that content and provide you with a quick solution.
That’s one thing I do for business owners – creating strategic plans and helping prioritise the next step.
The ability for you to zone in and specifically target your customer has never been greater, thanks to Facebook. Take this simple water filter for example…
Previously, if you wanted to advertise it you would send out some flyers. Or run an ad in the newspaper. Or go to your local farmers market.
But with the targeting ability of Facebook ads, you can get far more specific.
For example, you can target on virtually everything from…
Demographics: location, home ownership, language, parents (including the age of a child), home ownerships and home type.
Connections: such as people who follow your fan page, use your app, or have attended an event.
And interests: including hobbies and activities, entertainment interests, business and industry, technology, food and drink, shopping and fashion, family and relationships, fitness and wellness and sporting interests.
Together with custom audiences: such as people who have visited your web site (even specific pages, or those who have been on there for a certain amount of time), and your customer file (just upload your email list and you can start promoting directly to them). Or even those who have watched a video or engaged with you in some way on Facebook.
And finally via behaviors: including whether they’ve bought a new vehicle, the type of bank they are with or primary credit card, the type of products they purchase – pet owners for example, frequent travelers, the type of mobile device they use, business to business customers and type of industries, sporting events they attend, whether they are a recent home buyer or a new mover, and what their job role is.
Now back to the water filter. Using Facebook’s super-targeting options, here’s a few angles we could head down…
Recent home buyers: You’ve bought your new home, but is the water old and toxic?
Vegetarian: Is bad water worse for you than red meat?
Health and Beauty Buyer Profiles: Because a buyer is a buyer is a buyer.
Cough and Cold Relief: How toxic water triggers coughs and colds.
Buyers of Baby Toys: What toxic water does to babies.
And we’re only just scratching the surface here.
Never has the potential to enter the conversation the customer is having in their mind been greater. You can virtually tailor your ads so they “pop” and are almost impossible for them to ignore.
Of course, very few people who advertise on Facebook are doing this. Are you?