I recently shared my take of how travel marketers are using virtual reality to promote their businesses in a Travel Weekly feature article. In this follow up piece, I share three strategic questions marketers seeking to create travel-based virtual reality experiences should consider.
Who is my target audience and what are my ROI expectations?
In our consumer research, we’ve seeing strong interest in travel-based experiences by Gen Z and Millennials, who will be strong early adopters of virtual reality-enabled headsets. Surprisingly, Baby Boomers (51+) are also very interested in experiencing new destinations through virtual reality with 38% saying they are likely to try it.
Despite strong consumer interest, travel marketers should carefully consider their company's strategic objectives, the potential benefits of a virtual reality campaign, and the associated production costs. While some brands are benefiting from impressive organic reach with their campaigns and millions of earned media impressions, not all companies experience the immediate ROI payout of what are currently very significant investments.
Which are the best delivery platforms for virtual travel experiences?
We’ve seen travel companies use many different systems - including mobile, PC- and console-tethered systems, and CAVE systems - to bring their clients to virtual destinations depending on numerous considerations. At the top of this list are budgets, availability of talent, and their overall sentiment toward technology adoption and experimentation.
What design best practices should you use for your virtual travel experiences?
Some degree of interactivity in virtual reality experiences are likely to be important because most people trying new experiences often expect some amount of interaction with what they are seeing and hearing. The necessity of interactivity for all types of travel-based experiences, however, is still an open question -- and one we will study in an upcoming white paper with EaseVR, a virtual reality analytics solution for behavioral researchers.
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