Virtual Reality: Measuring User Experiences, Justifying Investment

Technology is changing at the speed of light and impacts from these changes are echoing through the emerging marketing space – virtual reality and augmented reality, specifically. Virtual reality has seen some strong adoption rates, as the variety of headset offerings have expanded and prices have started to drop. Marketers have the ability to develop a wide array of content when it comes to extended reality (VR, MR, AR) with different tiers of immersion offering various levels of yield. At The Digital Summit Detroit, Dave Meeker, Isobar US VP, laid out this framework and posed an interesting question: “As some of these robust extended reality experiences are developing and launching, how do we know that they are working?”

Marketers need proof that the programs they launch not only perform, but also perform well. It’s a pretty simple fact. Where it becomes more complex is when you are looking at a fairly new medium, like VR, where measurement opportunities haven’t been well defined or explored. Dave Meeker offered, “The value of VR is in the emotional experiences it can generate, so failure to generate the right emotions isn’t an option. Isobar has developed a new testing protocol integrating VR hardware and software into an emotion-sensing biometric research platform, permitting passive measurement of immersive user experiences (so the natural flow isn’t interrupted).” Part of the value of this type of measurement is the ability to address questions like – Is the design right? Are users getting it? Can we understand how the users are responding emotionally to our content and/or messages? Can we get the user into the right emotional state to transact? What else can we tell about the experience?


Detroit Summit

So, how do you clearly define value and ROI of branded Virtual Reality Campaigns? During the session, Dave shared a slide with the following formula = Investment / 100% Engagement + 100% Total Immersion Time + Compelling Experience = ROI (Brand Affinity + Emotion + Probability to Return). In order to truly put this formula to work, we needed the right data sets and a collaboration between Isobar and the MIT Media Lab was what brought this to life.

What came from that partnership was a mission to help brands understand consumers in ways that were never before possible. Meeker explains, “The philosophy is about coming up with creative solutions that will have real-world impact. To achieve that, we take a holistic view of the consumer, their needs and desires, and the impact that proposed inventions will have on them emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally.” What this ultimately leads to are profound insights that inspire unique strategies and solutions for brands looking to invest in this ever-growing space.

Dave Meeker continued his talk by demonstrating live examples of branded experiences, showing how truly immersive and engaging VR can be and how those experiences deliver on communicating key selling and emotional points for brands. The existing methods of gauging user experience, like traditional UX testing, copy testing or even “normal” biometric testing approaches, fall short in providing an overall summary of metrics that identify true emotional response and user experience. By utilizing Isobar’s new platform to test this type of experience and by measuring “multi-modal emotional experiences”, brands are provided a deeper look at how this technology elicits emotional engagement. Brands are now able to discover much more from the users’ experiences in order to gain additional learnings on what works…or doesn’t work for that matter.

Virtual Reality is no longer a thing of the future. It is officially here. However, in order for brands to leverage these emerging technologies to better reach consumers, they need to understand the why, what and how. Isobar has positioned itself to be able to meet this essential need and provide brands the tools they need to successfully enter into this new era. For more information on Isobar’s VR measurement and analytics platform, click here: