Disruptive technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and high-velocity marketing platforms are on the rise. They are being used as the gas that fuels the customer engagement engine to drive memorable user experiences globally. The hope is that customers will intrinsically tie the feeling of innovation, excitement and efficiency that they’ve obtained with these marketing technologies, to their company’s brand.
Where B2B marketers are currently lacking is in using AR and VR technologies to actually communicate their unique business differentiation in a way that accelerates the sales and marketing cycle. Instead, they are merely using these engagement platforms as video game façades to drive people into their booth; which is a missed opportunity!
Creating authentic 3D AR experiences and relevant VR immersive environments for the B2B marketplace is a very specialized high-end user experience that takes time for content creators to properly develop. The goal is to overcome a long-standing hurdle that sales and marketing departments face when they have large and complex solutions that require imagination to transmit its impending business benefits.
Authentic Augmented Reality
In using augmented reality, intangible digital assets overlay over tangible assets to communicate how solutions work. Showing the implementation of how software works and visualizing it in the user’s environment so they can ‘see’ it work, provides a level of knowledge transfer and comfort that results in value that is integral in the selling process. Imagine the customer’s reaction when they see your products sitting in their lab, data center, office, or manufacturing plant – even though the product is not physically there.
In some cases, the product appears in a specific location right there in the camera view, but the user can walk around it, viewing it from any angle. It is a fully scaled three-dimensional digital representation of the physical product, and the customer can gain an appreciation of the dimensions and see how it fits within their space. What is even more compelling and valuable is to see how the product operates, and what the workflows would be, so that they can understand the value proposition in the context of their specific circumstances and business environment.
Relevant Virtual Reality
In the case of virtual reality, users are placed inside a virtual space, allowing them to move around and interact with that environment as if it were the real, physical world. For instance, you can demonstrate how a laboratory would look when a company’s new instrumentation and automation solutions are placed in the lab – demonstrating human workflow as well as the equipment workflow.
In some advanced VR environments, users can interact with objects in the virtual environment (such as computers, or lab instruments, or pumps, etc.) and not only see how they fit and operate, but also obtain useful and relevant information about their core differentiated value. In these kinds of VR applications, multiple users can explore the same virtual space simultaneously, just as if multiple people were touring a new data center or hospital together, in real-time.
For B2B marketers, the impact of a fully immersive VR experience is immensely powerful For B2B marketers, the impact of a fully immersive VR experience is immensely powerful, transforming the prospect from a viewer/listener to an active, integral participant in a resonant narrative. Their individual experience develops both a real understanding of the value message and a unique relationship to the way that the value story unfolds. These memorable experiences lead to much deeper connections than can be achieved using more passive marketing strategies.
The Power Of A Marketing Platform
B2B marketers shouldn’t let the term ‘platform’ scare them. It’s merely a technology structure made up of integrated features that allow your company to do its job in a MUCH more efficient and effective manner. Companies commonly use marketing automation platforms, inbound marketing platforms and sales presentation platforms, but what is missing within the marketing technology landscape is a customer engagement platform that creates and disseminates interactive customer experiences to anyone, anywhere on any device.
Now, imagine the HUGE competitive edge offered by authentic 3D AR experiences and interactive VR engagements as part of your existing high-velocity marketing platform.
The power of deploying applications on a high-velocity marketing platform is that it allows B2B companies to create content ONCE and deploy it EVERYWHERE, reaching an entire ecosystem of sales, marketing, partners, customers, and others who need to consistently communicate a unique value differentiation – and drive sales for the company. These platforms also offer the ability to add ongoing innovations and efficiencies over time, such as 3D augmented reality experiences, virtual reality, user analytics, 3D product catalogs, lab configurators, data-driven calculators, CRM integration, social sharing, interactive white boarding, customer text editing tools, and much more.
When we use innovative technologies to connect with prospects and customers on an emotional level, we transcend the traditional marketing and sales relationships and cultivate customers who are enthusiastic about what our solutions will do for them. Augmented reality, virtual reality and high-velocity marketing platforms are facilitating these immersive experiences for B2B marketers, amplifying their customers’ receptiveness to key value propositions across the entire customer lifecycle. There is no greater accomplishment in marketing.