Information Technology

Leveraging Virtual, Augmented Reality In B2B Marketing

__
<p>Modern technologies are evolving rapidly and are changing the way we sell and interact with customers. Augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are also transforming B2B marketing, ensuring a more personalized B2C-like experience for businesses of all kinds such as those in real estate, retail, healthcare, automotive, travel, construction and more.</p><p>Here are 8 ways businesses can leverage AR and VR in B2B marketing :</p><p><strong>Remote Visualization and Demonstration of Products or Services</strong></p><p>Whether it is a product demonstration or sales presentation, businesses can provide a seamless virtual experience like creating a 3D space where customers can experience and interact with products or services in a near real virtual environment and even interact with products or services that are too complex to explain.</p><p><strong>Training and Educating Digitally</strong></p><p>To give a deeper understanding of the content being studied, virtual reality is convenient as it allows us to show inaccessible things. For example, to fly into space, visit another country, gain experience with complex equipment and so on.</p><p><strong>Tailoring Services to Specific Customer Needs</strong></p><p>Businesses can use AR and VR to create personalized products tailored to their customers preferences leading to a better buying experience.</p><p><strong>Real-time Behavioural Analytics</strong></p><p>AR and VR can help businesses to collect data, to measure and track every interaction made by the buyers during a virtual walkthrough. It can also help observe the buyer&rsquo;s behaviour and their engagement in real-time.</p><p><strong>Product Testing</strong></p><p>It can help in making a better product but also save time.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />Shortened sales cycles Longer B2B sales cycle can be reduced by providing stakeholders an immersive and realistic environment, leading to faster decision making and deals closure.<br />&nbsp;<br />Brand differentiator using AR/VR can help differentiate brands, as they would be able to show actual product presentations, rather than simply talking about it.</p><p><strong>Virtual Stores</strong></p><p>An immersive environment can be simulated to imitate that &ldquo;feel&rdquo; of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.</p><p>Businesses are already feeling the pressure to invest, given the amount of money, influence, and speculation surrounding emerging technologies. With AR and VR, businesses will improve their relationships with their customers while also providing personalized services and solutions.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="linkedin.com/in/sauriengandhi">Saurien Gandhi </a>&nbsp;</em></span>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Saurien Gandhi</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What is the future of virtual marketing?</span></h2><p>Think for a moment about inbound marketing. It is based on the idea that giving a shopper an incentive will make them loyal and build a relationship with them that could lead to sales in the future. Right now, inbound marketing is based on lead magnets like eBooks and white papers, as well as blog posts and email newsletters.</p><p>Imagine that instead of reading an eBook, you have a virtual expert in front of you who gives you the information you need. The things that could happen are really exciting.VR marketing lets businesses bridge the gap between what people see and what they do. I believe the future lies in hyper-personalization and providing immersive experiences at a deeper emotional level.</p><p>With attention spans getting shorter and fickler, marketers would need something that would not just hold someone's attention for a longer duration but also lead to conversion. With a plethora of choices available in most categories, experiences are what would differentiate one thing from another.</p><p>Virtual marketing with a focus on virtual experiencing products or experiencing locations such as resorts or vacation spots while sitting in your living room would get mainstream. With mobiles being such an integral part of everyone's lives, personalization and connecting with users through this channel will gather more steam.</p><p>Online tools that can use avatars and hold virtual exhibits, happy hours, and networking events will become more popular. Newer KPIs which would track immersion and in-experience engagement would be developed and tracked to understand better where the money flows and where the money grows.&nbsp;<br />Gamification has been a successful mode of user engagement even today, and its application will only increase for marketing and promoting products and services through AR.</p><p>VR would let people try out products and learn how to use them. Vendors would be simulating real-life applications, helping the buyer visualize the product in action, and cut major costs in shipping, costly demo equipment, and even marketing.</p><p>And that's just getting started.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How can AR be used to promote audience engagement?</span></h2><p>Let's understand audience engagement in AR through the lens of how companies engage with their customers using this technology.In the realm of marketing, augmented reality enables businesses to provide distinctive and immersive digital experiences as well as memorable consumer engagement.&nbsp;<br />Here's a list of some of the recent brands that have created AR-based experiences to promote audience engagement.</p><ul><li>If you have an iPhone with LiDAR sensors, you can use the Ikea Place app to take a picture of a whole 3D room plan and change it, including everything from window frames and door frames to wall colors and rugs.</li><li>Customers can "point at the product they are interested in on a display shelf, and the necessary information, including brand films and educational content, will show on a display screen," according to Amazon Salon, the company's first brick-and-mortar hair salon. To buy the products, customers can scan the relevant QR code on the shelf to go to the product page on Amazon.com.</li><li>Gucci has made a pair of virtual sneakers that can only be worn online and shared. The "digital-only" sneakers can be bought through the Gucci app, which makes it easy for people to get their hands on the high-end brand. Based on the rise of both virtual influencers and augmented reality (AR) filters on social media, this is one of the first examples of "digital fashion," a concept that some people think will soon become popular.</li><li>The Snaps AR tool "City Painter" lets users virtually spray paint murals above the shops on the street to decorate them. One of the most unique things about "City Painter" is that it is a shared augmented reality experience. This means that any changes one person makes are seen in real-time by everyone else using it.</li></ul><p style="padding-left: 40px;">"City Painter" is part of Snap's plan to map major landmarks to make a shared virtual world. As the tool improves, brands will be able to use it, especially tourism or travel brands that want to take advantage of people's desire to explore and try new things.</p><ul><li>Wayfair released a new version of its "View in Room" app that uses LiDAR technology to make shopping for home goods "more useful and fun." "In addition to LiDAR, Wayfair has added a Reality Kit to give users a more real and accurate view, such as letting them see products in the right lighting (based on real-time).</li><li>Sephora uses augmented reality (AR) to show customers how certain products, like lipstick or eyeshadow, might look on them. To do this, it scans the lips and eyes with Modiface technology and then adds different lip colors, eye shadows, false lashes, and so on. The tool's benefit is that users can try out many different products without having to do it in real life, which can be challenging and takes much time.</li><li>The virtual closet can be accessed through Kohl's snapcode or the lens carousel. Users can look at clothes, mix and match virtual outfits, and buy clothes on Snapchat.</li><li>L'Or&eacute;al's Modiface has a feature that lets customers try on makeup virtually through the brand's app. They can also try on makeup virtually on live photos and videos.</li><li>Adidas added AR try-on technology to its iOS app, which helps shoppers decide what to buy without going into a store. This augmented reality app tracks how your feet move, so you can see how sneakers look on your feet, with or without shoes, in real-time.</li><li>The Patron AR app lets people take a virtual tour of the company's distillery in Mexico. This allows them to see where the distillery came from and learn about its history.</li><li>In partnership with beauty influencer Roxette Arisa, MAC cosmetics released video tutorials on YouTube that could be shopped. As the tutorial plays, a "Try on" button appears below the video. This lets viewers try on different shades of lipstick as they watch the tutorial. Once they've decided, they can order the lipstick without leaving the app.</li><li>Speedo, a big name in swimwear, has released a mobile app that lets people try on goggles before they buy them.</li></ul><p style="padding-left: 40px;">AR is doing amazing things for many brands' sales and productivity. It is getting better at running its business and giving its customers a more interesting and fun time. Brands can market their products in new and interesting ways that bring in a lot of money.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the advantages of using augmented reality technology as an experiential marketing tool?</span></h2><p>Experiential marketing is a unique and effective way to get people to know your brand by letting them interact with it in person. Experiential marketing is different from traditional or online marketing because it uses all five senses to create emotions that stick with people and make them loyal to a brand. It lets you connect with your customers in a way that they can understand and helps build brand loyalty and awareness.</p><p>So, how can companies make their products stand out by using experiential marketing?&nbsp;<br />Experience-based marketing is improved by augmented reality technology, which lets customers interact with products or services in a more personalized way.</p><p><strong>Benefits of using AR in Marketing</strong></p><p>AR is bringing the shopping experience of a store into people's homes. Consumers can now see how a cute summer dress, a pair of sunglasses, or a pair of sneakers will look on them without actually trying them on. So, AR gives customers more confidence when they shop online. AR is also a great solution for people who want to avoid trying clothes or shoes that many others have touched before them. The technology lets people make decisions without having to touch samples of products that are on display in stores.</p><p>Augmented reality lets companies show customers what's great about their products or services instead of just sending them marketing materials. This helps them connect with their customers better. This helps brands give customers memorable experiences and cut down on expensive returns.</p><p><strong>Why using AR in experiential marketing is a good idea</strong></p><p><strong>Boost Sales</strong>: Let's say you want to change the way your room looks. You'll probably look at magazines and try to picture the furniture in the spaces you wish to. But most of the time, you end up with something completely different than what you wanted.</p><p>So, this is where augmented reality (AR) comes in. All you have to do is point your phone at the space you want to see, and you can see (virtually) how your room would look with all the things you want in it. This gets rid of the time-consuming trial-and-error process, which can often lead to disappointing results.&nbsp;<br />Don't pay for marketing that isn't necessary: AR technology is getting better, and gadgets and other tech accessories are getting cheaper. When compared to traditional ways of communication, AR helps you save a lot of money because it is less competitive, more targeted, and personal.</p><p><strong>Overcome Language Barrier</strong>: People are more interested in pictures than they are in words. AR can make the most of visualization and do a great job of communicating through moving images.</p><p><strong>Make social media content that goes viral</strong>: Because of how things are now, social media has never been more important. Augmented reality technologies could help your content get shared immensely. The content can be interesting enough to attract people in the suitable age range and helps get the right message across about the brand efficiently.</p><p><strong>Conduct Virtual Events</strong>: The immersive technology lets the audience virtually go to the events they want to see. AR platforms can help brands get people interested in and promote their products by hosting virtual corporate events, expos, and conferences.</p><p><strong>Make customer service better</strong>: The main goal of any business is to make sure customers are happy and, as a result, sell more. AR can help customers learn about things in a fun way and make better decisions in their favor. So, Augmented Reality can help make customers happier and boost sales.</p><p>In conclusion, businesses can use Augmented Reality to improve experiential marketing, make unique experiences, and set them apart from others.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Saurien Gandhi