At Optera, we see Augmented and Virtual Reality (“AR/VR”) being at the cusp of changing from a trend to a mainstream marketing tool. 2017 and 2018 mark the mainstream adoptions of AR/VR and something that every B2B marketer needs to start paying attention to.
This post is focused on helping B2B marketers understand the business value of AR/VR. The intent is to give you the important information you need to understand AR/VR and make the right decisions on how and when to introduce AR/VR into your go to market mix.
Around 2009 a very smart friend of mine said that cloud computing was just a passing trend. It was simply a marketing wrapper on a form of consuming compute. Something that would go away once the marketing hype wore off.
Boy - was he wrong! I often look back on this conversation and try to understand why he mis-diagnosed cloud computing as a “trend”. He missed it because he did not understand what cloud computing could enable, including:
I see AR/VR in the same transformational situation. AR/VR will fundamentally change behavior and is something B2B marketers and sellers to begin to understand now. AR/VR’s impact will be:
So, what’s the business case for AR/VR. While its cool and fun to play with, we need a real reason to make these investments. Let’s take a real VR solution – Big Products – and look at the business case for making a VR investment.
Business Case Example: Big Products
Some products are simply large and the only way to understand them is to be in front of them. This usually involves travel and lots of it. In the graphic below, let’s assume the following costs for demoing the large-scale product (on the left) to be $500,000. Now compare that to an AR/VR investment of $150,000.
Life span (24 months). Cost per year = $ 75,000
The question becomes, can you avoid 15% of your current customer visits budget to make an AR/VR project break even? That’s meanings sending equipment to one less trade show, 10 fewer customer visits and a bit of extra influence on customers you could not reach each year.
We have learned that with any new technology the best way to get started is selecting one good, simple use case to try. Something that provides value but is not overwhelming to accomplish.
Step 1: Play with some AR/VR equipment. You need to do this to understand the capabilities of the AR/VR platforms and what is possible.
Step 2: Ask yourself this question. What physical activities does our business do that could move to AR/VR?
Step 3: Ask yourself this question. What could we do in AR/VR that would change the way our customers interact with us?
These three steps will help you start down the AR/VR path.
If you still have questions or need access to AR/VR equipment, contact us. Optera conducts a AR/VR Strategy Workshop to help your teams build a plan around AR/VR.