The demand for virtual reality experiences is growing — companies like Facebook, Samsung, & Google are largely invested in the future of the technology. With the rise of Mobile solutions, widespread use of VR isn’t dependent upon top-of-the-line head-mounted displays (HMDs for short). Thanks to the accessibility of smartphones, average consumers can now get in on the VR fun — and marketers should be paying attention.
VR has the potential to disrupt every sector, and companies that hope to reach Millennials in particular need to start utilizing the tech sooner rather than later. Young people value experiences over material products, and virtual reality covers all the bases.
Where the Physical and Virtual Worlds Converge
Looking at the data, sales of VR headsets could surpass half a billion in sales by 2025. As industry leaders such as Google and Sony continue to promote their offerings, VR will become ubiquitous in consumers lives. And as awareness grows, digital marketers are already finding ways to implement these experiences to B2B.
Affordable headsets like Google Cardboard can support a wide variety of smartphones, making it easy to provide a fun, engaging, and inspiring brand experience through VR. Offering virtual tours of the factories where your products are manufactured, to a full-scale model of a new facility you’re constructing, to creating an immersive experience of how your workers handcraft your products, are far more compelling than 2D forms of marketing.
Telling the story of your brand through VR provides a huge competitive advantage, particularly as the technology becomes more popular. Storytelling is largely what marketing has evolved into, and virtual reality opens the door to tell a brand's story in a completely new medium.
4 Ways VR is Impacting B2B
1. Architectural Visualization
Architecture has been one of the first industries to utilize virtual reality with a strategic business-facing approach. Companies such as VIMaec are offering a suite of tools that provides Virtual Information Modeling through visualization, data analytics and collaboration to the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. The company was also recently featured on Fox Business in an episode of Office Spaces. The show leveraged VIMaec and virtual reality in the construction of their new television studio; you can check out the video here.
2. Virtual Workspaces
A VR social productivity app, Bigscreen, is providing a tool for remote teams to collaborate together in virtual offices. They’re currently developing a business-facing solution for video conferencing and other tools.
As VR becomes more and more mainstream, companies like Lowe's are creating VR experiences detailing different DIY projects for customers. I could see the same type of experience being used to teach employees new skills, or how to use new equipment.
4. VR At Tradeshows And Events
VR headsets are still a relatively new concept that most people have seen or heard about, but have yet to try. Setting up a mobile VR station inside your booth or at an event is a great way to attract people and attention. Here’s a 360 degree video tour of this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, try to count how many VR headsets you see.
The future is now, and marketers need to start thinking outside the box and step into the 3D world of VR, utilize the technology to diversify their business strategy, and create VR ready content as soon as possible to demonstrate premium product differentiators, giving customers an immersive experience.
Denis Mclnerny. MarketScale, May 2017.