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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Businesses of all size have been exploring practical use cases of virtual reality because they recognize the power of this new medium in sales, marketing, training and more. Walmart is currently the world’s largest company by revenue and is implementing the technology enhancing their skills development sector – not a bad endorsement for VR.  

 

As other companies look to how they should be adopting VR, new implementations in training, architecture, interior designer, and engineering are using the tool as a step in their visual storytelling for sales and marketing.


VR Technology is Rapidly Evolving

A few years ago, the only VR headsets available were tethered and relied on external sensors to track movement. Although the headset produced a relatively high-quality VR experience, there were limitations to using the hardware as a practical business tool. The price to purchase the hardware, and have a powerful enough PC to run it was outside what most businesses were willing to spend on an unproven technology at the time, ranging from $1000-$2000 for the headset alone and a $5000 computer to run it.




Besides the steep pricing, tethered headsets drastically limit a client or customer’s mobility. Not only are you limited in the range of movement by the wires and external sensors, but for safety reasons, you needed an employee nearby at all times while someone was using it. And because of the complexity of the computer running it and the sensors, it wasn’t at all practical to move the rig to a client’s office, meaning they had to come to you. –

 

The evolution and hardware that has made VR in Sales and Marketing a practical possibility.  Mobile standalone headsets allow users to experience VR free from any external wires and sensors, letting you take VR with you to immerse your clients with ease no matter where the meeting is held. Among our A&D clients, we hear that about 80% of meetings take place at the client’s office so mobility is critical.




Now, you may be thinking, “VR sounds really great, but it sounds like it’s made for just a handful of industries”.

 

This is not true.

 

Virtual Reality is a tool that fosters a perfect understanding between the presenter and the audience. This could mean a one-on-one basis and can certainly be from one department to another.

 

Let’s dive into how VR could enhance your marketing and sales department.



VR in Sales and Marketing

It seems that the two departments stereotypically don’t get along due to differences in methods and end goals. However, VR could be used as a bridge between the two worlds by encouraging opportunities to collaborate with one another.


1. Captivate your Audience’s Attention

Consumers are still quite fascinated by VR and the notion of being transported into another environment. The advanced tech has moved past merely being a fad and into being a legitimate tool that can be used to drive prospect clients and close the sale faster.

 

Marketing campaigns that utilize VR can attract new leads when VR experiences are part of a landing page, or an in-store event. Not only does this set your business apart by being tech-forward, but the technology itself appeals to customers on a visceral level.. Presenting the same product’s story in an immersive way by showing your clients rather than just telling them about it, and allowing them to see the product in context can earn trust. Incorporating VR into your strategy to encourage lead generation and trial prospects will support the sales team with interested potential clients.



A salesperson can also utilize this tool to engage with their clients as it gives them the opportunity to get as close to the product without it being physically there. Plus, with the latest in VR hardware, bring the experience to your clients with ease. The beauty of VR is that what you see is what you get. This allows you to showcase your products candidly so your client can understand what the product is exactly.


2. Interactivity = Good

One of the winning features of VR is the element of interaction.

 

It can be difficult making a presentation that is both informative and memorable. Utilizing VR in sales and marketing is one tactic that could help with attracting and retaining clients.

 

Research shows that seeing promotes a better memory recall than hearing information. Your brain when seeing a piece of information begins to instantly draw connections from other objects or life experiences you have encountered. Being able to draw connections stimulates the audience, making the experience more enjoyable, leaving a lasting impression. And studies indicate VR experiences activate different areas of the brain and drive even greater recall than 2D images, likely due to the greater comparisons to real-world objects.

 

Presentations can easily become boring, and you can lose your audience’s interest pretty quickly. However, hand your client a VR headset and let them be transported into a whole new way of viewing your products. Not only are you giving your clients the opportunity to interact with the presentation itself, but it also allows them to experience your product for themselves.



3. Connect Better, Connect Smarter

Many criticisms that arise from using VR is that it’s an experience that only one person gets to try out at one time. Although it is fair to say that one headset can only support one user at the time, this doesn’t have to make VR an isolating experience. Instead, it can be a group experience in the store and in showroom locations, generating positive feedback about combining experiences with purchasing. Syncing the headset to a screen allows other customers to see what the person in the headset is experiencing and drive people to want to try the experience.

 

You can also bring this community experience to sales presentations in a boardroom setting with features that allow you and others in the room to see what the headset wearer is seeing. As an example, our Yulio platform includes a Collaborate feature that allows the rest of the room to see what the viewer is looking at. As you continue to pass the headset around, give everyone else a sneak peek as to what they can look forward to when they wear the headset. Despite the limit of one user per headset, we figured out a way to combat the exclusivity so everyone can enjoy a part of VR. It’s also a critical element of your sales pitch for you to understand what your client is looking at when you receive feedback like “it feels too bright/big/small” etc.



It’s great having an element that can engage your audience, however, if you only have the one headset to pass around, be prepared to stall until everyone has had their turn. Not only could this quickly become a distraction, but it could also dilute the purpose of your presentation rather than enhance it. Our collaborate feature allows you to streamline your presentation by keeping the whole group informed until it’s their turn to interact with your product.


Enhance your Teams with VR

Ultimately, VR is a tool that promotes a perfect understanding and is able to take your sales and marketing teams to the next level. It’s time to welcome the new way of acquiring customers and retaining the relationships.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. If you’re interested in learning how to implement VR into your workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Or check out our collection of whitepapers to discover all of our tips, tricks, and considerations for a successful VR implementation.

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Business, How to, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
Still believe VR is only for Silicon Valley gamers? You’re missing the arrival of VR ROI for business and the very real ways that virtual reality is, right now, this minute, helping businesses to impress, engage with and increase business with their customers. Taking a few examples, we’re going to demonstrate that VR has already gone way beyond being just the guy you call when you want to go out on the weekend. It’s now just as happy suiting up and playing a key role in the boardroom.

Using VR for Business ROI comes down to three core patterns – its ability is to immerse a viewer in an environment that:
  1. Doesn’t exist yet
  2. Exists but is a long distance away  
  3. Is too large, expensive or complex to model.

 This unique dynamic means more use cases are surfacing every day that are enabling organizations to demonstrate their products, services – or their missions – via an experience over an explanation.



Selling Sizzle When There’s Not Yet Steak
Decisions involving property are often among the hardest people ever make. How and where we live and its relationship to where we work, play and shop are very personal ones. Most of us want where we live to be an extension of who we are, and we want a property that helps us achieve an ideal lifestyle. Appreciating the appeal of communities not yet built brings another layer of difficulty and therefore, making the, as yet, unreal, ‘real’ for potential buyers is becoming a very powerful tool for those in construction and real estate. And since, for most individuals, a home is the single largest investment they will ever make, people need to have a level of comfort and certainty that is pretty difficult to achieve when they can’t experience the home and its surrounding amenities. In a recent collaboration with a Toronto-based design firm, Norm Li, we helped bring to life an entirely new future Saskatoon community through the creation of a series of immersive VR experiences. Dream’s Brighton Community includes several thousand homes, retail spaces, and surrounding parks, and is on a scale that simply can not be modeled out. Using VR kiosks in its sales center, Dream was able to immerse visitors in the new environments the new development would offer and helped people experience it, picturing their lifestyle while forging an emotional connection to the new community. The kiosks provided a window into what was possible in a personal way for each potential buyer. “They wanted people to feel like they were already living there,” said Christophe Chevallier, art director for the Toronto-based company Norm Li, who helped create the virtual reality world of Brighton.

Potential buyers using vr headsets to view new communities  


Setting Virtual Stages
Using VR to either ‘white wall’ or show potential interior layouts and styles for commercial real estate rentals is another VR application that’s been successfully demonstrated by our client, Dream, in collaboration with Mayhew, an office design firm. Until recently, common approaches to successfully leasing commercial properties would involve either physically stripping out all existing walls and furniture and creating a white-walled, blank canvas for the next renter or, alternatively, installing rented staging furniture to mock up a possible look and feel. Being able to show rental space virtually, stripping out unwanted elements and manipulating environments quickly and easily to suit a renter’s specific choices – without any need for actual physical alterations and therefore at almost no cost – is a great VR use case. Dream invited realtors to a blank warehouse space, and created a VR kiosk near a set of footprints on the floor, inviting agents to “stand here”.


 

Paul Bradshaw, vice-president of sales for Mayhew, a Richmond Hill-based office interior design firm, uses Yulio in working with realtors, and is an enthusiastic proponent of VR.“We work closely with realtors to customize interior spaces and this allows us to show how the space could perform for their customers,” Bradshaw says. “The infrastructure cost is minimal and it’s readily accessible to everyone.”

two realtors hold up VR for business viewers in an empty warehouse space


Not Business as Usual
Retail’s seen its fair share of tech-fuelled disruption over the past few years and VR is certainly playing its part in that now. ‘Experiential commerce’ might not be a known term (as we just made it up) but home improvement and home decor retailers such as Ikea and Lowes are already demonstrating their products using VR. Imagine being able to ‘virtually’ stand in a new bathroom or kitchen and change every aspect, colours, tiles, fixtures, etc, on-the-fly, to find the most perfect combination. Yep – you can do that. And sales centers need not have every permutation or sample available. VR renders can do all that and let customers feel more in control of the experience…and speed up their decision making.


 

  This same concept is something Audi has been experimenting with, letting customers “sit” in a virtual car to see different configurations of options before purchase.

The Empathy Machine
When you can’t bring people to the field, you bring the field to them. In the absence of giving people a real-life experience, VR can often deliver the nearest possible alternative. For charities, putting people directly within an environment or situation they’re looking to bring change to, can provoke the type of immediate emotional connection they need to engage new supporters. The profound effect that can be had by putting a person in a hospital wing or new school they are being asked to fund, has led to VR being dubbed by many in the field, ‘the empathy machine’ and meant it’s been enlisted by charities including Unicef, Amnesty International, and Charity:Water who are showing refugee reality and seeing donation rates increase dramatically.



Whether VR is enabling people to experience a new community before a single foundation’s been laid, to try out new bathroom tiles at the touch of a button, or provide a visceral glimpse into the change a new hospital brings, it’s proving itself to have gone far beyond life as a novelty and is now establishing itself as an increasingly compelling tool for creative businesses. Ready to try VR out for yourself? Sign up for our free 30-day trial and get started on your VR journey today!
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