Every global company faces high costs, inefficiencies and complexity when dealing with demand and lead generation. Businesses are constantly struggling to find the right tools to help them digitalize all processes in an efficient and truly effective way.
Social VR Is To Revolutionize Demand Generation
According to the Oracle report “ Can Virtual Experience Replace Reality? ”, almost 80% of senior marketing and sales professionals interviewed in 2016 were already providing or were expecting to provide virtual reality experiences to customers within 4 years.
It has been over two years since that report. What is the situation now? Is VR effectively being used for demand and lead generation?
2018 confirmed the trend outlined by Oracle. Enterprise VR has helped businesses go beyond the limits of current bi-dimensional web communication and build, especially through social virtual reality, direct and personal relationships with customers, partners, and employees, for truly effective and efficient demand generation.
Social VR brings real life into a company digital transformation process by enhancing business relationships, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, thus becoming an integral part of CRM.
The First Commercial VR Devices – The EyePhone Head-Mounted Displays. In the late 1960s, the virtual and augmented reality terms were coined, describing the field of technology we know today. This also encompassed the appearance of two of the very first commercial virtual reality devices in the 1980s in the face of the EyePhone 1 and the EyePhone HRX. Developed by VPL research, a company by Jaron Lanier, the devices were extremely expensive, costing as much as $9,400 for the 1 version and $49,000 for the HRX. Customers could also buy gloves that costed $9,000. While the devices didn’t really take off, which is understanding, having in mind their price, they were a major step forward in the development of virtual reality haptics and virtual reality goggles and head-mounted displays.
Use Case: Enterprise Events in VR
The typical use case for Social VR for the enterprise is to create events in virtual reality, both in the form of separate events and event series, as the next generation of webinars. Social VR takes webinars to the next level, providing a new generation of avatar-based experiences, by allowing webinars to be presented in virtual reality environments and people, as avatars, to see each other and interact as if they were attending the event in person.
During a VR event, in addition to attending live keynotes, asking questions of the speakers and viewing slides, people can engage directly with company reps, speak or chat with them, collaborate around content, and interact with digital assets.
Three years of MarineVerse
Beyond the webinar experience, is the concrete experience of walking around in an environment and exploring booths with products, materials, demos, links, and 3D renderings showcased in an engaging way that takes the visitor through a meaningful journey and learning path.
These experiences provide for extraordinarily high engagement metrics. The level of engagement in VR environments is significantly higher than on any other tool, both in terms of average session time, since people spend more time at an event that can be navigated via avatars who move around in the branded environment, as if they were physically present at an event, as well as in terms of interactions. People engage more naturally with other people they see around them, as well as with the 3D content and objects that are placed in the environment, which can range from standard marketing collaterals displayed immersively and in 3D to product showcases, and live interactive demos.
Most of the major brands worldwide are investing in some way in virtual reality.
Enterprise VR represents a new and, up to now, untapped land of opportunities for CRM companies. By adding a highly innovative demand generation tool into their customer relationship management software product suites, CRM companies can generate additional revenue and increase their clients’ success in managing their own customer base.
About the Author
Martina Ori, PhD, is Vice President Business Development & Corporate Strategy at Hyperfair, Inc. , a San Francisco-based SaaS company that created the world’s leading platform for enterprise events in virtual reality. Martina leads the strategic and operational vision of Hyperfair’s business development and marketing efforts. Passionate about virtual reality, immersive technologies and innovation, frequently featured as guest blogger and speaker about VR at events such as Augmented World Expo and Mobile World Congress.