Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two technologies that are gaining a lot of traction in the B2B space.
Whether it’s giving customers a virtual tour of a new product before it hits shelves or providing an immersive experience that brings a brand’s story to life, no doubt augmented and virtual reality technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way B2B businesses market and sell their products.
And while these cutting-edge technologies are still in their early stages of development, the possibilities for how they can be used to create more engaging, memorable, and even personal interactions are endless.
As AR and VR continue to evolve, B2B businesses that can harness their power will have a major competitive advantage when it comes to creating truly unforgettable customer experiences.
In this blog post, we will explore the potential applications of AR/VR in B2B marketing and sales. We will also discuss the challenges businesses must overcome to implement this technology.
Finally, we will provide tips on how businesses can get started with using AR/VR in their marketing and sales strategy.
What is AR and VR?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes computer-generated images on top of real-world scenes, allowing users to interact with virtual objects in the physical world, while virtual reality (VR) is a technology that creates a simulated environment in which users can interact in a similar way to that of the real world.
The global augmented and virtual reality market was valued at $27.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $856.2 billion by 2031. There are several factors driving this market growth.
First, the falling prices of AR and VR hardware are making these technologies more accessible to consumers and businesses. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of AR and VR technologies for remote work, learning, and entertainment. Third, the increasing availability of high-quality content is further boosting demand for AR and VR devices.
Generally, AR and VR technology is often used for gaming or entertainment purposes, but it also has many potential applications in other industries, such as healthcare, education, training, manufacturing, and retail.
For example, AR and VR can be used to create immersive educational experiences, train surgeons before they enter the operating room, create interactive product demos, or help shoppers visualize how furniture would look in their homes.
Looking ahead, the global augmented and virtual reality market is poised for continued growth. And as this technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more new applications and innovative uses in the future.
AR/VR in B2B marketing and sales
B2B marketing has been generally focused on marketing channels, such as trade shows, online advertising, social media, email and webinars.
However, with the rise of new technologies, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, marketers are beginning to explore new ways to reach and engage their target audiences.
For instance, AR can be used to create immersive experiences that allow potential customers to interact with a product or service before making a purchase. This can be particularly helpful for B2B businesses that sell complex products or services, as it can give potential customers a better understanding of what they are buying.
VR, on the other hand, can be used to create realistic simulations that can be used for training purposes or to provide potential customers with a taste of what using a particular product or service would be like, which could lead to increased sales.
In addition, AR/VR can be used to collect data about customer behaviour and preferences. This data can then be used to tailor the marketing and sales strategy to better suit the needs of potential customers.
Finally, AR/VR can help businesses to save money on marketing and sales expenses. For example, by using AR/VR technology to create realistic simulations, businesses can avoid the need to create physical prototypes or samples of their products.
Overall, AR/VR technology has the potential to change the way B2B businesses market and sell their products and services. By providing potential customers with an immersive experience that allows them to interact with a product or service before making a purchase, businesses can gain a major competitive advantage.
Some examples of businesses using AR/VR in marketing and sales
1. Ikea- Place virtual furniture in your room to see how it would look before buying it.
It can be difficult to imagine how a new piece of furniture will fit into the space. Will it be too big? Too small? What colour will it be? And will it clash with your existing décor?
These are all valid questions that need to be considered before making a purchase. Fortunately, Ikea has come up with a solution that allows you to “try out” furniture in your home before you buy it.
With the Ikea Place app, you can use your phone’s camera to see how a piece of furniture would look in your room. Simply choose the item you’re interested in and place it in the room. The app will then show you how the furniture looks in the space, giving you a better idea of whether or not it’s the right choice for you.
So next time you’re considering a new purchase from Ikea, be sure to download the app and take advantage of this helpful AR tool.
2. Warby Parker- Try on glasses virtually before buying them.
Trying to find the perfect pair of glasses can be a frustrating experience. Not only do you have to worry about finding a style that suits your face, but you also have to worry about whether the glasses will actually look good on you.
Warby Parker is a company that is looking to make the process of buying glasses easier and more fun. With their new augmented reality app, you can try on glasses virtually before buying them.
Simply point your phone at your face and the app will superimpose a pair of glasses onto your screen. You can then see how the glasses look on you and decide whether or not you want to buy them.
Warby Parker’s augmented reality app is changing the way people buy glasses, and it is sure to revolutionize the industry.
3. BMW- created a virtual reality experience that allows users to test drive their cars.
BMW has always been a pioneer in automotive technology, and its latest innovation is a virtual reality test drive experience.
Using VR headsets, drivers can choose from a variety of different environments, including the city or the countryside. This allows them to get a feel for how the car performs in different conditions. And because the test drive is virtual, there is no risk of accidents or damage to property.
This is a groundbreaking way for potential customers to experience BMW’s cars, and it is sure to revolutionize the automotive industry.
Potential applications of AR/VR in B2B marketing and sales
There are a number of potential applications for AR and VR in B2B marketing and sales.
1. Immersive product demonstrations: One potential application is using AR or VR to create immersive product demonstrations. This can be especially helpful for B2B businesses that sell complex products or services. By providing an immersive experience, they can give customers a better understanding of how their products work and how to use them. Additionally, this can help them to increase sales by providing a more engaging and persuasive demonstration.
2. New opportunities for personalization: Another potential application is using AR or VR to create targeted content. As mentioned previously, businesses can use these technologies to gather data about customer preferences and then use that data to create targeted content. This kind of personalization can help them to build stronger relationships with their customers and improve customer retention rates.
3. Virtual showrooms: Businesses can also use AR and VR to create virtual showrooms. This can be helpful for B2B businesses that sell products that are difficult to transport, such as machinery, cars or large pieces of furniture. Virtual showrooms can also be used to provide a more immersive customer experience.
4. Enhanced Training: Businesses can use AR and VR to create enhanced training experiences for their employees. This can be helpful for businesses that need to train their employees on how to use new products or services. By providing an immersive experience, businesses can ensure that their employees are better prepared to use these products or services.
5. Customer engagement: Finally, businesses can use AR and VR to improve customer engagement. This can be done by providing an immersive experience that customers can interact with. Additionally, they can use AR and VR to create loyalty programs or gamification experiences that encourage customers to keep coming back.
While there are a number of potential applications for AR and VR in B2B marketing and sales, it is important to remember that these technologies are still in their early stages. As such, businesses should carefully consider their goals and objectives before deciding to implement these technologies.
Challenges businesses must overcome to implement AR/VR in B2B marketing and sales
While AR and VR offer a lot of potential benefits, there are also some challenges that businesses need to overcome in order to implement these technologies successfully.
One of the biggest challenges is the cost of developing AR and VR content. Creating high-quality AR and VR experiences requires specialized hardware and software, which can be expensive. Additionally, they need to invest in training their employees on how to use these new technologies.
Another challenge is that AR and VR are still relatively new technologies, which means that there is a lack of standardization. This can make it difficult for businesses to create content that is compatible with the various devices and platforms that customers are using.
Additionally, this lack of standardization can make it difficult for them to measure the success of their AR and VR campaigns.
Finally, it is important to note that not all customers are ready for an immersive AR or VR experience. Some customers may prefer more traditional methods, such as reading product descriptions or watching videos.
As a result, they need to carefully consider their target audience before deciding to implement AR or VR. Despite these challenges, AR and VR offer a lot of promise for businesses that are willing to invest in these new technologies.
How can businesses get started with using AR/VR in their B2B marketing and sales strategy?
1. Determining goals and objectives: The first step for is to determine their goals and objectives. What do they want to achieve by using AR or VR? Is the goal to increase sales, improve customer engagement, or enhance employee training?
Once the goals are clear, they can begin to develop a strategy for how to use these technologies.
2. Investing in the right technology: The next step is to invest in the right technology. There are a number of different platforms and tools that B2B businesses can use to create AR and VR experiences. They should consider their goals and objectives when selecting the right technology.
For example, businesses that want to create immersive product demonstrations should invest in a platform that supports high-quality visuals and audio.
3. Identifying the target audience: Once the technology is in place, businesses need to identify their target audience. Who are they trying to reach with their AR or VR experience? What are their needs and wants?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help them to create experiences that appeal to their target audience.
4. Creating relevant content: After the target audience is identified, businesses need to create relevant content. What kind of experiences will appeal to the target audience? What will help them to achieve their goals?
For example, a furniture store could allow customers to use an AR app to see how a piece of furniture would look in their home before making a purchase. Or a real estate company could provide potential buyers with virtual tours of properties that are on the market.
5. Testing and measuring results: Finally, businesses need to test and measure the results of their AR or VR experiences. What is working well? What needs to be improved?
By testing and measuring the results, they can ensure that they are getting the most out of their investment in these technologies.
By following these steps, businesses can get started with using AR and VR in their B2B marketing and sales strategy. While these technologies are still in their early stages, they have the potential to provide significant benefits for B2B businesses that use them effectively.
Overall, AR and VR hold a lot of potential for B2B businesses in terms of marketing and sales. These technologies have the potential to provide them with a number of benefits, including increased sales, improved customer engagement, and enhanced employee training.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these technologies are still in their early stages and businesses should carefully consider their goals and objectives before deciding to implement them.
When used effectively, AR and VR can be powerful tools for B2B businesses that are looking to improve their marketing and sales efforts.