For B2B marketers whose companies have products that are hard to explain or demonstrate, there are new forms of reality that can help. Virtual and augmented reality tools can help buyers “test” large equipment and visualize complex components, Forrester Research Inc. says in a new report.
B2B marketers whose products are expensive to ship, difficult to visualize, hard to comprehend, or possess some combination of those characteristics, can use virtual and augmented reality technology to help overcome such challenges and help marketers do their work more effectively and efficiently, writes Steven Casey, a B2B marketing analyst at Forrester Research and principal author of the September report titled Virtual and Augmented Reality for B2B Marketers.
Here’s how the tools work:
Virtual reality. These applications use a headset that enables the viewer to enter and interact with a seller’s products in a fully digital world. Virtual reality creates a digital world that’s similar to a video game, but one where the viewer can see the seller’s products in use. Such applications can be developed from previously recorded video of real places and things or created from scratch in digital form.
Augmented reality. These tools enhance reality by adding a digital object or content to the viewer’s physical environment. This technology adds to the physical world, Casey writes, by placing digital data or objects, such as a 3D model of a product, into the user’s physical environment. The image can be added to an image or video captured on a smartphone, and displays it in real time.
The report identifies three technology vendors with innovative marketing technology related one or both of virtual reality and augmented reality.
One of those companies, Kaon Interactive, sells its augmented reality and virtual reality technology to companies demonstrating equipment they make in the medical, scientific, technology, telecommunications and industrial markets. The company’s customers include Abbott Diagnostics, Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, General Electric, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Oracle.
Kaon’s Application Delivery Network enables customers to create a single interactive application they can use and maintain on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, interactive touchscreen appliance and the web. The company’s marketing platform includes modules for augmented reality and virtual reality deployments.
Most of Kaon’s customers use the company’s virtual reality and augmented reality applications to explain and provide context for the differentiated characteristics their complex offerings provide. In addition to providing sellers with 3D photo-realistic digital product models that prospects can see in their laboratories, for example, marketers are using the Kaon application to add specific messaging that’s tailored to the prospect, the report says. Kaon demonstrates on the “interactive story-telling” section of its website how such clients as GE uses its 3D tools in sales presentations of products in its aerospace, power generation and oil-and-gas divisions.
or most large and complex B2B products, the report says, “VR headsets and interactive augmented reality applications will replace product samples, printed collateral, and expensive trips to a home office or trade show to conduct a personalized demo.”
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