What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that integrates digital information and images within video or a real-world setting. Different from virtual reality, where the environment is completely computerized, augmented reality adds computerized elements to existing environments.
Investments in augmented reality technology are expected to reach $60 billion by 2020, according to Harvard Business Review. While its first appearance was in mobile video games like Pokemon Go, B2B and B2C businesses alike are discovering the opportunities augmented reality creates for enhancing selling and marketing experiences.
As part of our “Sales Enablement Defined” series, we discuss how augmented reality provides better buying experiences and aligns sales and marketing for improved sales enablement.
Benefits of augmented reality in sales & marketing
One of the most challenging parts of persuading buyers your product is worth their investment is helping them understand and envision its use within their organization. The biggest benefit of augmented reality in selling is that you can give a virtual, three-dimensional view of your product in the buyer’s familiar “world,” immediately demonstrating value.
Where traditional decks and demo presentations can feel static and flat, augmented reality takes them to a whole new level, offering visual and interactive storytelling. Sales representatives can show buyers the actual size, shape, color, and other details of their product, letting it speak for itself. Buyers are more engaged when they are able to actually see the unique value your solution can provide, not just in general, but specifically for their organization.
Leveraging augmented reality technology in buyer meetings also offers a competitive advantage, with no additional time or expense on the part of sales reps or buyers. Additionally, augmented reality encourages alignment between sales and marketing teams and improves overall sales enablement. Not only does it accelerate the sales cycle, it allows marketing to easily collect sales data and discover new insights into prospects based on their augmented reality interactions. Fortunately, many engagements with augmented reality are through augmented reality apps accessed by mobile devices, including the iPhone, where analytics can be tracked. Using this data, sales and marketing teams can create new content and collateral moving forward that those prospects are most likely to engage with.
Augmented reality examples in sales & marketing
How can augmented reality be put to practice in sales and marketing? While we see AR more commonly in B2C applications, there have been extraordinary uses of the technology in B2B marketing and sales interactions. Brands that manufacture and sell large, complex machinery or technology can use it to their advantage as a way to show detailed elements of their products without having to deal with shipping and handling.
Cisco created a three-dimensional, interactive product catalogue as a measure to simplify their product stories and descriptions and save on costs to physically ship their products. The catalogue can be accessed through various devices at trade shows, in sales presentations, or on a buyer’s own time.
Accuray is a manufacturer of medical devices and used augmented reality at a trade show as a way to display and demonstrate the intricacies of two large radiation products. You can see more information about the demonstration, as well as other augmented reality examples, in this Zappar article.
Augmented reality also offers an opportunity for enhanced marketing content. Supersaurs, a children’s book series featured in Econsultancy, paired with an app that puts dinosaurs into a child’s real world and includes educational and gamified augmented reality elements. While this is aimed at consumers, the concept can be applied for businesses, showing there is an opportunity for marketers to take their content to the next level, making it more interactive, informative, and engaging.
Showpad’s augmented reality sales tool
Showpad Content exclusively offers the ability for sales organizations to give buyer context to their products through a more connective augmented reality experience. Showing, rather than telling, simplifies complex product information, and lets buyers directly interact with your products. Learn more about augmented reality with Showpad.