Hello everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Defiant Business Podcast. This is actually episode 8, and I’m your host Ruthie, owner of Defy The Status Quo. Today we’re going to talk about augmented reality in B2B marketing.
Here’s the episode:
What Is Augmented Reality?
So just to get things off on the right foot, what is augmented reality? Augmented reality is the integration of digital information into our perception of our physical space, in real time.
Think Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat filters. When you use those filters, you’re using augmented reality. You’re changing how you perceive your own physical space, whether that’s a filter that projects onto your face or a filter that projects onto your environment.
Another really awesome example is the Pokemon Go game. You view the world through the Pokemon Go app, using their map that says that there are Pokestops and Pokemon out in the world, even though there actually aren’t. But you interact with your real physical environment. And if you look at the world through the app, you’ll see the Pokemon you’re trying to catch on your couch, or in Starbucks, or even at your library.
How B2B Consulting Firms Can Benefit From AR
So how would the B2B sector benefit from incorporating AR? Well, specifically looking at consulting firms, it’s really hard to see the applications for marketing.
There are bigger opportunities for product-based businesses. When you think about selling furniture, if you have an AR feature incorporated with your sales mobile app, you could project a particular couch onto a client’s physical space.
AR has also seen a lot of use in the clothing industry, because people are able to take pictures of themselves and then virtually try on clothing.
A Great Opportunity for Events
Investing in AR is a bit expensive for novelty marketing purposes. One of the best applications that I can think of is for events.
Event Filters for Your Business Events
Having a filter designed for your event for attendees to use would be great. You would have someone design an AR filter that you would upload to Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even Snapchat. Then your attendees would be able to take pictures and create user generated content using the filter that you designed for your event.
So I think that this has a huge application in marketing conferences, or any type of conference. You’re allowing your attendees to generate massive amounts of content that you would not have the time or ability to generate yourself.
In a previous season we talked about the impact that user-generated content can have. I actually did an interview with Vicki O’Neill on her podcast, where we discuss the value of user-generated content.
Another way that you could incorporate AR is by having those QR codes throughout your event for people to scan for additional information. This would be lower-cost, because it’s the QR code itself. But imagine if your vendors were taking advantage of QR codes instead of just having them sit there at the table!
You could do things like a conference scavenger hunt, or just offer the QR codes as a way for them to get additional content. Those QR codes can link to almost anything, and it’s a lot easier than typing a web address into your phone browser.
Training and Blended Learning
Another possibility for consulting firms relates to their training offerings. This wouldn’t necessarily be from a marketing perspective, but it definitely still impacts your clients’ experience working with you.
Augmented reality could be added to a blended learning toolkit. Blended learning is when you offer the educational content you’ve created in more than one channel or format. You could be present for a workshop, but as part of additional educational opportunities, you could offer everything from a weekly video lesson to SMS text message support, presenting small bite-sized information.
So what about AR? Well, what if during your in-person workshop, you built in AR elements? Or, as a part of your continued support package, you offered some elements that involved AR-integrated activities?
Now, not all consultants offer continued support packages. However, if the vast majority of the work associated with your continued support package included things like video lessons, SMS text messaging, AR integrated activities, those can either be automated, or they are driven by the client (the person needs to go and click on this link to activate X, Y, Z).
A lot of that can be hands-off for you, but you can actually upsell your client on this continued support package even though it’s automated, getting you more for the value that you’re offering to your client.
Data Visualization Applications
Communicate Findings in Your Data
There are a lot of data visualization applications that are being explored by bigger companies right now. IBM is one of those, with IBM Immersive Insights. Their goal is to help users explore their data and communicate findings.
If you’re a consultant or a service-provider of some kind, how wonderful would it be to incorporate something as impressive as augmented reality into your presentations when you’re communicating your findings? IBM’s Immersive Insights brings the power of augmented reality visualizations to data science tools, improving the user experience, data exploration, and the data analysis process.
While they were initially targeting data scientists, they now believe it has all kinds of potential in data analysis. That could apply to you as the consultant, or to other business leaders, executives, and all types of users.
An Effective Presentation Tool
Even beyond data science, there’s potential for it to be used as a presentation tool. Experts could take advantage of 3D visuals to communicate information in a way that’s easier to understand.
We’re creating so much data every single day. It becomes harder to track and to discover trends in our data because there’s so much there. Having this sort of tool could be really helpful for the chief information officer, or chief technology officer, or even the chief marketing officer. They would be able to communicate to the rest of the board members:
- What they’re having to work with on a day to day basis
- The exact trends that they’re seeing
- The exact impact that a particular operation has, etc
Now, if you think that I missed anything, I would love to hear any ideas that you have. And if you’re listening to this on Anchor, then you can always send me a voice message. Perhaps I will integrate it into a later episode!
If you’re listening to this anywhere else, you found it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, just leave a comment and let me know if you’ve seen an application for B2B consulting or service firms for augmented reality! Alright, that’s been another episode of The Defiant Business Podcast. I’m your host Ruthie, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!