A couple of weeks ago we discussed Google Cardboard, that clever, inexpensive way to get virtual reality (VR) into the hands of the masses and into massive acceptance.
The one thing we didn’t discuss was, “Who cares?” After all, it’s got a nice novelty factor to it, but here in the B2B marketing world, novelty has only a small place. So does Google Cardboard belong in B2B?
Honestly? I’d say it was custom-made for it.
The Size of the Solution
In B2B, the solutions being sold are often, well, big—a large piece of equipment, a suite of equipment, an entire facility. Things you can’t just lug around in a bag or mail to a conference. But with VR, you can do exactly that. Take a prospective client on a tour of that facility. Let them interact with that massive piece of equipment. Even better, you’re showing them those things in an extremely controlled environment, where every pixel has been designed to contribute to a better, more sellable experience.
The Complexity of the Solution
While not all B2B products and solutions are physically large, they’re almost always extremely complex. The technology that goes into them, how the elements of a solution fit together, how they interface with client infrastructure. Visualizing those solutions and how they work in a clear way that communicates value is everything a sales rep wants. And with VR, you can evolve past the confusing, boring tangle of color-coded boxes that adorn most PowerPoint slides. You have a new dimension and level of interactivity to tell your story.
The Intimacy of the Sale
B2B sales are often one-on-one, whether it’s in the boardroom, during a private meeting at a restaurant, or in a conference booth. It’s the perfect environment for, “Here, let me show you something cool” and then pulling out a phone and the Google Cardboard viewer. In those situations, you have the benefits of the previous point, but also the meeting stands out as memorable to the prospective client.
The Size of the Budget
It’s in the dollars where Google Cardboard really seems to be custom-made for B2B. Marketing budgets in B2B are notoriously small or, even when they’re large, notoriously constrained. Those dollars have to be accounted for. And the investment in Google Cardboard is extremely low: $20 per viewer and however much you want to invest in the app itself, which is extremely flexible and allows you to develop as simple or as rich an experience as you need.
The Potential for a Platform
Another big selling point for Google Cardboard in the B2B world is that, despite the viewers basically being made of trash, they are far from throwaway. Cardboard can be a platform for a larger and longer-term marketing strategy that encompasses expandable apps or a growing a suite of apps that can be used in all business situations, from direct-mail to the convention table and all other forms of sales outreach. You’re really only limited by the creativity of your marketing teams and agencies on this one.
The real beauty of Google Cardboard is that all the money goes into the experience. Once the novelty of the cardboard and the immersive world wear off, the content is still extremely valuable and allows for wide levels of differentiation. It wouldn’t surprise me if soon we’ll start seeing Google Cardboard viewers at every booth and in the bags of every sales rep.
As you can see, we’re pretty excited by the potential of Google Cardboard, so drop us a line if your interested in exploring the possibilities with us.