Now that the hype about Virtual Reality is over, VR companies can finally settle down and focus on organic and stable growth. The hardware companies have provided us with high-quality headsets, with reports saying that Oculus Quest (to be launched in spring 2019) is basically everything the consumers wished for. So the focus now switches to content. And it is on VR studios to help clients create high-quality, ROI-driven campaigns that actually produce measurable results.
Why Does ROI Matter?
Although sometimes neglected, Return on Investment is perhaps the most important part of every marketing campaign. Just by the definition, the Return on Investment should always be positive if you want to be successful. And it is no different with VR campaigns. A VR campaign can produce jaw-dropping results if done correctly. But simply using VR content for the sake of content itself, is not going to produce results. So how can you affect the outcome and improve ROI in Virtual Reality campaigns? Here are some thoughts based on our experience:
How to improve ROI in VR campaigns
Let’s start by saying that there are three main stages to the development of a VR application. The first one is the planning stage, where you decide what your goals are, how you are going to hit those goals and why they are important for the growth of the company. Next, there is a development stage, where the app actually gets developed, tested and launched. In the end, there is the post-launch stage, which includes marketing the app and testing the performance of the app.
The Planning Stage
Arguably, this is the most important part of a VR campaign. This is also the stage, where you can (if done right) keep the expenses under control for the complete duration of the campaign. Taking the time to think the campaign through gives the developers a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. And even if you spent a bit more time on planning the VR application, a clear plan help greatly reduce the development costs.
It is important to know, that your marketing department does not need any technical knowledge about virtual reality. What you need to know is: Who are you targeting with the campaign, what message you would like to communicate to your target audience and what are your campaign goals. At Creative Solutions we strive to help our clients, that is why we take the time to think about the previously mentioned questions and present possible solutions at the second meeting. So after the second meeting, you have a good idea of how the VR experience would look like, how your message would be communicated through the VR experience and what you can expect in terms of development time and cost.
This workflow allows us to personalize the VR experience to your needs and gives you greater insight into the time and budget required to develop the Virtual Reality experience. We can also help you decide on the hardware and features that will make the experience better and help you lower the cost of the application by removing the features you do not need. In the end, we help set up a project brief that will guide the development team through the development phase, along with a projected timeline that helps your marketing department keep track of work being done.
The Development Stage
The development stage is where the witchcraft happens. The project is passed to the developers and designers who work their magic to create the application you had in mind. It is advisable to keep in touch with regular updates and Skype calls between the development and marketing teams, so everything keeps running smoothly. The development team provides updates while the marketing department can provide feedback on those updates and course correct if necessary.
There are several things you can do as a client to limit the development cost and improve the project at the same time. One of them is providing feedback in a timely fashion. That is especially important with time-sensitive projects such as VR applications for live events. It keeps the project running at all times and makes sure all the deadlines are met.
Another thing is sticking to the script. Making drastic changes in the final week of development is more likely to make the VR experience worse. It also costs additional money. That is why it’s important to have an open communication with the development team, that can suggest which changes are a welcome addition and will make the project better and which changes should be scrapped because they are simply not worth the time and money to develop.
At Creative Solutions we realize that time and money are important to our clients, that is why we have pre-developed several tools that shorten the development time, decrease the cost of the development and, therefore, make more room for a positive return on investment.
The Post-Launch Stage
The main expense after the launch is the marketing cost. Obviously, the marketing budget can vary from company to company and from campaign to campaign, but as a general rule, you should reserve around 20% of the total budget for the ads. Reach your target audience and let them know you are using VR at your next live event. Or invite them to download a mobile VR app from your website. In the post-launch stage, you can keep the costs under control and improve VR ROI by knowing your target audience and targeting them specifically. This ensures the ads budget is well spent.
Knowing thy audience helps keep the marketing budget under control
Another potential expense is the support and maintenance cost. This can include anything from app updates to support at a live-event or even VR hardware rental. At Creative Solutions, we help our clients by offering a cost-effective hardware rental, personnel support and VR system installation support at live events.
Interested in trying one of our VR experiences? Go to www.creativesolutions.si/condovr and learn how VR can help your company today.
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Andrej Persolja is a VR artist and a co-founder of Creative Solutions. Creative Solutions partners with creative agencies to help their clients raise the presentation of their products to the next level. Contact: email@example.com