Why invest in new digital tools and processes during insecure times? Stereoscape’s Immersive Marketing expert Olli Kettunen shares his New Year’s tips for staying proactive and keeping a positive attitude to boost business and create new opportunities.
1. Look forward, invest in the future
When times are tough, many companies convert to the tried and tested. Budgets shrink and investment decisions are postponed, creating a cycle of stagnation. When old ways no longer work or bring the desired results, it’s time to look to new ways of increasing sales and visibility.
2. Stay relevant – by staying ahead
Did someone say Digital? What about Virtual? If you don’t know your AR from VR, Interactive from 360, Metaverse from TikTok, it’s time to update and upgrade your knowledge. Why? Because these are channels and media that people now actively use – and this is where the most growth is expected. Digital – and with it Virtual – has become an integral aspect of managing client relationships, whether in the consumer markets or B2B sector.
3. Shift from traditional to hybrid
B2B buyers now prefer to complete the bulk of their buying journey independently and digitally – often making purchase decisions with minimal contact with sales teams. They expect a smooth and engaging digital experience – similar to what they are used to as individual consumers. This is why agile B2B marketers are shifting their resources to creating engaging, easily accessible digital services that seamlessly tie together remote (digital) and in-person interactions.
4. Invest in digital to engage your customers
Are we still talking about the pandemic? Like it or not, it changed how we interact dramatically. From virtual meetings to reduced travel, from virtual showrooms to 360-tours and VR experiences – business customs and consumer preferences have shifted for good. People are more selective than ever about how and when they want to interact with brands and companies. And increasingly, they are selecting Digital as their preferred way to engage.
5. Think of digital as preparation for the future
Rather than thinking of digital as an extra or yet another cost, it’s important to bring it into the core of any business strategy. Whether you employ new digital and virtual tools to talk to a new generation of clients, to engage your employees or to create more efficient processes – the benefits will accrue over the long term. Taking the long view, investment in digital and virtual is thus a pragmatic survival strategy.
6. Reduce costs by smart digital engagement
Using remote, digital sales channels means reduced travel costs. Virtual showrooms reduce the need for expensive premises; and interactive 3D videos can be so effective at demonstrating complicated equipment and services that they replace the need to transport heavy equipment to trade fairs or client sites. The time saved by remote meetings instead of sales teams commuting can be put to more effective use, meaning more meetings and less time spent on travel. Whether you are updating your materials, processes or services, after the initial investment in digital transformation you’ll end up cutting costs – and accelerating growth.
7. Engage through experiences
Digital and interactive tools enable new ways to engage and connect with people. The range of solutions available is broad and can be as simple as an interactive, visually engaging presentation or video – or as immersive as a full VR experience. One thing is for sure: virtual spaces are already changing digital marketing. How about organising your next client meeting in a virtual space? Demonstrating your product or service with a three-dimensional AR layer popping out of a mobile device? Or building visually engaging flagstore premises to the metaverse, connected to your online sales channels?
8. Explore the metaverse
It may not be for every brand or enterprise – but some may find real growth opportunities in the metaverse. 2023 is the time for companies to establish their metaverse strategy – and how it will fit within the company’s broader marketing mix. The chances are, if your competitors are carving out space in the metaverse, so should you.
9. Learn more about your clients
Don’t just take our word for it – before taking your next steps into digital transformation, you need to find where the real client value is. A more coherent customer journey? A smoother integration of physical and digital? Visually engaging and intuitive presentation materials? The upside of Digital is that engagement becomes measurable. You can integrate tools into your campaigns and processes which track client engagement and help you learn more about your clients, their needs and preferences.
10. Make it sustainable
Yes – there is that. By taking more of your business into the digital space you can save on the precious resources of Mother Nature. What could be a better goal for 2023?
To sum up
During recession and market volatility, it may seem prudent to stay still and watch where the markets move. But in business, as in life – the only constant is change. The key is to stay curious: those who embrace digital and virtual, and stay agile, will reap the largest benefits!
About the writer
Olli Kettunen is an immersive and events marketing specialist at Stereoscape. He is passionate about the power of digital and virtual to transform client experiences.