According to one recent study, the projected impact of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies will be a massive $15.6 billion by as soon as 2020. Just a year later, in 2021, the global augmented and virtual reality market size will grow to $215 billion. Make no mistake: Virtual reality has absolutely arrived and being seen as an early adopter is a great way to generate a bold new competitive advantage that will serve your organization for years to come.
Virtual Reality and Your Competitive Advantage: What You Need to Know
A key role that virtual reality plays in building a competitive advantage for your business has to do with the training and development of your workforce. eLearning and similar tools have come a long way in recent years, but there is still a lot of progress to be made – particularly because the tools themselves tend to be so passive. They lack the social and even experiential means necessary to do more than simply convey information, but to truly improve learning outcomes across the board.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, may very well be the key to creating a much more active learning and training environment for your employees. It’s now possible for your employees to be truly immersed and to practice skills that they would otherwise have to travel to experience – thus broadening the scope of what you can teach them before they’re unleashed on the “real world” and improving the active side of learning at the same time.
But perhaps the most important way that virtual reality can be used to gain a competitive advantage has to do with the immersive experience that you can now create for your customers. Let’s face facts – these days, distractions are everywhere. From the moment that someone first experiences your marketing message, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. Typically, their attention is split between social networks like Facebook, messaging tools like WhatsApp, television, video games and so much more so this is a challenging feat.
But with virtual reality, you’re creating an experience that is immersive in a way that essentially cuts off the rest of the world and singularly exposes your customers to a message that you control. Not only is this a better, more organic way to tell your brand story in a distraction-free way, but it’s also a great way to strengthen your relationship with existing clients by way of a sense-based emotional experience that they won’t be able to replicate anywhere else.
These are just a few of the many, many ways that virtual reality can be used to generate a bold new competitive advantage for your brand. The technology itself has certainly grown both in popularity and in capability in a relatively short amount of time. To that end, it is truly exciting to think about what the next five years may hold.