Browsing Tag

startup

Guest

How Virtual Reality is Important to Startups and Why Most Consumers Are Unaware of it

November 10, 2017

Guest Article By: Jason Vander Griendt

 

Virtual reality is one of the emergent technologies that is experiencing a fast adoption rate in numerous industries. The entertainment industry was first on the scene. It empowered providers to offer compelling experiences to viewers taking the game to the next level. It’s increasingly finding innovative applications on the business scene. It’s transforming the way businesses interact with customers, market their products and engage talent among numerous other uses.

Besides sectors such as big data and the internet of things, virtual reality is expected to bring in the next big wave of innovation. Let us review some of the advantages of the technology to business.

 

Training and education

The traditional classroom is slowly becoming extinct especially in the workplace. Employees and students will log in to virtual classes with the mentor guiding the lesson. Businesses can fast-track employee training and offer education that achieves a more significant impact quickly. Think universities, driving schools, the healthcare industry and other hands-on learning scenarios that demand the use of expensive equipment.

Cost savings

Industries such as the real estate market are experiencing an enormous reduction in presales costs. It’s leveraging the technology to provide guided virtual tours of properties. The cost of hosting virtual tours does not come close to the expenditure associated with building model show houses, organizing the open house and stocking up numerous finishes for clients to choose from. Additionally, it is enabling realtors to build stronger value-based relationships with clients.

Marketing

Virtual reality offers more productive interactions with customers in real time. It gives marketers a superior platform to showcase their products and services to a broader target audience. The technology makes it easy to prototype different products seamlessly without actually building them.

Niche markets

This includes sectors such as interactive games and amusement parks. Virtual reality presents engaging interactions with users. It makes an excellent case for a game design company. Additionally, you can offer virtual reality versions of popular adventure-based activities such as surfing, rafting, and zip lining among numerous others. Similarly, collaborations with breakthrough technologies such as nanotechnology will narrow the gap between real and virtual worlds.

Events and social networks

The virtual scene presents the new real estate to host events. You can interact with other participants, listen to presentations, and walk through various booths at the event. All this from the comfort and convenience of your home. The same concept will extend to your social interactions. Facebook is already experimenting on this with its VR subsidiary, Oculus.

Why are there so few consumers on the virtual reality scene?

First, I’d have to say price points. Gadget manufacturers are racing to provide the best possible experience from their units. This translates to thousands of hours of research and development as well as high-quality components to realize a commercial product. Similarly, there are few consumer applications on the market utilizing the technology to drive adoption. Virtual reality content, as opposed to the infrastructure, will play a prominent role in driving the consumer costs down. Furthermore, the technology is considered socially isolating and lacking a diverse range of choice of ready content.

Virtual reality is here to stay. The technology is expected to get better, cheaper and drive more penetration. As adoption increases, costs will come down. The technology will also find new applications, as more industries get onboard. Experts argue that the line between virtual reality and augmented reality is increasingly getting blurred. This fusion promises more opportunity for businesses and consumers. The attraction point remains its ability to completely immerse you in a virtual world connecting with your senses on motion, sight, touch, smell, taste and experimentally, emotion.

 

 

Jason Vander Griendt is the mechanical design engineering expert behind Render 3D Quickly, a company specializing in three-dimensional architectural renderings and visualizations. With years of experience in the field of 3D rendering and animation, Vander Griendt has established a global reputation for the exceptional insight and expertise he has regularly provided to architects, builders, contractors, designers, homeowners, and real estate companies from all over the world.

 

Guest

Startup Marketing: Where Do I Begin?

July 22, 2016

Guest Article By: Lisa Hill

 

I was recently presented the opportunity to intern as a Digital Media Marketer at a small software startup in Toronto. Excited by the challenge, I was immediately consumed with questions. How will I market a new product with a (pretty much) zero-dollar budget? How can I differentiate the offering from the large number of already-established competitors? Will I sit around laughing all day because it will be just like HBO’s Silicon Valley

As much as I hoped that the answer to the last question would be an affirmative YESthe reality of the startup world is far from what I thought it would be. It’s an uneasy world of ambivalence and semi-controlled chaos. Product name changes and shifts in focus were an everyday occurrence, resulting in constant delays and standstills for the digital marketing effort. You cannot sell a product or execute brand strategy with confidence when you are suffering from a severe identity crisis.

zoolander

The company I worked for has a solid product offering that solves client needs. They have a well-integrated business model, despite being in need of an occasional adjustment here and there. They have a handful of existing clients with whom they interact frequently and provide a substantial amount of customer service. What’s the next step? What, I ask myself, is needed to accelerate the awareness and growth for the company and its products? 

silicon valley

There are many steps to reaching the common goal, which is of course, to taste the sweet nectar that is company profit. Startup marketing is all about your ability to grow as quickly and organically as possible, building trust and developing loyalty along the way. One of the most important things I can stress is this: The use of traditional advertising is being pushed out aggressively as inbound marketing is assuming control of the advertising world. What exactly do I mean by this? You can use your precious resources to harass internet users with obnoxious web advertisements or spam their already cluttered e-mail inboxes, but this could be a waste of time and energy. Your priority is to engage people with your brand and to do that you must be more thoughtful and creative than you would with older methods of marketing. You must develop relevant, engaging strategies in order to stand out from the noise. 

Seeking a comparative scenario, let’s take a look at a product I like to call my best friend, Dropbox. A well-known startup, this cloud storage company has grown to 4 million users in less than 2 years, with little to no traditional advertisingInstead of cold calling or email blasting, Dropbox focused on word of mouth and more authentic ways to engage potential customers. They built a referral program to attract users, not only increasing client growth by incentive but creating conversation. They provide excellent customer service and have built a solid social presence to focus on how their brand is perceived. Dropbox is a startup success story. 

Dropbox

Like Dropbox we needed to develop an approach that relied on creative inbound marketing methods to help increase brand awareness. The focus was to let customers find us, not the other way around. Through using simple methods effectively, such as Search Engine Optimization, social media, and content marketing, small companies are able to build market awareness on a tight budget. 

Inbound vs Outbound marketing

Source: Artillery Marketing

Inbound marketing is a win-win situation for a startup. By focusing on inbound marketing and the nature of your brand, you eliminate the risk of appearing intrusive or pushy while avoiding being lost in the thousands of other outbound messages from competitors. You can position your brand as a trustworthy friend you can talk to on Facebook rather than an obnoxious ad that is just getting in your face. It requires tremendous effort and ingenuity but it is entirely more cost efficient, allowing you to allocate resources to other areas of company development. As someone who was happily thrown into marketing for a startup company, I was more than pleased to fine tune my content writing and SEO skills rather than, God forbid, make cold calls begging for business. The best way to succeed is to be authentic, organic, and if you’ve read a Malcolm Gladwell book, you’ll know you definitely need a tiny bit of luck. 

silicon valley trending up

 

Lisa is cultivating her skills learned in her experience at Humber College as well as the customer service and hospitality industry. She is eager to pursue a career in the marketing world where she can combine her proficiencies in writing, design, communication and project management. Besides her obvious fixation on Silicon Valley she is a lover of travel, good food, and funny people. Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn and Twitter to get in touch.