Visual marketing has been capturing the attention of buyers and customers for decades. I remember the first time I saw the lone ranger wielding the Red Ryder BB Gun during Saturday morning commercial breaks and knew I had to have it. We can all think back to the first time we really wanted to buy something, typically it started with an advertisement. It could have been 40 years ago when billboards filled the sides of highways, it could have been 20 years ago when you saw the new TV commercial, or it could have been yesterday when an online ad attracted you on social media. We have been living in a visual economy for years, and for too long the 2D customer experience we are accustomed to has been enough. However, with the vast changes in digital marketing and the amount of noise competing for our attention, the consumer demands more. With the emergence of new 3D visual technologies, it's just not seeing to believe anymore, it’s seeing to experience.
“3D technology can help marketers bridge the gap between reality and virtual to create a better and more complete buying experience for customers” (Daniel Newman, Forbes)
The customer experience is proven to be the most valuable asset a brand can own. When you think of the top global brands like Apple, Ford and Home-Depot they all think differently and deeply about their customer’s experience. Each one of these global leaders have invested in 3D visualization technology allowing their customers to explore products and services in digital environments, and experience the product before they buy. The benefits for the brand and the customer is overall greater customer satisfaction. When you multiple experiences “x” satisfaction “x” the power of social sharing you find the “role of brand’s index”. Brands who can solve the three-part-brand formula find brand strength which is the “ability of the brand to create loyalty and, therefore, to keep generating demand and profit into the future” (Interbrand).
When we think of loyalty, it brings the word emotion to mind. If I am loyal to something or someone, then I have emotions for that person, place or product. 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, according to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman –– meaning they’re based on how a consumer feels –– about their day, about the product, and about your brand. This sounds like emotion. Visualization can create the sentimental bond you're looking for with your customer.
3D Visual Marketing combined with the power of eCommerce and configuration technology create a new era of marketing and advertising tools, the Visual Commerce age. 3D visual technologies put the power in the buyer’s fingertips (think phones and laptops!) to customize products in 3D, configure to their desired needs and with data bridges to e-commerce and sales tools can be purchased without or with a sales reps assistance. The impacts of enabling the buyers to buy from you vs. selling to the buyer like traditional marketing and advertising are extremely impactful. The average brand spends $92 to acquire a customer. With visual first, omni-channel marketing approaches companies can reduce their acquisition spend to $1 digitally (Econsultancy, 2016). In addition, for those brands that say our website is visual already and point to digital catalogs and 2D stock photos the data says that is not enough, “It's no accident that custom designs convert seven times more customers than designs that use stock imagery “ (Dan Schawbel, Forbes).
Visual Commerce tools, or as we might know it “Build and Price”, are helping brands find the golden egg in customer experience strategies. The cost to acquire customers is dramatically decreasing, brands have an opportunity to create unmatched buying experiences and earn customers’ satisfaction, and most importantly solving the three-part-brand formula with untouchable customer loyalty.
For market leaders, Visual Commerce is an easy decision, YES. If you are hesitant, the risk is for upstarts and new vendors the race to the top is so much shorter with 3D visual technology.
It no longer matters if you have the best product. What matters is the combination of the best products and the best experience for the customer.
The ability to go to a brand’s website shop at my own convenience, find the product I want, build and customize it (even when the retail shop is closed), interact with it in 3D, and even be able to see it in my personal surroundings in Augmented Reality is not an episode from the Twilight Zone. It’s the experience economy of the 2020’s. It’s what is going to help the next small company be on the Fasting Growing list, it’s what’s going to help the fast-growing company be the next global leader, and it’s what’s going to help the global brand become synonymous with customer experience.
Nearly 90% of the information sent out to the brain is visual and these visuals are processed 60k times faster in the brain as compared to the next (Amy Belliman, Inc.com). At the end of the day, marketing has always been about understanding the mind of the buyer and this is how consumers are preferring to buy.
So....... don’t blink, and let your customers buy visual.