How has the use of virtual reality (VR) in the automotive industry evolved, how are new technologies harnessed and what challenges do companies face in the age of Pokémon Go and co.? Stuttgart-based Mackevision Medien Design GmbH will be presenting these and other topics at this year’s Digility conference for Virtual and Augmented Reality in Cologne on 22 September.
Kian Saemian, senior business development manager at Mackevision, will be explaining what currently defines the customer journey and where that route is heading. Because expectations are rising – customers need to be approached seamlessly across various channels, devices and platforms from the first point of contact to the purchase. “Over the next few years, we’ll be seeing solutions in automotive manufacturers’ showrooms that we would until very recently have dismissed as science fiction,” stresses Saemian. “The customer journey will be captured and accompanied with targeted immersive visualization to address target groups via the relevant channels. Marketing departments’ digital strategies today are defined by the desire to create a cross-channel customer experience.”
Product sales are to be increased, additional services sold and selling times reduced. Therefore, the goal of every automotive manufacturer and vendor is to provide an unbroken customer journey. However, businesses are facing new challenges due to the range of contact options between companies and potential customers. The digital world has never been so simple and easy to access as it is today. But it’s become very difficult not to lose customers because of the sheer number of channels and access points. Online channels such as search engine advertising, social media, newsletters etc. are closely intermeshed with the traditional offline channels like TV, print etc. Customers use and combine numerous information and purchasing channels, which means that a cross-media experience of brands today prevails. Virtual and real worlds are merging in the process. It’s important to retain an overview of all touchpoints and to control and establish them efficiently and in a targeted manner. Impressive content is required to enhance digital experiences. And companies are forced to improve the content-creation and content-delivery process. The range of touchpoints on a customer journey is enormous. It spans stationary showrooms and sales spaces to websites, mobile sties and apps to virtual test drives, events and social media.
Virtual worlds convey much more emotional and interactive brands and purchasing experiences than any other type of (digital) advertising.
Kian Saemian, Senior Business Development Manager
“Potential customers must be addressed with the right visualization at each touchpoint. This will only be possible from a technical standpoint if it’s possible to draw on the right technology to suit the demand and environment. Anyone combining Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) and real-time technology will have a head start,” says Armin Pohl, Mackevision’s CEO. But it’s virtual, augmented and mixed-reality applications that give end customers a totally new experience of complex and highly varied products. In fact VR applications have been playing a growing role in sales of high quality consumer goods for some time. The automotive industry for example has been trialing the use of VR applications in vehicle retail, online advertising and social networks for some time now. To create a consistent customer experience, companies need the technological expertise and above all the support. “Virtual worlds convey much more emotional and interactive brands and purchasing experiences than any other type of (digital) advertising. And in terms of addressing customers and generating loyalty it taps into new and highly promising opportunities,” says Saemian when commenting on the advantages of real-time applications.
The enhancement of the customer experience benefits from better collaboration between the creative and marketing departments. Therefore, design, development, marketing and retail departments have their work cut out. But some of the newly founded digital units in companies also require support. As a world market leader in CGI solutions and high-end 3D visualizations Mackevision can provide solid support in implementing digital strategies in businesses. Thanks to traditional CGI for example, vehicles are already being shown very realistically in online configurators. With the help of real-time applications visualization is becoming increasingly closer to reality. Real and virtual worlds are amalgamating and creating an environment in which physical and digital objects coexist and interact. “Our longstanding collaboration with premium clients in the automotive industry gives us the required technical skills, understanding of the challenges faced by companies and valuable experience. We know the market and its customers. We’ll find and prepare the content to suit the demand and channel. We can support companies in launching the processes required, from data preparation to visualization. As a result, we can guarantee reproducible quality and create the best possible visualization solution for our customers at each touchpoint in the customer journey,” is how Pohl explains his company’s recipe for success.