The traditional corporate sales pitch is changing with emerging forms of technology helping engage customers rather than just make presentations. But it’s not cheap.

While PowerPoint presentations and 3D tours remain popular, the world’s largest global companies are turning to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to engage their customers and drive sales.

According to speakers at Kaon Interactive’s Marketing Innovation Summit held in RTP, the integration of (AR) and (VR) into sales strategies gives companies an advantage.

“Stop presenting to customers and start engaging with them,” said Kaon’s VP of Marketing Dana Drissel. “Let them tell their story.”

Dell EMC is doing just that. Christopher Christian, a technologist in the company’s enterprise product group, says the company uses AR and VR to create a “visual metaphor” that allows customers to immerse themselves in Dell EMC’s products and services.

Using AR, the company virtually places its equipment in the customer’s existing facility and within available square footage, allowing them to see the products within their environment.

Dell EMC is also an early adopter of Kaon’s VR capabilities. To attract potential customers to its booth at major tradeshows, it uses VR to create a memorable experience that immerses customers in its physical products and technology.

“VR and AR are fast approaching reality, which is what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

Tabitha Atkinson, marketing coordinator for Veolia Water Technologies, was interested in what VR could do to better acquaint potential customers with her company’s technologies and equipment.

“We do a lot of trade shows,” said Atkinson. “VR would allow us to bring the technology to the tradeshow, letting people see the equipment and how easy it is to use and operate.”

From 3D to Virtual Reality

Kaon started in Boston as a 3D interactive sales and marketing company. Less than a year ago, it introduced AR and then extended the customer experience with VR.

More than 50 of Kaon’s customers are currently using AR and VR to train employees and engage with potential customers in a way that lets them see directly how a product or service will benefit them.

While AR and VR use is growing in popularity among global corporations, users must have the right device and technology, including software and VR goggles. However, the number of devices that will support AR and VR is growing.

The investment in Kaon’s 3D technology and AR and VR capabilities costs between $75,000 and $125,000 for initial setup. For this reason, Kaon’s customers are Fortune 1000 companies, which is one of the reasons the company set its sights on the Research Triangle Region.

“We found RTP as a central hub for companies that fit our criteria and have the sales and marketing challenges we help solve,” said Drissel.