Return on Investment (ROI) is an important concept in the tech world. It drives a lot of technology adoption decisions. Generally speaking, if a solution has a positive ROI, then it’s worth investing in. Many companies will base a purchasing decision specifically on the tech’s projected ROI.
Deciding what constitutes positive ROI though is tougher with new technologies like VR. It’s not necessarily as simple as figuring out revenue earned or money saved (though sometimes it is). So we wanted to explore the ways in which our clients view the ROI of a VR experience they create.
Obviously, every company is different. And the threshold for positive ROI varies, or sometimes takes months or years to truly evaluate. So if you have questions on how you can evaluate the ROI of a VR program you’re about to launch at your company, reach out to our Sales team. We’d be happy to walk you through the various ways deploying VR can be value additive for you!
ACTUAL ENGAGEMENT (ie SCENES VIEWED, VR EXPERIENCES COMPLETED, ETC)
Thanks to the new InstaVR Analytics feature, you have access to data on every interaction with your VR applications. That includes every time a scene is started, every time a Hotspot is engaged, every time a new scene is launched, etc. Combined with the User ID field, you can even get granular enough to see who the person was that performed the actions.
This real-time engagement data can help you formulate an ROI calculator. For instance, if 50% of new employees complete a VR orientation vs. having to fly out to a location or bring in a trainer, you can determine how much money was saved. Or, if you have say 100 people complete a home tour in VR that you’ve submitted to iTunes or Google Play, you can determine on a per user basis how much the VR cost per virtual tour viewed.
It’s important to pick the analytics data that matters to you though. In employee training, for example, you may want to look at how many people completed the whole training (ie reached the final scene). Then compare that with how many people complete your former way of doing training.
We highly recommend using the Export to CSV option for your IntstaVR Analytics. Then focus only on the metrics that matter and remove the rest. That way, you can cut through the noise and create a real ROI calculator. And since we know VR has a bigger impact that standard 2D video, you can hopefully assign an appropriate value to each VR user and action taken.
BEFORE AND AFTER PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
As many companies turn to VR for important functions like employee training or operations improvement, the ROI can be seen in the actual performance of employees and the company. Yes, you can add quizzes in InstaVR to assess employee performance. But why not do actual performance assessments pre and post VR training?
You can do information recall tests, like the ones performed at University of Maryland, that showed an 8.8% lift in recall when using a VR headset vs. traditional video. Or actual on the job accuracy tests, like the one performed by the Western Orthopedic Association, that showed VR training led to 20% faster surgeries and completed 38% more steps correctly than those trained in traditional methods.
So how do you replicate what University of Maryland and the Western Orthopedic Association have done to show your VR use is a success?
First, set a baseline. What is the mean or median performance prior to the introduction of VR. Then it’s best to do an A/B test. Have 1/2 your target group continue normal training (ie paper, classroom, standard video) and 1/2 with the VR training. That way, you can definitively show performance lift was from being immersed in VR training.
Having this hard data on offline performance is important. The goal with VR training is to improve real world work performance. So combining analytics data, with actual job data, provides a compelling reason for your management to invest more in your VR program.
BRAND LIFT AND LEAD GENERATION
VR is great for sales and marketing presentations. It’s immersive, memorable, and helps you stand out from the competition. You will likely, just from using the technology, get a “brand lift” — as people associate good things with companies adopting the technology.
But how do you determine if you actually are making a marketing difference? Ask for feedback!
Ask users what they thought of experiencing your VR, does it make them more likely to seek out more information on your company, etc. If people can “recall” your VR experience, and have positive feelings about it, they’re more likely to remember your company as well. An exit survey of the VR users lets you know if you’re making a difference or not with the technology.
You can also do lead generation through InstaVR-generated apps. This could be at say a tradeshow, where a User ID is entered that is the visitor’s name or email address and recorded in your InstaVR analytics. Or you could distribute the app through iTunes/Google Play/Oculus Store, and have users enter a unique identifier before starting the VR experience.
We also have calls-to-action you can build directly into your apps. For a mobile app, that would be pulling up a phone number to call. For WebVR, that would be pulling up a web page. In those instances, the VR experience is a hook to get you to visit the web page or call the company being featured.
One thing that’s important to recognize is the per lead value from VR is much higher than traditional marketing/sales efforts, because of the memorable experience you’re providing. The impression isn’t the same as say a fleeting advertisement.
The total volume of leads will likely be lower. But we know the engagement and recall will be higher. So don’t be discouraged if your VR isn’t being viewed at scale — it often matters more who is seeing it, than how many people are seeing it.
Companies often will have to jump into VR not knowing for sure what the ROI is going to be. That’s understandable. But once launched, you want to put some metrics and success criteria in place.
Ultimately, the most important metric isn’t leads generated or employees that viewed VR training. It’s clients acquired or employee performance improved. And that has been shown pretty conclusively to be positively affected by smart VR use.
So you’ll want to structure your ROI analysis to capture the metrics that are important to you — and then showcase how VR experiences built using InstaVR help you meet those goals!