Find The Best XR Partner for Your Project
The XR industry is growing rapidly– new production companies and immersive media studios are founded every day. With so many companies to choose from finding the best XR creators for your project might seem like a daunting task. Here are some things to consider.
Try VR for yourself
Virtual reality is really one of those things that you need to experience to fully understand. You can’t describe the feeling of immersive presence to a viewer and have them get it the way a person who actually experiences VR will grok it. Take the time to try as many different XR scenarios as possible to become educated on the options. This provides a greater grasp of what is possible and effective—and it is fun! You are also bound to unlock some great ideas for your brand by seeing what others have done.
Decide the XR format to best meet your goals
Next step is to define what will work for your project. Often the product or service you want to market lends itself to a specific format. Take a hotel manager, a non-profit organization and a car dealership for example. They all have different needs. For the hotel manager an immersive video showcasing the venue may be the preferred choice. The non-profit might want a powerful and emotional story sparking empathy that will touch the hearts of the viewers. The auto salesperson, after taking the prospective buyer for a test drive, might want to let the customer see specifications of the engine, customize exterior color and add options like leather seats or custom wheels—using an AR configurator may be the answer. Start with your use case, check out some of the hundreds of case studies on the VRM site and align your search with the studios that specialize in your vertical–like training, retail, automotive, entertainment, travel or real estate for example.
XR marketing can take many forms. Configuring and test driving a vehicle from the comfort of your living room is now a reality.
Estimating a budget
Pricing is a key question for potential clients new to the immersive marketing space. There are many factors that impact budget and an almost infinite number of variables that will influence the final cost. Just like in traditional media production, increased spending opens up additional options. Spend time with the production company ahead of the build thinking through the entire strategy. Often XR assets can be redeployed across multiple projects and used in social media channels or company communications to amortize costs. Preplanning also mitigates project creep and allows the studio to stay close to the original scope of work. There are multiple resources on the VRM site—articles, podcasts and webinars—resources that help inform users on how much various projects should cost—it is always better to become educated on price before the project rather than during production.
Quality is critical to successful immersive experiences
The best choice is often not the least expensive for XR production projects. One reason virtual reality is compelling to marketers is because the viewer is completely immersed in the experience—the head mounted display blocks out the real world. An excellent experience will delight your audience; a poor experience can backfire spectacularly—in rare cases even making your viewers nauseous. Ensure that your producers understand the technology requirements, like 90+ frames per second, 6DoF (degrees of freedom) and other adjustments that will make users comfortable and let your content shine.
Consider a specialist
Evaluate potential partners’ vertical expertise. XR has been around long enough for companies to develop niches. For example, B2B VR training has become an area of specialty as well as sub-specialties. Companies focus on soft skills, safety, manufacturing, maintenance, warehousing, and more across multiple verticals. One very successful VR trainer only offers only fork lift driving simulations. Retail experiences featuring AR solutions are another example of narrow specialties where in-home furniture placement, virtual try-ons, store promotions and navigation are examples of experiences serviced by dedicated studios.
Check out portfolios
Of course, due diligence is standard, but it bears repeating that it is important to evaluate a studio’s previous efforts to see if your artistic vision aligns with a studio’s body of work. Have they partnered with companies like yours before? Do they have a roster of brands whose communications you admire? How long the studio has been in business? Do the founder and direct contacts have impressive resumes? Check references. Don’t disregard studios solely on the basis of size or number of projects under their belt. The VR industry is young and innovating every day. Check out case studies on VRM to see what is being produced in your vertical and which studios are making their mark.
Talk with the studios
Member studios listed on VRM are more than happy to discuss your project ahead of time. They will outline what is possible given budget parameters and creative brief. Chat with a few different companies to check your chemistry with their teams, make sure you share the same artistic vision for the project and ensure that you have established good communication and a solid rapport before selecting a studio.
Choosing the best AR or VR partner for you
Would you like more guidance in selecting your best match? Choosing the right XR partner is both an art and science. VRM’s Recommended service can help. Our XR experts will evaluate your project and select three studios that are a great fit for your project. VRM has the largest directory of XR companies in the world—over 3000 and 500+ case studies across all major verticals.
VRM referrals are free and simple to use. Just send us a brief on your concept and we will recommend three studios qualified, skilled and eager to partner on your project. Read more about our VRM Recommended service here.