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How to quantify the ROI of cloud streaming 3D content

November 24, 2020

How do you know your interactive 3D application is making you money?

One of the major reasons for companies turning to interactive 3D applications is that these applications can provide significant returns on investment.

For consumer-facing products, such as photorealistic virtual home tours or 3D product configuration, this technology can offer improvements for a variety of e-commerce metrics, such as conversion rates, cost per lead, or the time it takes to close a deal. On the other side of the coin, internal applications like training simulations and collaborative visualizations offer benefits such as lower operational costs, improved productivity, and better employee retention.

However, quantifying these benefits for stakeholders isn’t always easy, especially when businesses aren’t prepared for it. Shareholders don’t just want to see how cool the technology is, they want hard numbers on how a consumer-facing application is increasing sales, or on how an internal platform is saving time and money.

Calculating the ROI from an interactive 3D streaming application can help you get the most out of it. But it’s important to know what to look for in order to get an accurate number. Luckily, you can do a few things to ensure that you know exactly what your investment in an interactive 3D application is giving back.

How to ensure your ROI calculations are accurate

There’s no simple formula that will tell you how to quantify ROI. Instead, diverse variables need to be accounted for, making the calculations around ROI not just a science, but an art.

Calculating returns for internal projects tends to be more straightforward, because it involves more fixed costs. When using an interactive 3D configurator for marketing, however, not everything is quite so cut-and-dried. With some work, though, it is possible to properly measure the return that you’ll get on this investment. Here are three steps you need to take in order to get there.

1. Set your goals

You can’t measure your success at the end if you failed to define it before you started. When Pacific Gas & Electric created its interactive 3D training program, it did so with a specific set of goals in mind.

The utilities company wanted to improve the process surrounding preventive maintenance of a necessary valve control tool. Specifically, it looked to lower error rates, training costs, and support tickets that came in. Because PG&E had defined success for the project, it could better figure the results. In this case, it managed to cut costs by 62%, halve training time, and shrink rework because of errors by 37%.

In addition to making ROI easier to calculate, setting the terms of your success offers clarity which helps stakeholders get on board with a project and stay on the same page. That way, you don’t end up with different people using different yardsticks to measure success.

2. To better understand your future, examine the present

You might assume you already know where your revenue comes from, but how much has that number actually been broken down? Do you know what percentage of your online visitors convert to engaged leads? What about the percentage of leads to sales conversations and purchases? How do you define engagement?

To be able to attribute revenue to your interactive 3D program as soon as the sales cycle ends, you first need to fully understand how your revenue percentages are distributed and know the costs involved in your current marketing pipeline.

The need to understand the present before you can define the future is true for internal projects, too. Lee Company, for instance, accurately evaluated the ROI for its interactive 3D training because it knew exactly where its existing costs were coming from. By using digital reality to reduce the number of repeat visits from technicians, the company saved more than $500 per month per technician due to reduced labour and travel costs. For every dollar it spent on 3D training, Lee Company saved $20.

3. Change how you think about leads

Many companies define a qualified lead through the sales team rather than through marketing. However, if a lead can be determined as qualified only after there’s been a sales conversation, that significantly undercuts marketing’s role in the process.

To properly determine the effectiveness of a marketing strategy, you have to look at the department as a revenue generator, not a cost center. A lead that goes from marketing to sales should be considered a marketing qualified lead and its conversions should be tracked as such. This shows you the success of marketing efforts before they become convoluted within sales efforts.

This is the only way to accurately quantify the effectiveness of 3D product configuration as a marketing tool. Using 3D streaming to gamify product configuration, for instance, can lead to high engagement and more conversions from marketing leads, but if you consider qualified leads to come only from sales, you may be miscalculating where your return is truly coming from.

Calculating ROI is just one aspect of 3D cloud streaming you have to consider. To learn more, download our complete guide to interactive 3D cloud streaming. If you’re ready to take next steps, schedule a call to discuss how we can help you lower costs, improve conversions, and maximize audience engagement online with internal and external interactive 3D applications.

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