How to accelerate your marketing with Extended Reality

10th October 2018 by Asimina Pantazi


As the growth of XR (industry umbrella term for all things VR, AR and MR related) continues to gather momentum across both the consumer and enterprise sectors, it is a very exciting, and important time for vendors working across the value chain in the Healthcare sector.

Early disenchantment and doubts over the role of technology in delivering the level of value necessary for sustained investment have been replaced by solid academic evidence of human performance enhancement and an ever-increasing portfolio of case studies that demonstrate tangible value.

None more so than across Pharma, Healthcare and Medicine. Due to the unique benefits of XR and its transformative potential across almost every aspect of Healthcare, growth within the sector is predicted to reach $5.1 billion worldwide by 2025.

Benefits, such as the ability to overcome narrative and communication challenges posed by complexity, scale and distance. All three of which feature regularly across much of Pharma’s subject matter, and the products and services involved. Or the level to which VR can improve message acquisition and recall by enhancing content with spatial context recreations, and passive content consumption by communication through active interactions. [Alzheimer Research Case study]

Augmented Reality, on the other-hand, can bring existing print materials to life using interactive, 3D content that has now been proved to generate x1.9 the depth of response than non-AR content. Whilst Mixed Reality can create highly memorable and impactful experiences at trade shows, exhibitions or sales conferences, leaving lasting impressions on prospects that improve the chances of further engagement.

All these benefits are now well established, and can be easily researched online, or actively understood through work shopping. What’s not so readily available however, is how to get started. So here are four tips to help bring XR into the center of your marketing and communications

1. Build a culture of curiosity and sustained knowledge sharing.

XR is no longer something that might happen to the way you deliver marcoms – it is going to transform it significantly! Especially as enabling technologies like Artificial Intelligence and 5G unlock new levels of innovation and capability. Awarding it the same degree of ongoing curiosity and discovery as other media in your mix, is essential to making sure your marketing and communications remain competitive. Equally, packaging and sharing that knowledge with both your wider teams, as well as your clients on a regular basis, will only serve to energize the appetite for how they can be actively used in future campaigns.

2. Make XR tangible within your department

For a relatively small investment, you can set up an XR experience area within your business, with all the main VR, AR and MR hardware and interfaces. Giving staff from all departments – and clients - the opportunity to interact with these tools, and explore content and experiences first hand, will not only demystify XR, it will almost certainly open up internal ideas and suggestions about how it can be used across the business.

3. Start small, take action, learn

Understanding and using new technologies like this can be overwhelming at first, so start small and stay focused on areas that mask the short-term opportunities. Look across the business, your clients buying journeys or their patient wellness pathways, for challenges or opportunities posed by those areas of complexity, scale or distance. Then draft and test hypotheses, build prototypes, test them with users and understand what works and what doesn’t.

4. Choose XR Partners Wisely

Depending on where you are on your XR roadmap, it’s important to choose an XR specialist partner carefully. As the technologies become increasingly integrated with core business models, working with XR vendors that can provide planning and consulting, and ongoing product and experience management support, either side of creative and production is becoming increasingly important. Providing a genuine extension to your marketing department on all levels, helping you to overcome the medium-term time and talent resources barriers.


XR, supported by ongoing supply chain innovation, and the emerging support of AI and 5G, is going to transform marketing and communications across Pharma, Healthcare and the Life Sciences. Providing a new means of competitive advantage and growth for brands that are willing to adopt the necessary degree of commitment and focus. To both understand how and where to they can be integrated into their marcoms strategy, and take definitive action towards building, testing and rolling out XR solutions.

VISYON and medDigital will be exhibiting at Eye for Pharma (Booth #4)  

By Christian Burne Commercial Director, VISYON UK