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Increase Foot Traffic With Virtual Room Scenes

VRS isn’t the next big thing in technology, it’s the current thing and if you aren’t utilizing virtual room scenes, you run the risk of being behind.

In this episode, Brandon Bain, Co-Founder and CEO of Bedhead Marketing joins Mark and Adrienne to discuss revolutionary technology that it amplifying the shopping experience online and turning it into in-store sales. Move over 360-degree pictures, the shopping experience of the future is immersive and Brandon is telling us why everyone from the manufacturer to the retailer needs to be involved.

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FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Mark Kinsley: This is the number one driver of contact information on our entire website. It used to be, Hey, we got a contact form. Come on through. We made one dramatic change to englander.com. The man behind the technology and the experiences here today, The fan marketing show starts right now.

Welcome to the FAM Marketing Show Strategies, tips, and ideas to help retailers and brands grow their furniture, appliances, and mattress business. Branded Bain, the CEO of Bed Hood Marketing, is on the show as our coast today. Brandon, welcome. You saw Mark as a fan of the show. I know you’re a huge fan of the show.

You probably have them fam marketing show tattoo underneath that sweet shirt you’re wearing. So I do as a fan, you show, you know the format here, right? We get that’s a stick on. We get trivia. We get trivia right outta the gates. Don’t. We

Adrienne Woods: do indeed. It’s my favorite part of the show probably. It’s cuz it’s the part I control.

But welcome to the show, Brandon.

Brandon Bain: Thank you very much, Adrian. All right, so

Adrienne Woods: here is our, uh, trivia for this week. Um, what percentage of marketing is digital? And I’m gonna give you three options. Be thinking of your answer, and then at the end of the show, you’re gonna get to give your answer. So a question.

What percentage of marketing is digital? Is it 72%, 54%, or 67%?

Mark Kinsley: When you say, Hold on a second, I have questions about this question, this trivia question, when you say what percentage of marketing. Do you, Are you saying what percentage of marketing budgets in marketing budgets are typically spent on digital these days?

Today,

Adrienne Woods: Mark? Yes. Marketing budgets.

Mark Kinsley: All right, so Brandon, don’t answer yet. Okay. We have to save that for the end of the show, but if you want to chime in, you can text us on our podium number, which you, It’s kind of funky. I mean, it’s like kind of cool. You go to the website, famm.news, and you text from the website, How’s.

Don’t worry about it, , how does virtual room scene work? You should be worrying about it. And we got the expert, the creator, the man, the myth, the reality. Brandon bas, CEO of Bedhead Marketing. Brandon, thank you so much for being here on the show. We are are longtime friends. We, we’ve worked together in multiple capacities and all these cool projects and you came to me and, and you said, I wanna show you something.

And I’m like, anytime you have something that gets you excited, typically. Advanced number one, and, and, and sometimes it’s so advanced and I’m like, we’re not quite there yet. However, when you came to me with virtual room scene, I’m like, this is what we need. This is the, the experience we can create online that really builds value in the products and goes beyond just images and copy and even video.

So, first of all, tell us about, tell people about you and then also also tell us about virtual room scene.

Brandon Bain: Sure. Um, so the, the quick and dirty about me is, um, back in 1998, I was, uh, blessed to be the first intern at Mattress Firm and, uh, enjoyed doing their little, their corporate, uh, internship program. Had fun doing that, and later came back.

Ran, uh, some mattress firms with, uh, my buddy Steven Ferguson, who’s business partner of ours and Nice, um, ran the number one store in the country and really enjoyed a lot of success there. And, um, later on went and, uh, founded a, uh, a network security company for 10 years and ran that. And then I opened up a marketing company back in 2016.

Um, so kind of a, a unique confluence of experiences. But, um, really always enjoyed the mattress category and the, um, and the sales process. So that was kind of, it drew me back in when Steven said, Hey, we should kind of, uh, set up a marketing company that focuses specifically on the betting category. So, um, yeah, we’ve been doing that for a little while.

And in terms of the vrs stuff, so. Uh, you know, I, I would love to pat myself on the back and say that I, I invented a technology, but I’m, you know, more like, you know, bringing in technology that’s been utilized around the world in other categories for a very long time, very successfully. Um, the, the betting category tends to be a little bit of a lagger.

When it comes to introducing new technologies, they kind of wait until it’s all proven out and then they bring it in. Um, so what we saw in the real estate market is over 5 million daily views of virtual tours, how homes were being looked at. And we said, Wow, there’s an opportunity there as more and more people are starting to shop online for their mattresses to sort of create this immersive experience, um, since they can’t get into the store.

Um, but it’s also a really cool opportunity for manufacturers to show their beds to, uh, you know, b2b. And, um, so that was the kind of first genesis that I showed you, um, when we created our

Mark Kinsley: mockup store. Yeah. And the mockup store grabbed my attention and I said, We have to have this for. And right now, I mean, if you pop over to englander.com, just below the headline image, you can enter our virtual showroom.

And what I thought was super cool about this was, was, was multi-pronged. Uh, but one of the, the first thing was, You get to navigate this experience as a consumer, or if you want to get training on the product, you’re able to navigate this showroom and you can click on these little pulsing pucks and up opens a video and product information.

Interactive features, and then you can navigate back out and you can go over to these little Easter eggs that are hidden to get, you know, training videos and you can schedule meetings with people so that that’s all cool. Uh, but technology only really works if it works for the user. And it worked on a mobile device.

It worked on a desktop and, and I think the key thing here though, for me as a manufacturer, I looked at it and I thought, Man, I don’t want somebody to walk around my showroom or a showroom with a. Because if you walk around the showroom with a camera, the moment a model changes or you replace that model, you gotta go walk around the showroom again with another camera.

So we built all these Englander models digitally. So these are 3D models of all of our mattresses that are so almost so realistic that it seems like the real thing. And the moment that I don’t wanna switch it out, boom, we. Pop up another one and take out that one because it’s all created in this digital environment.

And, and I, and I said it earlier on the tees on the setup, Brandon, the number one driver of contact for Englander today is now through our virtual showroom. So, so, so it proves to me that this works. Talk about. What you’re hearing from other people. Talk about why you thought this would work and, and your experience in making this something that actually works for retailers, manufacturers, and ultimately the consumer.

And I just

Adrienne Woods: wanna bef, before you answer that, I just wanna give a shout out because I have been on the Englander site and been in the virtual showroom, and it’s probably one of the most realistic that I have ever seen. And I was just going in just to see what it looked like. So kudos to you and what you’ve done.

Thank you. You’re

Brandon Bain: welcome. Thank you. I feel like in order to execute on this sort of strategy, you have to create this photo realistic version of the, the products and the room. You don’t want it to feel like it. You’re in the metaverse and it’s a video game like that. I guess there is a market for that I’m sure, but, um, when you’re evaluating products, you wanna know what they really look like.

And before we can build the vrs, we had to become experts at digital. Asset development first, right? We had to learn how to build a photo, realistic silhouette and digi bun and room setting and things of that nature. So none of this happens without first knowing that very important skill. Um, so yeah, I think what I’m hearing about in the category from people that are looking at it and seeing it is a lot of people think that’s incredible.

I’m just trying to get basic photos of my beds doll look the same on my website first, but thanks for showing me how cool that is. I would love to have that in the future. So we get it. For a lot of people it’s like, Hey, I would love to have it, but we’re trying to walk before we run. So frankly, that’s part of, um, a, a, a retailer, even a manufacturer strategy should be like, Hey, make sure that you have continuity and the experience from all the asset development.

And then, uh, show them a new way to kind of, uh, engage with your products because I wanna make this. That a virtual room is not just interactive. Interactive, I kind of define as how you can create a spinner. You can create sliders and you know, calculators and things of that nature that’s interactive and that’s important on a website.

This is immersive, right? You feel like you’re actually in the room and that gives you a different emotional feel. So we have two different ways of doing the virtual. We call ’em vrs, virtual room settings. You can do a showroom style, which what we’ve seen is that’s been very popular for manufacturers that wanna display a lot of beds.

And you can do room settings, build out a bedroom that looks, maybe you have a high end venue, you wanna put it, uh, in a high end looking room, right? So you can create that emotional feel as well there. So there’s a couple of ways to kind of approach the, the virtualization there. Um, but what we’re seeing is that there’s a lot of interest in it and people think of it as the future.

But we know that it’s the, now we know that this is happening now in retail. We know that, um, it’s struggled to perform over the last several years because of what you talked about with. 360 photography is not conducive to creating virtualization, right? It’s not conducive to, uh, being able to pull skews out cuz your floor changes.

Um, but if we can create the photorealistic digital assets, um, then, then we actually have something. And just a couple weeks ago, Bloomingdale’s just launch a huge virtual platform just demonstrating that this is not something in the future, that large organizations are leaning heavy into this, this technology.

Mark Kinsley: Talking to Brandon Bain, CEO of Bedhead Marketing. Brandon, you, you really hit a good pause point for us before you get to all this cool immersive. Virtual room settings, we have to create assets that work. So, uh, you know, sometimes you can be so far out in front of your platoon, you get shot in the back.

In this situation, there’s a, a clear measured process to develop the assets and then put ’em into a room scene and then make it interactive. And I think you guys have done just a phenomenal job of that. And I wanna point out something else. Of course, we mentioned this can work for manufacturers, for brands that don’t want to create a different experience online.

And, and let’s face the facts. The majority of all sales now start online. That’s where consumers begin their research. And so if you want to differentiate your brand, you have to start by differentiate your brand online. And it’s not just through a Me too product or me too copy and photography. I think you really have to do something just different enough that consumers really see you as an innovator.

And this is a first signal that you are an innovator and I think that’s a key point. The other thing that, that I think is really interest. In terms of where it’s going is you’ve figured out a way to create these virtual room settings, these immersive environments with e-commerce, and you don’t have to click out of the, of the vrs to go do a checkout.

Talk about that.

Brandon Bain: Yeah. I think that, um, when we figured out that piece of it, When we’re doing all this research on who’s actually executing these virtual rooms really well, the companies that were trying, you would click on a product that was inside of this virtual room scene and it would open up a new tab browser, and you’re going through it and.

If you ever wanted to go back, you had to go to another. So now you’re kind of hopping back and forth between these two experiences. Um, to us, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Like, I’m in the virtual room, let me shop in the virtual room, let me buy in the virtual room. Uh, incentivize me in the virtual room, educate me in the virtual room, right?

You always talk about engage me and I’ll buy . That sets of one of the, the Kinsley ISS that I, I, I definitely embrace. Um, so I, I feel like this. Room setting should be fully cap encapsulated. It shouldn’t force you to go somewhere else to transact like it. It can certainly happen right there inside.

Did we get delayed? , Can you hear me? I can hear you.

Mark Kinsley: Adrian. You can edit out this part. Yes, I can

Adrienne Woods: for sure. . .

Mark Kinsley: I’ve already

Brandon Bain: marked out my, what ends up happening there? I

Adrienne Woods: have no idea. I heard you completely.

Mark Kinsley: Okay, great. From, from like 1240 until 13 minutes, you can set it out. Um, so I’ll, I’ll just pick us, I’ll pick us back up here.

Just, just gimme a beat and then we’ll keep going. Okay, so Brandon, this might seem like it’s out there, but you did talk about the process for asset creation and then vrs, and then eventually e-commerce. , what are, what are you hearing from retailers and brands besides Englander? You know, I’m more of an early adopter.

I hop on board with things. I like to create experiences. So much of the experience that we need to create is online. What are you hearing from other people and what are, what are some of the success stories that you’re experiencing or some of the projects in the pipeline, and where do you see this thing

Brandon Bain: going?

Um, I would correct you on, you’re not really an early adopter. You’re probably more of an innovator, , you’re even before the early adopters, which is awesome. Um, willing to take a chance. And I do think. Don’t blow his head up starting, I just want you to know Don blow his head. I know, I know. Well, you know it’s gonna happen at some point

Um, but no, I think that there’s a lot of companies showing interest in it and it’s on their roadmap and it’s like, Hey, as soon as we get the assets we need and you build us the website we need, that’s when we develop this. So we just recently launched from one the Sherwood bedding and um, obviously top five, uh, largest manufacturer in the country.

Uh, TSI company, very, very prestigious organization, and they, we completely revamped their website and the thing right in the hero spot is a virtual room setting, and it’s not really there to sort of look through their beds and kind of figure out like, which ones I want, Nothing like that. They just wanted to show kind of like their process for building a bed.

So, You can click on the bed, you can open it up and kind of understand how they treat the different, um, componentry of the mattress and the construction, the tension, uh, detail and, and quality of the materials they use. That’s kind of, um, the way that they approach that process. But what we’re starting to see is companies asking.

Very large companies, and as due to the NDAs, we won’t tell who, but large companies that say we are normally taking like a traveling bus to organizations and showing ’em these big like mobile showrooms of beds. He’s like, This kills that , like, we don’t want to do that anymore. So that’s just one kind of use case.

We kind of, uh, uncovered just a couple weeks ago. And yeah, of course you can, uh, augment your Vegas showroom. With things like this. You can do not only Unhosted tours where you can allow people to go in, but you can host someone that, uh, in these rooms and walk ’em around the room and talk about the beds and, and give them the whole spiel as if you’re there with them locally.

So we’re getting a lot of really positive feedback on. Most people don’t realize that the cost is not nearly as much as they think in their mind. It would be. Um, it’s a lot of, it’s custom, right? So you can build something very like boutique or you can kind of say, Hey, you know, let’s make this incredible , you know, put me in a a hundred thousand square foot warehouse if you want.

Um, but we’re not bound by the physical nature of 360 photography. As you remember, when we were building yours, your thought was, Hey, I want to look and feel like our website, I mean our, uh, showroom, but. We could have made it anything , We didn’t have to, We could have literally made

Mark Kinsley: it the Taj Mahal if you wanted to.

And that’s, that’s one of the brilliant parts about this, is if you, let’s say you’re a retailer and you want to have. A completely extended experience of your actual showroom online and offer different models or set up drop shippers or have different products that you can fulfill in a, in a very creative way, you can do that.

And so I love the flexibility there. Brandon. Um, thanks for taking us through vrs. I know there’s a ton more to unpack and a lot of this is very bespoke. Uh, so we’re gonna have you back on the show as more questions come up. And if you want to text us, go to fam.news, text us on our podium number and we’re gonna hook.

Uh, with, with Brandon and with any questions you have, we can filter those his way. Uh, Brandon, before we get to the answer to the trivia question, what is the, the website where people can get in touch with you?

Brandon Bain: Yeah, bedhead marketing.com. Um, and if you wanna see, uh, more information about vrs, you just add a slash vrs to the end, bedhead marketing.com/vrs, and it’ll talk about all kinds of cool facts and figures.

And you can actually click on the Englander’s, uh, showroom as well and check that out right there cuz very proud of that. Yeah. Thank you. . There’s the sound effects.

Mark Kinsley: Hit us with that trivia question and Brandon’s gonna be our guesser.

Adrienne Woods: Okay. Brandon will be our guesser. All right, Brandon, what percentage of marketing is digital?

And by that I mean what percentage of budgets are basically allocated towards digital? So the answers betting category or the, The choices are 72%. 54% and 67% not embedding, just in general. Oh, in general, what percentage of marketing is digital? Yes.

Mark Kinsley: Embedding gonna be 4%. ,

Brandon Bain: Yes. 72,

Adrienne Woods: 54 or 67.

Brandon Bain: I’m inclined to go heavier, assuming that.

Where, you know, TV is now considered digital, right over the Air TV fair, but I’m not quite sure how that’s being read, so I’ll go a 70 was 72%, 72%

Adrienne Woods: Kinsley. Are you gonna give an, gonna give a guess?

Mark Kinsley: No, I’m just gonna piggyback on Brandon’s. Okay. I, I think it’s lower though. I think it’s No. Oh, he is right.

Adrienne Woods: 80% he is right. That shocked me. I would’ve thought 54%. But no, 72% of all current marketing is geared towards the digital platform.

Mark Kinsley: Awesome. Well, hey, that, that shows you just what we talked about with vrs. That’s a digital environment that you’re creating. You can begin that experience online. You can differentiate yourself, and we are so thankful, Brandon, to have you on a sh on the show today.

So if you, Thanks man. Blessed to be here. Well, we appreciate you. If you have a marketing tip, go over to fam.news. Text us on our podium number. Be sure to subscribe and never Adrian, miss an idea that can make you.

Adrienne Woods: Digital marketing

Mark Kinsley: specialist and join us each week as we bring you more fam marketing magic.

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