Computer Generated Imagery, or CGI, has long since transcended its role as a niche sales and marketing tool that only a select few can access or afford, and has became a powerhouse must-have weapon in today’s hyperconnected business landscape. Proof of its ubiquitous status can be found in many of the latest car advertisements, print imagery, and as the sole driving force for the latest immersive VR experiences. CGI’s flexibility and capacity to scale across all digital devices and platforms gives it an edge that practical photo shoots and antiquated content creation methods cannot match. Case in point: while advertisements crafted with CGI can be continuously refined and improved because they originate from a digital source, photo shoots are more or less set in stone once the initial shoot takes place, aside from what Photoshop can accomplish, and are subject to costly reshoots if the product or advertising need changes.
Using the same technology that powers Hollywood’s superhero-laden, assault-on-the-senses blockbusters, CGI for sales and marketing is capable of realistically visualizing any concept or idea, no matter how far-fetched. In today’s economy, where some of the fastest growing businesses revolve around innovative software or service concepts, this is an extremely powerful mechanism. Many companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, need to generate buzz and gain visibility before their products actually exist, in order to survive in a world dominated by big brands and multinational conglomerates that leverage massive marketing budgets to drown out their competitors. CGI not only allows businesses to generate marketing materials at an earlier stage of product development than has previously been possible, it also shortens the sales cycle, enabling small businesses and start-ups to get their products to market sooner. When fledgling organizations seek funding from interested venture capitalists, or crowdsource their operating budget from sites like Kickstarter, CGI provides them with essential promotional content that allows potential backers to visually understand the benefit of, and need for, their product or service.
Crafting sales and marketing collateral with CGI allows for minute segmentation of, and carefully orchestrated interaction with, a business’ target audience. For example, a marketing campaign launched on Facebook or Snapchat would interact with, and reach, audiences in vastly different capacities than a national TV advertisement would. The lesson is: content must be carefully curated to take advantage of the specific strengths of the platform it is being launched on. To antidote traditional content creation methods that quickly stagnate, CGI allows for trial and error analysis in multiple ways. Scenes can easily be tested and restructured; whereas, a photo shoot is oftentimes too expensive to reshoot, and its output is limited by time and budgetary constraints. Digital content offers marketing and advertising professionals many extra degrees of flexibility and freedom. Different viewing angles can be achieved with just a few mouse clicks. Product colors can be tried and tested just as easily. With CGI, the limitations of physical production are a thing of the past.
The most time-consuming aspect of producing quality CGI is conceptualizing a product or scene, and creating all creative assets from scratch. As a basic analogy, creating CGI is akin to building a LEGO® scene – the more digital bricks you have to start with, the quicker, easier and less expensive the process becomes. Today, many CGI assets, such as objects, materials, environments and animations have already been professionally generated, and are digitally available through a multitude of online libraries and marketplaces. Starting with a CGI workflow is easier, more affordable and creatively empowering than ever before. Simply locate the digital content and let the creatives – get creative.
By adopting a digital workflow for product design, and a CGI strategy for marketing, small companies with modest marketing budgets can vastly accelerate and improve the outcome of their often make-or-break campaigns. Options for this kind of speed and creative freedom were previously only available to companies with marketing budgets that were far out of reach for most organizations. Thanks to increasingly affordable and accessible technology, software platforms and services, small and medium-sized businesses now have access to the CGI content creation capabilities that allow them to confidently compete toe-to-toe with their deep-pocketed rivals.
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