panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2008-05-17
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Posts: 28
2008-11-11
#1

Marketing the tours

I am just beginning to get to that critical point where I have got my first "job" that should PAY me MONEY.

I have had a hard time discussing the mundane but critical concepts of ROI (Return on Investment) for money spent on creating tours. Is there any where with some independently gathered evidence - ie not by our crew on these forums- that gives an impartial assessment of the effectiveness of the medium we are offering. I would like to be able to offer this information on my company website for prospective customers who like to look beyond the superficial messages extolling the virtues of our work.
I am convinced it is a workable and valuable medium that we have barely scratched the surface of, in terms of education and accessibility for people.

I have also put a test site up where I am placing my work so far, for clients to see it, in progress, so to speak. This is at

www.fullscreenvirtual.com  

This is set up using a very simple template and isn't meant to be a sales or shop front site, it's me learning the craft of doing the tours rather than making a pretty site.   If any of you guys out there who have got some mileage in making a living from the tour business would be willing to cast a critical eye over the panoramics and the tour of the hotel, that would be much appreciated. I reckon I have still got a lot to learn just in the photographic side of things, never mind the finer points of tour production. Any comment would be much appreciated.

I have other examples at

http://www.stanwix.info/tour.html
and
http://www.ipix-photos.co.uk/fullscreen/index.html

All the best
Ray
CosmicRay
The NorthernView
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http://www.cosmicrayimages.thenorthernview.biz
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Joined: 2002-06-12
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Posts: 2239
2008-11-11
#2

We work with local professional photographers who would prefer to outsource panorama work.  Local marketing and advertising companies have subcontracted for our services.  Clients own or manage property just need imaging for their website.

Sometimes your customer has a need... you just help them identify it.

Remember, you are not selling panormas.  Your panoramas are selling the clients product or services.

Examples

  • Top tourist destinations are successively using online virtual tours to increase their financial bottom line.

  • Companies with virtual tours provide an early look at their facilities to attract new employees.

  • Retailers display object modeling of their products to increase sales.

  • City and State Tourist Bureaus reach out for the tourist trade with virtual tours.

  • City Zoo's are a major  attraction and show visitors virtual tours about where to see more.

  • Cultural Museums and Botanical  Gardens attract new and return visitors.  Virtual Tours display new events.

  • Ball Parks give visitors a first hand look with Virtual tours for favored seating & buying tickets.

  • Major Hotels proudly display virtual tours of their accommodations.

  • Travel Agencies lure travelers with a Virtual Tour peek at what they can be enjoying. 

  • Hospitals display their high quality facilities to attract Doctors and Nurses.


/s/
Dave
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EasyPano - Panoweaver
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Joined: 2005-06-08
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2008-11-12
#3
I try not to get into the whole discussion about ROI on Virtual Tours. I try to sell the whole package, not just the tour. Here's an example I did a couple of years ago:

http://www.vanderplaat.com  (The Paramus location has a virtual tour under "About Us")

The major selling point was doing a complete website for them, including a virtual tour. I had to shoot stills for the site anyway, so I arranged to shoot the tour the same day. If they liked it, we add it to the site and they pay for it. If not, then I delete it or keep it for a portfolio piece. I've never had anybody yet, turn down a virtual tour when I present it this way.

I could never give any ROI numbers for a job like that. I don't even think their site gets that many hits. But the client knows he needs a website, just like anybody in business needs a website. So I look at it from this angle: If a client needs a website, and I think a virtual tour can enhance the site (and it has portfolio value to me), I offer to do it. It's low risk on my end because I'm already getting paid to do the site anyway. And I feel like I have a better chance of selling the Virtual Tour because I'm already providing a service for them.

I'm not even really sure how you can measure the ROI of a virtual tour. I think that most people see a tour and are encouraged to come in to see the place for real. At that point, it's up to the rep to sell it. But then again, what other parts of the site could have influenced the viewer to purchase?
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Joined: 2002-06-12
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2008-11-12
#4

Thanks emarts, yes I will keep that in mind.. good approach.  Nothing lost because you still get to keep it as a shop piece

After looking at that Memorial site... yes I would be hard pressed to determine a return on your investment as a result of increasing sales traffic.  Some how it 'just does not seem morally right' to try to increase sales traffic at a funeral home.   But I suspect the owners have a certain advertising spin to increase revenue.

Something about "Being there" takes on a whole new meaning !!!

By the way... thanks for showing me the website.. I was trying to click on the menu item "Virtual Tour" but it kept sliding to the left and I could not keep the drop down menue down.. and still click the Virtural tour item.  I am viewing this on a 24" monitor 1920 x 1200 pixels and the drop down menu seems to be displayed x number of pixels from monitor left side...  so my mouse could not reach it  before closing.


/s/
Dave
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EasyPano - Panoweaver
Pano2VR


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2008-11-14
#5
Hmmm. thanks for pointing that out. that site's been up for two years and nobody's caught that! I'll look into it. Can you tell me your specs? Operating system, browser . . . all the good stuff.

Here's a direct link to the tour:
http://www.vanderplaat.com/paramus/tour.php

Yeah it does seem weird to be promoting a funeral home, but every business has to market itself, or it, itself, will get buried.
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2008-11-14
#6

Hope this helps

Standard configuration

Local Area Network - Linksys N router 1000baseT Wireless/Wired Peer to Peer

Workstation 1

Dell 420 Intel Quad core 2.4gb, Windows Vista Ultimate, IE 7, FF303, 4mb ram, Nvida Gforce 8800, dual DVI screen monitors (secondary) Samsung 22" 1680 x 1050 and (primary) Samsung 24" 1920x 1200, external drives: , 1 Western Digital firewire 80gb,  1 Western Digital usb 2.0 160gb. 

Workstation 2:  Same as Workstation 1

Notebook Toshiba 12" U205 S5044 Windows Vista Ultimate Wireless/Wired 100baseT

Network Common Drive Maxtor 1TB 1000baseT common on Local Area wired Network

Internet connection: 6 mbps aDSL


/s/
Dave
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EasyPano - Panoweaver
Pano2VR


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2008-11-14
#7
Hi Dave & Emarts. I had the same problem, what I did was left click on "about us" and hold it and while holding the left click drag over to the drop-down window and let go on virtual tour. That's the only way I could get to it and I'm just using a laptop with 17" wide screen.
Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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Joined: 2008-05-17
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2008-11-14
#8
Finally got back to my question. Some really good feedback.   I'll be coming back to this tomorrow - just rolled back from the pub, so I'm crashing now. Thanks for taking the time to reply
Ray

CosmicRay
The NorthernView
Want Atmospheric Headers for your web page the easy way?

http://www.cosmicrayimages.thenorthernview.biz