Attempts to use virtual reality (VR) in sales and marketing often position this technology as a richer, more interactive version of the online experience – essentially replacing 2D with 3D in consumers' digital lives, whether it's for shopping or entertainment purposes.

But Zimmer Biomet, a medical-technology company, has found marketing success by using VR to make actual reality easier, and faster, to understand.

The value of this proposition comes from VR's ability to transform a complex healthcare concept into an experience that customers can grasp by interacting with it first-hand, explained Dan Ferguson, a partner at content-creation shop Groove Jones, at the Data & Marketing Association's (DMA) &Then Conference in New Orleans.

Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones

More specifically, Zimmer Biomet, an expert in orthopedic devices and care, has developed "Signature Solutions," a suite of services and medical products that help healthcare professionals manage the patient experience from pre-admission through surgery to post-operative care.