The concept of the metaverse, which is a digital, interconnected universe where people can interact, work, and play, is no longer confined to the realms of science fiction. With advancements in technology and the growth of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), the metaverse is becoming a tangible reality. Some global brand owners are spending serious money to establish a marketing share of voice in the metaverse. In this blog post, we’ll explore the metaverse and its profound implications for the future of marketing.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, merging elements of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the internet. In this digital realm, users can engage with each other and digital assets as if they were in the physical world. Think of it as the next evolution of the internet, where the boundaries between the physical and digital blur.
Marketing in the Metaverse
As the metaverse continues to develop, marketing professionals are presented with a new frontier to explore. Here’s how marketing in the metaverse is shaping up.
Virtual Brand Presence
Establishing a presence in the metaverse is akin to setting up a virtual storefront. Brands can create immersive, 3D environments that reflect their identity and values. These spaces can serve as hubs for events, promotions, and customer interactions. However, things.Many brands were captivated quickly by the idea of a virtual realm populated by mostly young consumers. Among others, Miller Lite hosted a virtual bar in Decentraland, and Playboy built a ‘MetaMansion’ in The Sandbox.
However, involvement appears to be cooling down in the unfavorable current economic climate. As examples, Disney’s metaverse division was dissolved under the newly reinstated Bob Iger in March 2023 and is focusing more attention on AI. Gucci appointed fashion industry veteran Robert Triefus as chief executive of Vault (the company’s online concept store) and metaverse ventures in September 2022. He left the company about six months later, the marketing commentator The Drum reported.
Traditional advertising methods won’t cut it in the metaverse. Instead, brands are adopting immersive advertising strategies. Immersive advertising is a type of ad unit that invites consumers to engage with a product or marketing concept directly within the ad, all in real-time. This can include product placements in virtual worlds, interactive branded experiences, and AR/VR ad campaigns.
The metaverse has the potential to offer hyper-personalized experiences. Using data collected from user interactions, brands can tailor their offerings in real-time, increasing engagement and conversion rates.
Virtual Events and Experiences
Live events and product launches are moving into the metaverse. Brands can host virtual conferences, concerts, and exhibitions, reaching a global audience without physical limitations.
Digital Collectibles and NFTs
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained immense popularity in the metaverse. Brands are creating unique digital collectibles and limited-edition virtual items that can be bought, sold, and traded, fostering a sense of exclusivity and community. However, interest cooled when Bitcoin’s value collapsed by 70% in 2022, and early adopter speculators reportedly lost billions. NFTs are now being reassessed more for their versatile functionalities of what they can actually do and enable, rather than for the previous get-rich-quick potential.
Influencer Marketing 2.0
Metaverse influencers are emerging as key players in the future of metaverse marketing. Brands are collaborating with these digital personalities to reach their audiences and gain credibility in the virtual world. There is a trend for brands to now include influencers with smaller numbers of followers who appear to deliver greater authenticity. A startup platform enables brand owners to identify relevant social media influencers. For their part, influencers are able to choose to work with brands they genuinely like and appreciate, and open a new income stream.
Challenges and Considerations
While the metaverse offers exciting possibilities, it also presents challenges.
Metaverse Privacy and Security
As users spend more time in virtual environments, their personal data becomes a valuable commodity, being bought and sold over and over again. Protecting privacy and ensuring security in the metaverse will be paramount. Consumers will most often participate in the metaverse by using one or more avatars or virtual identities. The big privacy and security risk is whether virtual life activities and identities could be traced back to real-life individuals. There will also undoubtedly be complex legal issues related to intellectual property rights.
The metaverse is not a single platform but a collection of what will hopefully be interconnected spaces. There could be numerous competing metaverses (similar to smartphones based on either Apple or Android). They will be built with different protocols of how to either insulate themselves from others as a stand-alone, or to allow content and digital assets to move from one to another.
Brands will need to navigate interoperability challenges in the future of metaverse marketing to maintain a consistent presence across a range of metaverses.
A further key privacy and security issue (above) arises. It involves retention of a user’s metaverse identity and ownership over their digital assets. Blockchain technology can prevent them being lifted from one metaverse to another without permission.
With user-generated content playing a significant role in the metaverse, brands must be prepared to address content moderation and brand safety issues.
Access and Inclusivity
Ensuring equal access and inclusivity for all users, regardless of their digital literacy or physical abilities, is a moral and practical imperative to be considered by metaverse owners, governments, telcos and civil rights bodies. There are numerous documented benefits for students of using the metaverse for educational purposes. Who is going to ensure equal access for all?
The metaverse is poised to revolutionize the way we work, play, and interact with digital content. For marketers, it represents an opportunity to redefine how brands engage with their audiences. As the metaverse continues to evolve, businesses that embrace its potential and adapt their marketing strategies will be at the forefront of this transformative journey. The future of marketing is in the metaverse, and the possibilities are limited only by a lack of imagination and innovation.
BOLD Awards 2024
Marketing activity in the metaverse could be one way to win the Boldest Metaverse category in the fifth edition of the BOLD Awards. It is one of 33 categories for digital industries, and it is open for entries until December 31, 2023. It recognizes creativity and excellence in the metaverse. The metaverse can be a driving force in the entry or a minor component. Being able to demonstrate the metaverse application is the important factor here that includes both closed and open ecosystems. Enter now for a chance to be a finalist at the gala dinner award ceremony in Venice, Italy, on March 22, 2024. You may also want to check out the Boldest Metaverse winner and finalists from BOLD Awards 2023.