How Will The Metaverse Change The Marketing Landscape – BW Businessworld

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“Today I think we look at the internet, but I think in the future you’re going to be in the experiences.”—Mark Zuckerberg
Metaverse is a broad and complex term that describes a network of 3D virtual worlds powered by virtual reality and augmented reality that connects both online and physical worlds.  This type of virtual world can’t be specifically accessed via virtual reality and augmented reality gears, but you can access it through your computer, laptop, or even smartphone. The ‘Metaverse’ is one of the biggest buzzwords around in 2022, and for good reason.
 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made waves when he introduced his new company, Meta. The new brand is specially designed to bring together people and modern technology in exciting new ways. The term ‘metaverse’ was originally penned by American science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, ‘Snow Crash.’ Today’s Metaverse from Meta differs from his concepts significantly.
 The original metaverses are a form of blockchain for marketing specialists that require no administrators or services due to their decentralized nature. Metaverse is a medium that has potential to change the world. It will allow people to explore the places where they would never been able to visit and feel the things they have never felt. Metaverse will enable the marketers to inject their brands and that makes each user a star of the show instead of seeing famous celebrities. The most directly observable phenomenon will probably be the increase in metaverse experiences.
 The actual metaverse may be decades away, but there will likely be an increase in the availability of AR and VR media formats and the introduction of more immersive technologies. Online shopping could take on a whole new meaning as well. Even today, clothing brands like Balenciaga and Gucci have partnered with Fortnite and Roblox, respectively, to launch clothing collections for in-game avatars. We could see new forms of fashion come to life. 
The metaverse will allow brands to tell their stories in ways never possible before. It will allow them to connect with consumers in new ways. It likely won’t have any geographical limitations, and it probably won’t need expensive marketing campaigns or reports that take weeks to put together. It’ll be about just the brand story that consumers want. Digital Marketers in metaverse have to speed up with the latest technological developments. 
Marketers need to understand that metaverse is not just a new and trendy thing and it seems like it is here to stay and will make its way for a next big thing.  The prime candidate for this new age technology is “Gen Z”. Nearly all of Gen Z (98%) own a smartphone. They are the first generation to grow up with cutting edge technology, and they will continue to harness it throughout their lives. Virtual reality is this generation’s playground. 65% of Gen Z have spent money on virtual items within a game. During the pandemic, sales of virtual reality goggles such as Oculus rose by 350%. That makes Gen Z the most experienced market for the Metaverse offering. If you’re looking to tap into the buying power of this young but mighty generation, your brand should be preparing for the Metaverse.
Some of the top companies building the Metaverse:
Meta
Epic Games
Nvidia
Roblox
Amicoa brands
Some of the examples of Metaverse
Fortnite: – One of Gen Z’s favourite games, Fortnite, has come up the ranks as one of the most popular online gaming worlds ever. More than six in 10 teenagers (61%) say they have played Fortnite. Its online economy is ever-evolving, and in 2020, it generated $5.1 billion in revenue (a 37% increase year on year). Fortnite’s in-game “emotes” are legendary. The “floss dance” originated from this game, which just shows the influence of what specific gaming character actions can have. The Metaverse will likely have similar concepts with buyable movements, activities and dances. Brands can get on board with their own versions, using specific motions that immediately remind people of their products.
Roblox:– Over half of all American children (That’s Gen Z and their successors Gen Alpha) use Roblox, which counts nearly 50 million daily users. Like Fortnite, it’s a free-to-play game based on an immersive world created through existing gaming tech (rather than nascent tech like AR and VR). It currently has over 24 million ‘digital experiences’ for players, making it a key gateway for fully immersive Metaverse experiences. Roblox chief business officer Craig Donato says Roblox is developing a Metaverse that is both “immersive and social”. This social side is where he sees the most need for innovation. There’s a huge opportunity for brands looking to establish how users form identities and interact in the Metaverse.
Horizon: – Meta’s platform for the Metaverse is already in testing. It uses avatars, customisable outfits and interactive games. They are still developing it, so who knows how advanced it might get in the near future. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) will be a big part of Horizon. Mark Zuckerberg is trying to make a world where creators can put up all sorts of content. So think about iconic products that your brand should be turning into NFT’s now. Nike and Adidas are amongst the brands who have already made some of their products virtual, so that shows you it’s time to start.
Many companies are investing in metaverses. They are betting on it, not just for entertainment purposes, but for business and professional purposes as well. More than Facebook, Silicon Valley, in general, has been busy betting on metaverses as the internet’s next generation. There are also plenty of games currently incorporating metaverse-like elements on their platforms. For example, Fortnite and Animal Crossing allow concerts in their game. On top of that, HTC is working its way towards business-based—instead of consumer-based—VR technology. This is a sign that VR technology is slowly becoming more than just for entertainment. .People are buying real estate in the metaverse, particularly on Earth 2. Now that’s a strong indication that the tech is here to stay.
Challenges in the Metaverse
The metaverse promises an exciting future for brands, but there are still some challenges to overcome along the way. For one, while metaverses are gaining popularity, they can still use some more traction. Because of the technological requirements of metaverses, accessibility is an issue for it. Not everyone has access to the devices necessary to enjoy the metaverse, such as higher-end computers and VR lenses. This greatly limits the potential market for brands and hinders efforts for mass marketing.
Brands also need to be careful in navigating metaverses. Seamless integration is crucial to avoid alienating players from the brand. Because the technology is new, brands might still be having trouble finding their proper place in the metaverse and may come off as overly blunt in their messaging. Plan your placements well and make sure that it feels natural and well-integrated in the metaverse. Data privacy and security remain to be a challenge in the metaverse. With new technology comes the need for more evolved security measures. This requires building new methods of data privacy and protection where there was none. 
For instance, personal verification might require more data from users, thereby increasing data privacy risks. Lastly, because metaverses are free for all, brands need to be careful in protecting their image. The more control users have in a metaverse, the higher the likelihood that your brand might appear next to questionable content. There’s also the risk of getting your placements vandalized or disrespected by users. This is why it’s important to be seamless, mindful, and precise with your marketing strategies so that users can feel good about sharing the virtual space with you and engaging with you there. Ultimately, metaverses offer a promising future for computing and the internet. Even more so, they offer plenty of room for innovations for marketers and advertisers alike. Despite these challenges, the opportunity to be experimental, provide an immersive experience, and be innovative triumphs.

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