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The Metaverse and the Future of Marketing

The Metaverse and the Future of Marketing

10th May, 2022

The Metaverse has the potential to generate significant profits for brands while reaching a staggering market value of $800 billion by 2024. Some of the world’s largest brands are investing substantial time in metaverse technology, which is now more a work in progress than a stage in nascence. And the best is yet to come. For instance, Facebook has confirmed that it will invest $10 billion in this relatively new technology, while Microsoft has recently invested $69 billion in the space.

The Metaverse will also have a sizeable impact on future marketing activities, so brushing it aside as a “fad” is a big mistake because it is here to stay. Heck, it may even become the future of marketing. For example, email marketing or peer-to-peer marketing may not prove enough for many businesses anymore when selling digital products. Unlike the Metaverse, these tactics fail to give users a memorable experience, which provides a fully immersive and engaging experience. That is the main reason why metaverse marketing is becoming a rage.

But what exactly is the Metaverse? More importantly, why are some of the biggest brands investing and betting heavily on this technology? And how can your brand leverage metaverse marketing?

This guide will explain what the Metaverse is, its potential as a marketing tool, and how to leverage this exciting technology. So, let’s dive in!

The Metaverse Explained

You may have heard about Van Gogh’s immersive experience, a massive hit among art lovers worldwide. It uses augmented reality to allow users to experience his paintings physically. Using VR glasses and 360-degree projections, one can immerse oneself fully in those great, timeless paintings.

Well, the Metaverse takes this immersive experience a step further.

Van Gogh’s immersive experiences are virtual exhibits of the great artist's paintings. But to enjoy them, you must visit the exhibition site. The metaverse technology allows you to enjoy an immersive experience without stepping outside your home. Heck, you don’t even have to get off your plush couch.

So, what is the Metaverse? It is a digital 3-D world that anyone can enter using a virtual reality headset. Thanks to this technology, one can participate in entertainment and social activities like never before.

Building the Metaverse relies on three foundations which are immersion, interactivity, and presence.

Think of it as a collective virtual shared space where you can interact with other users, do shopping, play games, do work, and perform most of your daily activities.

Here are the main characteristics of the Metaverse to help you understand it better:

  • Persistence: With the Metaverse, you enjoy a completely immersive and shared experience. Think of it as a parallel reality that exists entirely in real-time without ever needing to stop.
  • User-driven: The Metaverse is a user-driven environment where users can enhance existing content and create their own.
  • Synchronization: When you are in the Metaverse, you can interact with the digital environment and other users in real-time, just like in the physical world. So, in this aspect, the Metaverse is no different from the real world, allowing users to interact with their environment (virtual environment, that is) and other users in synch.
  • Efficient economy: The Metaverse will have functioning economies thanks to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are essentially digital/virtual assets. That's where blockchain and cryptocurrency become relevant. It offers users a secure payment method that they can use to buy offerings and obtain ownership of digital products.

Some Important Metaverse Statistics

Here are some essential Metaverse stats that prove it is going to be the next big thing:

  • The Metaverse is expected to be worth $800 billion by 2024
  • By 2024, there will be 1.7 billion mobile AR users worldwide
  • The mobile AR market will be worth more than $26 billion by 2025
  • More than 10.5 million people attended Marshmello’s Fortnite concert in 2019
  • Roughly 46 million people watched the Travis Scott in Fortnite event in 2020

Top 4 Metaverse Marketing Practices

As the stats above show, the Metaverse has massive potential. Brands that will leverage it optimally will likely gain a competitive edge over others. This brings us to the all-important question: how to use the Metaverse to engage with consumers?

In this section, we will share the four best Metaverse marketing practices. You can get the most out of your efforts by incorporating them into your marketing strategy.

1. Develop branded NFTs

By creating your own branded NFT, you drive brand awareness. As stated above, an NFT is a non-fungible token, or in other words, unique tokens allowing people to buy or sell ownership of special digital items. These will be a significant pillar of the Metaverse economy. Nike has recently created a branded NFT for its metaverse marketing. Several other top brands, including Taco Bell and Adidas, have also done the same. So, if high-profile brands recognize the benefit of creating branded NFTs, this shouts volumes.

Contrary to what you may think, one doesn’t have to be a techie to create NFTs. Many online resources are available that will show you all the steps involved in developing these digital assets. Creating branded NFTs generates a lot of interest among your existing and potential customers and allows them to take away something meaningful that helps them remember your brand in the Metaverse. What Nike did with its “Cryptokicks” is something that all brands can easily follow — creating branded NFTs and pairing them with your product launches.

2. Invest in virtual real estate

Virtual real estate has become valuable with the digital world booming like never before. You can use your virtual real estate to hold your events in the Metaverse and lease it to other players. Depending on your offerings, you can even consider selling part of your virtual real estate to consumers, which Axie Infinity did. It sold nine parcels of land for a whopping 2.3 million USD!

Not every brand might secure such a lucrative deal. It depends heavily on how you have designed your presence in the Metaverse and your offerings. Nevertheless, you may still be able to generate substantial cash by leasing and selling (if this is an option) your real estate in the Metaverse.

3. Gamify

The Metaverse is not something only a gaming company can develop; everyone can contribute to it. Yet, you must add game-like elements to your marketing mix to encourage participation and enrich the user experience. If you want people to interact with your metaverse presence, you must provide them with some motivation to do so. That’s where gamification comes into the picture. For example, Balenciaga recently created a video game that allowed users to enter a virtual store and experience their fall collection. By adding games and giving users incentives for winning points, you can make participation worth their while.

4. Sell digital products for avatars

Offering exclusive digital products for avatars is a great marketing strategy since users prefer to customize their virtual avatars in the Metaverse. In fact, according to VogueBusiness, more than 90% of users prefer to customize their avatars. Several top brands are using this strategy to good effect. For example, Gucci sold a digital/virtual bag for a jaw-dropping $4,115. Likewise, Contour was able to sell a digital dress for a whopping $9,500. These stats prove that today’s consumers are more than willing to spend enormous amounts on virtual products.

To summarize, The Metaverse is already there. It is a matter of time before we are all partaking in it in some way or another. Make sure you plan and understand how to use this momentous digital revolution to your advantage by integrating it within your overall marketing efforts.

About the Author
George R. Khayat

Senior Consultant

Mr. George Khayat is a senior consultant with Meirc Training & Consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Science in management from the Lebanese American University (LAU), a Master in Marketing and Communication from ESCP-EAP University in France, and a Global MBA in Digital Business (University of Barcelona). George is a certified marketing analyst (The Graduate Board of Management, USA), a chartered marketer (Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK), a certified Lego® Serious Play® method facilitator, and a certified sales professional (Sales Training International, USA). He is also certified in Action Selling® (USA) and Guerrilla Marketing (Australia).

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