The metaverse circumscribes immersive dimensions using virtual and augmented-reality technology. The metaverse spans not only across virtual and physical worlds but also multiple platforms. For marketers, the metaverse presents an opportunity to consumers in different ways by extending the capabilities and brand innovation, as reported by Mckinsey and Company.
Rewriting metaverse marketing strategies
The critical elements of marketing in the metaverse resemble those of designing authentic and compelling brand experiences in the physical world. The application of these elements in the metaverse can be very different. Much as approaches for driving value online continue to evolve, the effective engagement of consumers in the metaverse will require its own evolving strategy for success.
Here’s how organisations can think about their metaverse marketing strategies for the future.
Identify the platforms that provides the best opportunity and brand fit
Roblox, Fortnite, Decentraland, Minecraft, and Meta’s Horizon Worlds are a few of the metaverse games and platforms. The platforms have the opportunity to experiment with multiple platforms to see what works. For example, Gucci has conducted various brand activations to figure out how to connect with Gen Z.
Last year, Gucci launched a metaverse version of its real-world Gucci Garden on Roblox which drew 19.9 million visitors in two weeks. Gucci has partnered with the fashion-focused metaverse Zepeto; announced plans to launch a virtual world on the blockchain-based platform The Sandbox, and created assets for games including The Sims, Pokémon GO, and Animal Crossing.
Defining metaverse marketing goals
The initial goal of brands should not be driving sales directly since sales of virtual items are still far smaller than sales of physical ones. Today’s metaverse audiences, especially on online entertainment platforms like Roblox, often skew younger, which brings both opportunities and risks.
Design experiences appealing to target audiences
Consumers tend to see brands in the metaverse as an innovation, so the bar for delivering innovative experiences is high. Companies need to determine the ideal balance between native advertising, immersive experiences (including games, virtual stores, events, and sponsorships), and real-world activations to complement the metaverse. For example, what the skateboarding retailer Vans launched interactive skatepark “Vans World” on Roblox.
The attraction of consumers to today’s metaverse indicates a major shift in the way people use technology. If the metaverse is another evolution of the internet—something we are already in rather than something we observe from a distance—marketers clearly shouldn’t miss out.
Here’s why the metaverse has staying power
Ongoing technological advances
The rapid adoption of 5G is enabling mobile devices to access these large worlds with lower latency. And the cost of production for augmented- and virtual-reality hardware is declining. Meta shipped ten million Oculus Quest 2 headsets in 2021, and new devices like haptic gloves and bodysuits are coming on the market more frequently as well. As a result of technical constraints, both Meta’s Horizon Worlds and The Sandbox cap the number of participants for each session.
A wider set of use cases
Gaming in the metaverse already has mainstream traction. Consumer use cases are now expanding into entertainment, sports, and educational experiences immersive retail. Government entities are experimenting with the metaverse. In South Korea, the city of Seoul announced a five-year metaverse Seoul basic plan that will begin by creating a virtual Mayor’s Office and a Seoul campus town.
Online commerce is mainstream
Omnichannel commerce is second nature to most metaverse consumers where payment credentials are often embedded in the devices and software they use. The virtual-goods economy accounts for more than 40 % of global gaming revenues generated by the world’s billion gamers. In the future, the long-term rise of cryptocurrencies will make any requirements to set up crypto wallet accounts on metaverse platforms less of a barrier.
The oldest Gen Z consumers are in their mid-20s. These consumers are more familiar with virtual worlds, transactions, and goods. 67 % of Roblox’s 50 million daily users are under the age of 16, which could signal the coming of a whole new generation of metaverse natives.
Brand marketing and engagement are more consumer-led
The shift toward individual content creators is evident in the more than 50% increase in influencer marketing over the past five years on platforms such as WeChat and Pinduoduo in China and YouTube and Instagram in the western world. This shift plays a key role in the growth of the metaverse, a significant share of innovative and engaging experiences will probably come from these creator–users.