If there’s one buzzword in the marketing space at the moment, it’s the “metaverse.” While seemingly everywhere at the moment, we are still a long way from the persistent virtual worlds hypothesised by CEOs such as Mark Zuckerberg.
However, whether it’s a long way off or not, it’s coming. The blend of technologies and principles such as NFTs, AR, VR, and Web3, will allow us to lead double lives, one in the real world and another online à la Ready Player One.
With a long development road ahead, marketers have a crucial role in shaping the final iterations of the so-called metaverse. Whether you view it as not much more than some cool VR games or an entirely alternate universe, here are some things you need to be aware of before taking the plunge.
Advertising in its current form may no longer exist.
One of the anticipated changes of the metaverse is that digital advertising in its current form will no longer exist. Many critics point out that the mistake of the internet was that it had no other model other than digital advertising.
Of course, brands will need to be in this space, but it won’t take the shape of today’s display advertising around content. Instead, in this community-focused, fandom-based world, brands will become part of the metaverse by offering experiences, becoming core elements of games, and rewarding creators for their efforts.
Consequently, marketers will have to throw their tried and tested digital strategies in the bin and start over and instead think about how they can best connect their brands and clients with the decentralised communities within the metaverse.
Marketers will need to ingratiate themselves with gaming.
Part of learning what will work and what won’t regarding marketing within the metaverse will come from ingratiating yourself with the gaming environments currently driving its development.
Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft are all persistent virtual worlds that provide a roadmap toward what a future interoperable metaverse might look like. While Decentraland and Sandbox are decentralised, metaverse-first spaces (that well overtake traditional online games), delving headfirst into gaming will nonetheless give you some understanding of what it’s going to take to market to the metaverse effectively.
The Metaverse will allow anyone to be anybody, meaning marketing will have to become more inclusive.
One of the achievements that metaverse proponents most herald is the value of breaking boundaries between communities and allowing users to experience lives they otherwise would not be able to.
Those who face discrimination on a daily basis for their gender identity, race, disability, or any other perceived negative stereotype will have a safe space to be whomever they want to. While this may create a whole new level of empathy and understanding between users that never would have otherwise met, it has implications for marketers too.
In today’s world of laser-targeted Facebook advertising, marketing strategies may have to develop to become a whole lot more inclusive, with real-world user data potentially locked behind encrypted and blockchain-secured security layers. In other words, brands will have to cast their marketing nets much more expansively than they currently do to reach consumers.
Marketing should become experiential and valuable to fuel deeper connections.
Marketing will change from media that somebody simply views to an experience that invites consumers to participate. The challenge will shift from capturing and holding someone’s attention to making sure that the experiences provided within the metaverse are immersive, collaborative, and valuable so that they fuel a deep connection with that brand.
This shift will also mark a departure from marketing tied around novelty and short-lived campaigns. Instead, brands will invest in creating much more long-lasting connections with their consumers that don’t necessarily revolve around products or services.
The Metaverse is coming, and marketers need to prepare.
While the metaverse is still somewhat nebulous, the drive behind it from many of the world’s largest digital companies means marketers have to prepare for the impending shift towards the decentralised web 3.0.
While it’s still unclear what the final form of the metaverse may take, it’s already apparent that today’s most common forms of digital marketing will have minimal success in a ubiquitous virtual world. Thus, everyone from big brands right down to marketing freelancers will have to rethink their strategies in order to stay relevant in tomorrow’s virtual world.
This blog article was originally published on our main website, Nous Digital.