The “metaverse” could be the next great evolution in computing. A future concept that promises to bring the physical world together with the internet as well as newer technologies. Early endeavours into metaverse experiences are already starting to change the way people interact, entertain themselves, shop, and do other day-to-day activities.
During his quarterly earnings call back in July, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a considerable amount of time discussing his goals for the metaverse. “It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces,” he said. “You can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”
Although the pandemic has gotten everyone doing things digitally more than ever before, the metaverse will be an entirely different beast. It is showing massive potential and near endless possibilities, including the biggest opportunity to change how we interact with consumers since the advent of social media.
“Metaverses are jam-packed with innovative marketing potential, (ranging) from live shopping to virtual stores, fashion shows, product launches, content production, live flagship events, enhanced social, pimping-up of Zoom calls and NFTs paving the way for real economies. The possibilities that this hybrid digital/physical world offers are near-endless. It’s time for forward-thinking brands to get involved.” said Isabel Perry, director of technology at Byte.
The metaverse could be the next big thing in marketing.
The metaverse is a further move away from traditional advertising and a definitive lean-in toward designing more engaging, exciting, and less invasive brand experiences than what we currently see with digital advertising today.
Traditional approaches such as large retail stores, out-of-home advertising, radio and news media are becoming a thing of the past. People of all ages are becoming more and more attracted to innovation and change, from something as simple as hyper-targeted Instagram ads right through to big brands collaborating with top gaming companies such as Nike bringing Jordan trainers into Fortnite as wearable cosmetics.
If you’re looking to connect with this new generation of consumer today, the words “in real life” (or “IRL”) has taken on a whole new meaning. A digital presence alone may no longer be enough in the next few years; your brand must also be interesting, meaningful and immersive. This is exactly what the metaverse will accomplish for brands in the near future.
Let’s also not forget that Travis Scott performed a virtual concert within Fortnite as well in front of a not-too-shabby 10 million fans – a few more than you might expect at Wembley (or an entire tour for that matter!)
Boosted by new technologies
Devices are becoming more compact, powerful, and intelligent by the day. Thanks to the likes of 5G, there aren’t many places left without high-speed, reliable internet. In the metaverse, faster and more powerful internet and devices allow for great enhancements to both the visual and audio immersion of the experience, making the whole experience more rewarding and human.
“Much like the internet and mobile technology were major transformations and major technical ages, now we’re about to hit a virtual age. And it’s going to be awesome.” Paul Doyle, director of product management for Epic says.
Businesses that want to put their customers first should already be starting to look into how the metaverse could benefit them and how to place it squarely at the centre of all their branding and marketing activities.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the dawn of a new frontier for digital economies
The metaverse has paved the way for new, real economies thanks to NFTs. NFTs are all about owning unique entities and properties that are irreplaceable by anything else. They create distinct, one-of-a-kind ownership for things such as digital art, private music performances, or other digital assets.
Brands have access to a completely new, endless universe for engaging with people or turning them into consumers and clients, just as they would “IRL”. It’s now a real possibility that, in the future, these metaverses could end up exceeding traditional economies and pave the way for infinite possibilities of owning equity in digital spaces.
If not now, when?
If you’re in marketing and finding your head spinning with all the possibilities an evolving space like this offers, you might be wondering, “What should I be doing with my specific brand in the metaverse?” The simple answer is to start at the beginning: Do your research, see what’s out there, take a long look at your brand’s values and mission, and find what suits you best.
Let’s not forget at the end of the day, that the metaverse is still inhabited by real humans, each of whom gives your brand new opportunities to grow and stand out. So keep yourself acquainted with the metaverse and make sure you’ve always got one eye open for an opportunity to get involved.
We’ll see you in the metaverse!