The Metaverse has had quite an impact on many industries. Business as usual is no more in this digital realm. We have dipped our toes into what this means for brands, luxury, production processes, sustainability, and even for the senses. But what does this mean for marketing? What might marketing in the Metaverse look like and what should we look out for?
Marketing in the Metaverse is all about the experience
We’ve heard it for quite some time now, the key to selling any product is to provide an experience. You’re not selling a shoe, you’re selling the idea of feeling like a king with every step you take. You’re not selling a blanket, you’re selling a hug that will warm your body yes, but also your soul, on a chilly autumn night while you curl up on your sofa. With this in mind, we can see how marketing and branding in the metaverse might help brands offer their audiences an experience from earlier on. The experience can begin before you even purchase the product.
Nike for example has created a whole branded game within Roblox, the fantastic digital realm of NIKELAND.
“NIKELAND is enhanced by real-life movement, encouraging visitors to get more active. NIKELAND visitors can take advantage of accelerometers in their mobile devices to transfer offline movement to online play. For example, you can move your device and body IRL to pull off cool in-game moves like long jumps or speed runs.”
Marketing in the Metaverse could bring in new streams of revenue
So far, marketing for a brand is something that requires big budgets to spend, rather than means of income generation. But what if it could be both? Marketing campaigns in the metaverse could also bring in new streams of revenue. And gamified commerce is an increasingly successful venture that serves as marketing campaigns but also as new income generators.
Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 collection was released online via an interactive video game, you can get a 1$ Forever 21 beanie on Roblox, and let’s not talk about the giant sales amassed by Gucci last year – some of which sold for more than their physical counterparts. Although none of these is the main source of funds for the brands, they have raised quite a pretty penny while doubling as marvellous marketing campaigns.
Will marketing in the Metaverse bring about new KPIs?
Online marketing has already transformed the way the success of a marketing campaign is measured. KPIs had to be readjusted and recalibrated when marketing shifted towards online actions as opposed to the traditional offline actions. As such, metrics such as likes, shares, number of visitors and conversions began their reign in determining whether a marketing strategy was successful or not. We will now witness something similar as Metaverse marketing becomes more prominent. New KPIs will emerge and begin their reign.
New marketing challenges as it evolves in the Metaverse
It’s all fun and games until something goes wrong. Let’s not forget that marketing in the Metaverse will also bring about new challenges, and businesses should be ready for these.
Digital avatars and assets interoperability
For example, how will interoperability work within digital worlds? While the future holds up the idea of a cross-platform Metaverse where everything can be accessed, for now, the Metaverse is divided into the platforms that access it. Decentraland, Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite… So far although marketing campaigns have successfully been carried out in each of these digital verses, digital assets and avatars are limited to the individual worlds they exist in. They cannot transfer across multiple worlds. Businesses need to take this into account when it comes to their campaigns, not only because digital assets might not travel from one world to another for a while, but rather because these different digital realms have access to different target demographics.
Legal frameworks and user safety
With new technology comes great responsibility. That’s how the saying goes right? No? Well, close enough. And it definitely rings true. The Metaverse will be an amazing marketing tool, but it will also raise new safety concerns regarding safety and sensitivities around audiences, particularly underage demographics. From data protection to access to questionable content to encouraging certain purchasing behaviours, businesses will need to be careful and tread the Metaverse carefully. They will need to ensure that the experiences they offer in the Metaverse are a safe space, and should prioritize garnering trust from their audiences.
As this technology evolves we will most probably witness the development and expansion of legal frameworks around the Metaverse, and brands will need to understand that this will require shifting and adapting for quite some time until the dust settles.