Many people believe the future of digital marketing is the metaverse. But are they right?
Last October, the social media giant Facebook changed its name to Meta, to signal that the company is heading in a new direction. Explaining the name change, Mark Zuckerberg used the phrase ‘metaverse’. When it comes to evaluating its impact on the digital marketing industry, it’s important to understand what it is and how it works.
Put simply, the metaverse is a series of interconnected 3D worlds – like those in computer games – where social interactions can happen online. It has come to mean an evolution of the internet into a single virtual world that we access through virtual and augmented reality technology but the word actually comes from science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, who coined the term in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash.
Thirty years later, the metaverse is upon us and it has already made an impression on financial services. Online metaverse communities have developed new cryptocurrencies like Decantraland (MANA), and Sandbox (SAND) and this online money is worth billions in real life, much like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s no exaggeration to say that crypto is having a huge impact on financial markets.
Meanwhile, big-name consumer brands have already taken steps into the metaverse. NIKELAND is a location in the online game Roblox where users can interact with Nike products, while Adidas has started selling NFTs related to their brand. Even the clothing brand H&M has experimented with opening an online store in a game called CEEK City.
At CES 2022, the world’s leading consumer electronics trade show, Samsung opened an online store in Decentraland in support of the new Samsung 837X. Alongside hosting a VR dance party, this store also sold NFTs.
But it’s not all finance and cryptocurrency. Wearable devices such as headsets and wristbands are key in the metaverse, holding the power to seemingly transport the user into an alternative universe. In the world of education, there are countless opportunities to create learning moments through simulations and games. Also, concerts, festivals and film screenings can, of course, be experienced in VR and many such ventures already exist – along with high-quality space for marketing products and services.
All these experiences hold the potential for a new form of digital marketing and one that could be far more effective than traditional forms of advertising. The exciting combination of all-new experiences, immersive content and advanced technology means the user is set to be far more receptive to your message than they would be on the traditional flatscreen internet.
The marketing opportunities in the metaverse are huge, and not just for big established brands or financial and tech companies. The metaverse is here to stay and set to become more popular and relevant with every passing day so it’s a smart move to see how your business can fit into this new world. No matter what you’re selling, it always pays to make an impact early on new platforms and the metaverse is no exception.