A distinct sense of excitement is powering ecosystems across industries. As stakeholders with different faculties in the global economy, we are all moving in the same sea of lucrative opportunities. For instance, the mass adoption of virtual interactions in business communication has swept away so many conventions in corporate etiquette. Isn’t it fascinating how drastically and rapidly we are moving into newer realms of possibilities and opportunities?
Metaverse is a definitive case in point that cannot be alienated in such a context. We have seen the pivotal role of machines in the industrial revolution and the internet in the technological revolution. Now, as businesses begin to deliberate and foray into the world of Metaverse and Web 3.0, marketers must find the answers to these questions: how will ideation, development, and value creation change for products and services in the near future? And most importantly, how will the status quo of marketing change in the Metaverse era?
Every transformative phase across the economy has worked around challenges like initial market skepticism and procedural perplexity – and so will Metaverse. When the time comes, how will marketing change in the Metaverse era?
Flowing into immersive states
If numbers were to tell a story, the market size for Metaverse was reportedly at $100.27 billion1 in 2022. Going forward, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 47.5% by 2029. Yet another report estimates that by 2026, a quarter of the world will spend at least an hour of the day2 in Metaverse. These figures provide insight into the penetration of Metaverse entities across industries.
With such prolific opportunities to capitalize on, it is only fitting for marketers across industries to tap into the omnipresent potential of Metaverse. Naturally, you would have to encounter some challenges on the way. To create a sensible marketing strategy for the Metaverse, you must introspect and ask questions such as:
- Why Metaverse? Are my demographics ready for these disruptive times?
- When? Is now the most opportune time to pivot and reinvent my marketing approaches?
- How? Can talent capital be rationalized across marketing functions and scaled accordingly? Or, should I partner with a solution provider to justify investments?
- Where do I begin? NFTs and crypto transactions have now become mainstream and legal tender respectively, in many countries. Would that be a viable pilot?
- Who else? Are my competitors pulling any disruptive plugs already? If so, how do I get ahead of them?
A good place to start is to get stakeholder consensus on the above questions. Assess impact, identify opportunities, and perform user persona mapping while aligning the same with measurable business outcomes. That said, let’s envisage a typical customer journey from a marketer’s desk:
To cut through competition and stand out of the crowd, immersive ways of story-telling in the Metaverse will prove to be a game changer. Metaverse billboards, meta malls, AR/VR kiosks at physical outlets can not only generate sufficient awareness of a new product line, but the whole experience invites word-of-mouth marketing opportunities. When Nike unveiled Nikeland, its gaming, avatars, and shopping experiences were the talk of the town. While the immersive experience may not necessarily put your product on the aisle and try to sell it, it creates sufficient top-of-the-mind recall. It stands to reason that Nikeland hosted seven million visitors in the first two months, and within 10 months, as many as 21 million visitors3 joined the club. And not to mention, a 34% hike in direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales4 in December 2022.
In addition to helping businesses embrace D2C models, Metaverse also caters to the personalization needs of today’s customers. Going back to the Nikeland example, Nike had enabled gamification options for visitors to build products from scratch. This goes to say how effective you can chart out a customer journey from its nascent stages on the Metaverse.
Fostering consideration and action
As prospects move further into the funnel towards consideration and action of a product purchase, efforts to nurture consideration and simplify customer decisions are non-negotiable. Recently, Amazon rolled out the metaphorical carpets of its Metaverse, where visitors can compete with others and win rewards or coupons. If an e-commerce aggregator like Amazon can guarantee conversions, for a business with a native line of products, such initiatives can prove to be more profitable.
As an industry-first, Vietnam-based EV startup introduced NFTs for its vehicle reservation process. It is crucial for marketers to take notes and begin with the low-hanging fruits – the use cases that may not cause a disruption to your existing operations, and then pan out from there.
Leveraging loyalty and advocacy
Nurturing a flexible and highly agile resource system that is constantly up to speed is essential in customer retention and boosting brand advocacy. What better way to re-engage and promote loyalty than by having your own virtual, interactive, and vibrant ecosystem that acts as a mailing list? Your customers are already there, and with the right engaging and relevant content, you can drive up-selling and cross-selling campaigns.
Building on that, you can enable organic and inorganic advocacy programs, where loyal customers or micro-influencers can become real-life testimonials to your value proposition. For instance, while setting up virtual events on the Metaverse, you can create proof of attendance protocols (POAP) – which is an NFT – that can help promote the event further by incentivizing visitors to showcase their memorabilia on social media.