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The development of marketing typically runs alongside technological developments. We’ve seen this with the printed press, television, radio and, of course, the internet. And by all accounts, we’re now on the cusp of the next great marketing leap forward.
Much has been said, mostly just speculatively, about the metaverse and its potentially transformative impact. While most things related to the metaverse are still largely at the conceptual stage, there’s enough smoke to suggest that it’ll become hot property in the not-too-distant future.
Already, we’re seeing signs of significant growth. Facebook changing its name to Meta was the big move, but there have been others, too. Major brands such as Nike and Gucci have invested heavily in their metaverse presence, and metaverse-related jobs have jumped by a staggering 400% in the past twelve months. Whether we like it or not, the metaverse is coming.
For marketers, this will bring plenty of opportunities for not only reaching consumers but reaching them in a way that leads to a much deeper and more symbiotic relationship. So, how will the metaverse shake up the marketing world? Let’s take a look:
The metaverse is an immersive experience. That creates many possibilities for marketers to interact with their consumer base in a much more engaging way, much further than anything that can be experienced via traditional internet browsers.
Rather than simply showing products to consumers, marketers will be able to have their audience interact with their products directly. Let’s use an online clothes company as an example. Currently, they can only show images and videos of their clothing items being worn by models. In the metaverse, the customer can “try on” the products as if they were in a physical store. It’s no stretch to say that this would be a more engaging customer experience, and it’s for this reason that many tech and marketing advocates are extremely hopeful about the benefits of the metaverse.
Impact on growth marketing
The metaverse will elevate and enhance various types of existing marketing strategies, including growth marketing. The advantages the metaverse brings, mainly pertaining to the production of usable data, align with growth marketing requirements.
The metaverse will take the standard “internet cookie” and run amok. In a highly immersive virtual world, users will act more “naturally” than they would — or could — just staring at a computer screen. Additionally, every move will generate data. And that can be highly useful for marketers who can track consumer behavior.
Companies don’t necessarily need to have a strong metaverse presence to use the generated data to their advantage. They can simply use the metaverse data to develop and aid their other digital marketing strategies.
The big internet players such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram offer many tools for marketers to reach their audience. However, there’s no avoiding the fact that they must still play by the rules set by the tech giants. Marketers continually battle to get their voice heard in what is essentially a crowded, effectively limited space.
The metaverse isn’t just another website where marketers can reach an audience. It’s a whole other world where companies can create a virtual HQ. In that landscape, companies aren’t going onto influential websites as a way to engage with their customers. They’ll have their own virtual world where they can invite customers to join them.
The metaverse gives marketers a chance to enhance their existing marketing strategies by incorporating new tactics unavailable to them until now, such as producing unique NFT collections, advertising through virtual displays (such as in immersive games), or hosting global, digital events.
How will metaverse marketing differ from today’s marketing?
All under one umbrella: Unlike the two-dimension web, the 3D metaverse will allow the entire customer journey to happen in a single space. Consumers can find, learn and purchase within a company’s virtual world.
The co-creation dream: Marketers have always wanted their customers to be involved in the content-creation process. It has never happened, but in the metaverse, it’ll be a fundamental part of the customer journey.
Less traditional advertisements: It opens up a whole new world of advertising tactics, including virtual events, virtual influencers, advergames and digital corporate venues.
It’s too early to say what marketing will look like in the metaverse. But we can expect that it’ll have a transformative impact on marketing, perhaps as great as the emergence of the internet did. So, while the nuts and bolts are yet to be figured out, one thing is for sure: Marketers should begin preparing for a new way to reach consumers.