Last week, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his vision for a new ‘Metaverse’. Along with being a name change for the company, Zuckerberg promises a virtual universe of sorts, where people can socialise, game, shop and, lucky for us, be advertised to.
Virtual reality worlds such as this have only ever been seen in Sci-fi novels and films. So, is this an amazing opportunity for everyone or an unwanted change for marketers? In this blog we’ll take a look at how the Metaverse will change advertising as we know it and what we can do to prepare.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse converges Facebook’s major investments across augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), gaming, commerce and social networking, and places them in one virtual environment. Zuckerberg defines it as “an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at”. The concept is that this world will allow everything from social interactions to entertainment, shopping and work. It will allow customers to teleport from one experience to another instantly, and will be available on a range of devices from PC to mobile and VR devices.
Isabel Perry, director of technology at Byte noted, “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.”
The Metaverse is the next marketing channel
The Metaverse shows a clear transition away from traditional advertising and towards new brand experiences that are more engaging and personalised, which seems much more exciting that our current, more invasive experience with digital advertising.
Conventional offline and online advertising methods such as flagship shops, billboards and other traditional offline and internet advertising are becoming a thing of the past. With all demographics becoming engaged by new innovations, ranging from contextual targeted ads to instagram influencers and twitch streamers. More recently, brands have also been working with games such as Fortnite and Roblox to boost their visibility to younger audiences.
For those looking to build a relationship with the new generation of consumers today, the phrase “in real life” has taken on a whole new significance. Digital alone is not sufficient; it must also be interesting, meaningful and immersive. And this is precisely what the Metaverse will accomplish for brands in the near future.
This seems similar to how advertising and marketing can utilise AR and VR, a blog we have written in the past that you can check out here. However, these spaces in ‘Meta’ seem to encourage more options in terms of time spent online. With NFTs becoming more and more popular, a fully online economy seems to be here, encouraging people to spend time and money in virtual spaces that mimic the real world.
The time to take action is now
If you’re a marketer overwhelmed by the possibilities the Metaverse has to offer and how it will change the way you work, you might be wondering already how to prepare to make this transition an easy one. The answer is to go back to basics: investigate what’s out there and look at current trends but most importantly, look at your business and what best suits you. A transition from ‘real life’ to an online universe won’t be easy for anyone, and it’s success still cannot be predicted, but the best thing you can do is anticipate the Metaverse changing marketing forever.
One thing to keep in mind is that your target audience in the Metaverse will still be real people. It’s likely that trends on the outside world will mimic those in the Metaverse. Make sure you stay up to date with trends and take this new opportunity.
See you in the Metaverse!