Over the last year, the term “metaverse” has grown steadily in popularity, and well-known technological corporations have poured millions of dollars into the creation, research, and development of this innovative new technology. However, what exactly is the metaverse? And what does this imply for the development of marketing in the years to come?
The Metaverse: What Is It?
A virtual reality (VR) or an augmented reality (AR) headset allows users to immerse themselves in an online digital environment called the Metaverse (AR). Users can build their avatars inside the metaverse, which allows them to navigate a three-dimensional world and interact with other users and the environment. The idea of a metaverse has been around for some time, and the name “metaverse” was first used in the realm of science fiction some three decades ago. The frighteningly prescient book portrayed the metaverse as a parallel online realm that individuals wearing VR headsets might enter. To this point, it sounds like science fiction. Now, the metaverse is on the cusp of becoming a reality, and others say it already exists. When we speak about the metaverse in the modern day, the most concrete examples are platforms like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite that employ virtual reality to construct more complex online worlds. Examples like these are the most common when we talk about the metaverse. Users of these platforms can navigate a virtual environment, create avatars, connect, purchase goods, and participate in virtual events and activities. Even if you haven’t heard about these places yet, they have a vast potential market, with Robox claiming 202 million active users in April 2021. This is true even if you haven’t heard about them yet.
Establishing a digital platform to which everybody has access throws up a massive window of opportunity for businesses and brands to advertise their goods and services. Although the metaverse is in its infancy, marketers are making inroads and connecting with consumers via this digital medium.
The four components that make up the marketing mix are the product, the price, the promotion, and the venue. It should come as no surprise that marketing teams worldwide are thrilled to get their hands dirty with the metaverse since it offers a new venue and means of promotion.
The metaverse allows users to construct their platforms and create worlds centered on the goods or services offered by certain companies. This method requires a significant commitment of both time and money, as well as a substantial amount of research. Still, it has already been validated as beneficial by many different businesses.
The 2022 Shopify Summit was held inside the metaverse and was hosted by Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online retailers. Users could make purchases, listen to music, and even have delivered authentic food without leaving the experience, thanks to a partnership with Spotify and Uber Eats. When compared to holding a real event, which is limited by the location and the amount of space available, hosting a virtual convention significantly expands the number of the audience that may potentially attend.
The metaverse has opened up new prospects for virtual collectibles, which have proved popular via various online video games that enable users to acquire collectible things. The market for direct-to-avatar sales of virtual goods is now valued at $54 billion. To use this feature inside the metaverse, Nike has developed a custom-made virtual world known as Nikeland using the Roblox platform. Users can buy unique Nike digital items, which can then be outfitted on their Nikeland avatars and exhibited inside their sections of Nikeland. Since its introduction in November 2021, more than 7 million customers have used the Nike platform.
Native advertising can be transferred to the metaverse, and there are now options for on-platform product placement and billboards that may be placed to promote on virtual highways. There are also various options for sponsorship of musical and sports events inside the metaverse.
Advertisements from well-known companies such as Coca-Cola and Samsung have already been placed on this relatively young site. Within the confines of the metaverse, Coca-Cola debuted a special edition drink. At the same time, Samsung ran a treasure hunt competition on the platform, offering participants the chance to win a Galaxy S22.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) provide a wide range of firms with new possibilities for promoting their products. Users can see a 3D model of a product in virtual form before purchasing if the goods are hosted in the metaverse. This functionality has been put to use by Hyundai via the creation of a digital Motorstudio on the platform. Within this space, customers can explore a variety of Hyundai automobile models, view educational films, and buy products.
AR has the potential to be advantageous for a wide variety of firms, including apparel companies and businesses that offer items such as homewares and furnishings. AR allows clients to “put” a piece of furniture in their own house before purchasing to confirm that they enjoy the look of the goods and that the size is appropriate for their space. This applies to apparel manufacturers, as shoppers may use augmented reality (AR) to see themselves wearing the garments before making a purchase.
Is this digital marketing’s future?
In the first half of 2022, over 120 billion dollars were spent on developing metaverse technology and infrastructure. Investors continue to pour money into the creation of the platform at an astonishing pace. The number of users is growing, and well-known companies are racing to pioneer using the platform for advertising and marketing reasons. Many individuals are completely opposed to the idea of the metaverse, yet other people are on board with it. Even while sentiments of this kind will most certainly shift as the platform continues to gain momentum and acceptance, I still can’t see a future in which everyone uses the metaverse to its fullest extent and uses all of its opportunities (except maybe 100 years from now). Even if the metaverse presents a new kind of platform, it is not likely that it will ever take the place of conventional marketing approaches, at least not shortly. Some businesses cannot profit from what the metaverse has to offer, but others will. In the not-too-distant future, we will start to hear about an increasing number of companies expanding into the metaverse. Still, we will not entirely replace reality with a virtual version.