Metaverse Marketing: Unlimited

Twenty years ago the internet became a thing and businesses all over the world realized that having a website was an absolute necessity for marketing. Today, it’s almost become table stakes and creates virtually no competitive advantage unless you’re into e-commerce. In today’s environment, the metaverse, billed as Web 3.0, is all the rage.

While “metavers” is the buzzword these days, the question to ask is whether it’s newsworthy. Let’s see what the Metaverse is and what it can accomplish. Imagine completely immersing yourself in a Van Gogh painting and losing yourself under the starry nights! And that without even leaving your home! Sounds completely fantastic, doesn’t it? Well, the metaverse lets you do just that.

A whole new world

Interestingly, the name ‘metaverse’ itself is quite telling – ‘meta’ means beyond and ‘verse’ is derived from the universe. So, metaverse simply means beyond the universe, or for us, another universe. A universe, or a shared virtual collective space, which creates multiple ecosystems and allows us to live immersive experiences. For marketers, the metaverse is a dream come true!

Along with technology, marketing has also experienced a steep evolutionary curve. There was a time when businesses could only speak to their customers through limited means – 1) through strategically placed hoardings on busy roads and intersections, 2) advertisements on television, and 3) advertisements placed in newspapers and periodicals. Today, the landscape has completely changed. Firstly, as marketers, we have several ways through which we can connect with consumers and therefore customers can also talk to us. This means that customer engagements are no longer a one-way street, but rather about having meaningful conversations. And, second, marketing is no longer about promoting brands and products. It’s more about enabling experiences and giving customers the ability to immerse themselves in the experience of the product or service. It’s about making the value proposition more tangible. And this is where the Metaverse can really move the needle.

Major retail brands are already making their presence felt in the metaverse. An example would be a global luxury brand that launched a digital-only collection in the metaverse. Interestingly, financial services companies are not far behind, with major global banks purchasing real estate in the metaverse in an effort to create a presence in this alternate universe.

Should marketers jump into the metaverse?

Unquestionably, the infinite metaverse is slowly revealing itself. Whether or not it makes sense for marketers to enter the metaverse depends on the target audience. The metaverse is largely occupied by 18-28 year old Gen Zers whose thinking is primarily shaped by their digital experiences. They are super comfortable with technology and are ready to embark on new experiences. They are also slowly emerging as the largest category of consumers. So while today the question is more like “do we need to market in the metaverse”, very soon it will be “how do we market in the metaverse”.

Since branding, marketing, and advertising in the metaverse are currently in their infancy, everyone is currently in a discovery phase. When the possibilities are endless, finding the right solutions can be difficult. However, just through the initial observation, it’s obvious that regular ads won’t work in the metaverse. As a marketer, you’ll really have to open that box and throw it away. With creativity gaining prominence, as a marketer you will need to use “engagement” as your primary KPI. Additionally, measurement, tracking and impact would be difficult to measure with existing metrics due to the nuances of the technology used. Since the playing field is different, the rules of the game and also the winning formula are going to be different.

This means it gives marketers a unique opportunity to set the rules of the game and influence the shape of marketing in the metaverse.

The bottom line is that in-universe marketing is going to force us all to rethink how we view marketing since even the sky isn’t the limit in the metaverse.

Disclaimer: Ms Manisha Dokania is the Chief Brand Officer of Edelweiss Asset Management Limited (EAML) and the opinions expressed above are her own.

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