Is the Metaverse the Next Generation of Digital Marketing?
UK & Ireland
By 2030, the Metaverse is predicted to be a multi-trillion-dollar part of the global economy & according to research, the shift in marketing paradigms for this virtual world will set the bar for the future of b2c & b2b marketing communications. Unsurprisingly, the most dominant user sectors, probably due to their tech savvy attitude & gaming enthusiasm, are the Gen Alpha, Gen Z & Gen Zs – perfect if they are your target audience.
As a collective virtual shared space encompassing both physical & digital realities, the Metaverse now offers innovative ways for organisations to reach their target audiences. Representing a convergence of virtual & physical experiences users can interact with one another & digital content in real-time.
In the context of digital marketing, this computer-generated environment offers opportunities for dynamic & immersive experiences. Virtual storefronts & showrooms will enable brands to directly interact with their prospects & customers enabling them to explore; interact with products; participate in virtual training & events. Furthermore, by leveraging user data & preferences for customisation will only enhance user interactions, engagement & create more meaningful connections with brands & consumers.
For this next generation of user interaction & engagement you’ll require an avatar, to digitally represent yourself. And whilst we’re all familiar with b2c & b2b channels, d2a ‘direct-to-avatar’ is set to become the new & essential business model.
In terms of content marketing, marketers typically heavily rely on content creation, but in the Metaverse the consumption of content is flipped. Instead of just creating content & releasing it through different channels, it’s now an experiential journey. A simple blog post will be enhanced with dynamic interactive elements or be specifically designed for VR headsets to captivate the user’s interest. And whilst most content will be user-generated, sponsored & branded content have their place too.
At the outset, as with any technological advancement, infrastructural & technical issues are the norm & the Metaverse is no exception. Lack of regulation & standards makes it challenging to ensure consistent & adequate protection against cyber threats. Due to lakes of sensitive & insightful personal data that the Metaverse holds, then identity theft, data breaches, virtual asset theft & fraud are strong possibilities.
As for the customer experience & engagement Metaverse’s interface must be a seamless experience. However, the lack of affordability & accessibility of VR (Virtual Reality) & AR (Augmented Reality) headsets will undoubtedly negatively impact upon the Metaverse promise of a 360 degree immersive experience.
Customer insight will be greatly enhanced adding another dimension to what data & analytics can achieve & its ability to link companies with audiences. The metaverse grants data-driven insights & analysis to help businesses understand customer needs & preferences. AI-driven predictive analytics will be applied to enable marketers design & optimise their campaigns & identify the most profitable customer segments.
In conclusion, with the 120 billion dollars already invested in the development of the Metaverse, it is clearly a platform that is here to stay, opening up innovative marketing strategy & tactic possibilities. And yet, whilst this interconnected virtual world has the potential to transform digital marketing as we know it today, there remain a multitude of unanswered questions & uncertainty – security, regulation, data privacy, scalability & inoperability just being a few.