Over the past year, the phrase “metaverse” has been more and more prevalent as well-known IT corporations pour millions of dollars towards the creation and advancement of this cutting-edge technology. What exactly is the metaverse, though? And what does it portend for marketing in the future?

Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble. – Ian Schafer

An immersive, digital setting populated by virtual avatars that stand in for actual people is known as the metaverse. It’s a self-contained, fully-functional universe that is always alive, has user-generated material, and lives in the present. The metaverse builds an interconnected network of 3D worlds using a combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR); it is a location parallel to the actual world where you may live your digital life.

Marketing & Metaverse

Building a public virtual platform that anybody can use gives businesses and brands a wide window of opportunity to sell their goods and services. Even though the metaverse is still in its early phases of development, businesses are starting to use it to connect with consumers.

The four Ps of the marketing mix is a product, pricing, promotion, and location. It’s hardly surprising that marketing teams all around the world are eager to get started with the metaverse as it offers new venues for marketing and avenues for promotion.

In the metaverse, you may develop your own platform for promoting a company’s goods or services. Numerous businesses have already demonstrated that this procedure, which requires a significant financial commitment, effort, and study, is profitable.

The 2022 Summit for Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online retailers, was held there. Users could purchase goods, listen to music, and have genuine food delivered all from within the experience thanks to partnerships with Spotify and Uber Eats. In contrast to a physical event, where attendees are constrained by the venue’s capacity and space, hosting a virtual conference dramatically expands the number of prospective audiences.

The direct-to-avatar sales of virtual goods are a $54 billion business, and the metaverse has created new prospects for virtual collectibles, which have already been profitable through several online video games that let players buy collectible things. By leveraging the Roblox platform to build the specifically designed metaverse area known as Nikeland, Nike has made use of this in the metaverse. Users may buy special Nike digital goods to show and wear on their avatars in their own exclusive area of Nikeland. Nike’s platform has amassed over 7 million users since its November 2021 launch.

Native advertising is transferrable to the metaverse, where billboards for advertising on virtual highways are also accessible, in addition to product placement on platforms. The metaverse hosts a variety of athletic and musical events, many of which provide sponsorship opportunities.

Advertising on this new platform has already been used by well-known companies like Samsung and Coca-Cola. In the metaverse, Coca-Cola introduced a limited-edition beverage, while Samsung developed a treasure hunt where players could enter to win a Galaxy S22.

A wide range of companies may take advantage of the marketing potential that VR and AR both provide. Customers may view a virtual 3D model of the goods before making a purchase by hosting products in the metaverse. Hyundai has made use of this functionality by building a digital Motorstudio on the platform where customers can browse various car models, view educational films, and make purchases.

A wide range of firms providing goods including furniture and household goods, as well as apparel enterprises, can benefit from AR. In order to make sure they like the style and that the product’s size is appropriate, AR enables clients to virtually “position” furniture in their homes before making a purchase. This applies to apparel companies as well, as shoppers may utilize AR to virtually try on garments before making a purchase.

Marketing & Metaverse: The Challenge

Currently, to access the metaverse, a high-spec computer with fast internet connectivity is necessary, coupled with a VR headset for a lot of the virtual components. Not everyone will be able to immediately enter the metaverse since not everyone has access to these expensive pieces of technology. If your target market is more likely to fall into the latter category, the metaverse may not be the best direction to take your brand at this time. While some consumers may be eager to acquire the necessary technology so they can explore this new world, others who may be more skeptical of the metaverse won’t be rushing to spend large sums of money to get there.

The metaverse continues to be contested by many people. Many people struggle to understand how or why the idea might be more than just a kid-friendly video game, despite several IT experts demonstrating why it is so much more than that. The metaverse is still in its infancy; it may take years before the general public recognizes this new market for what it truly is. Because of the broad disagreements, mass marketing is currently being hampered in the metaverse, at least temporarily.

With the appropriate technology, anybody may enter the metaverse for free, and there is no organization in place to oversee it at the moment. Since you have no control over what other user-generated material shows alongside your brand and face the danger of virtual vandalism, this is a major worry for firms trying to market within the metaverse.

Concerns about data security and privacy exist in relation to the metaverse’s implementation. To adapt to this new environment, new privacy and protection techniques are being developed, however it is unclear how much faith we can currently have in this newly created technology. It is still too early to predict whether the metaverse will have a single set of security and privacy standards that apply to all platforms or whether different nations would require their own rules, though the latter seems more plausible. The results of research might have a significant impact on marketers that use the metaverse to target a global audience.

Figuring out how to measure success in the metaverse is another problem since the metaverse offers new marketing opportunities that make it difficult to properly convert standard measurements. It’s just too early for marketers to know exactly how to approach this, but it’s not a deal-breaker either. It won’t take long for appropriate analytics to be learned on this platform via methodical trial and error.

Marketing & Metaverse: The Future

Over $120 billion had been invested in the creation of metaverse infrastructure and technology in the first half of 2022, as investors continued to pour money into the platform’s growth at an astounding rate. As the platform becomes more well-known, well-known businesses are moving quickly to be the first to use it for promotional purposes.

The metaverse is not popular with everyone; many individuals are completely against it. Though sentiments of this sort will probably evolve as the platform achieves more traction and acceptance, I don’t imagine a scenario in which everyone is making the most of the metaverse (except maybe 100 years from now).

Although the metaverse offers a new kind of platform, existing marketing techniques won’t be replaced anytime soon, at least not anytime soon. Some businesses will profit from what the metaverse has to offer, but not all of them. We won’t entirely replace reality with a virtual counterpart, but I think we’ll start to hear more and more brands expanding into the metaverse.

Whether or whether this represents the future is unclear; who knows? To see how far things can actually go, I wish I had a window into the future