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MARKETING IN THE METAVERSE

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Experts argue that there is huge advertising potential in the Metaverse, and some even believe that we are hurtling towards a world where it is the primary way to advertise.

An Adweek article written by Allison Ferenci, co-founder and CEO of Camera IQ a platform for AR, states that the Metaverse will enable marketers to “inject their brands into that experience in a way that makes each user the star of the show.” [1] The key point for marketers to bear in mind is how involved the audience can become in a campaign thanks to the levels of interactivity reality technology provides, instead of just viewing a promotion they can be immersed in and even alter it as they like.

It’s about creating brand centred experiences that are hard to forget, working customer relations and advertising all into one medium. It is also important to remember the value of targeting millennials and Gen Z-ers who are the primary users of these early metaverse technologies.

You might be asking yourself, is it really worth this hype? Well, according to Influencer Marketing Hub the number of VR and AR users has more than doubled since 2017 [2] and brands are already trying to jump on the wagon with great success. In 2021 Vans worked with Roblox to create a virtual skatepark. Players could learn new tricks to earn points to put towards digital Vans merchandise that they could dress up their avatars in. Since opening, the park has been visited by more than 48 million users.

Gucci also worked with Roblox to promote a ‘limited edition’ handbag item for avatars which ended up selling for 350,000 Robux (the in-game currency) which is equal to $4,115, more than what the handbag costs in real life. The hype and interactivity that is naturally cultivated by these interactive campaigns seems to elicit incredible responses, but it’s still early days for the Metaverse concept, so can marketers really rely on this new technology?

One of the biggest disadvantages of marketing in a completely digital world is the lack of moderation. The Metaverse, like a real universe, will be infinite, and as such it would be impossible to keep every single corner of it under control at all times. So, what happens to brand reputation when something happens in a space where you are advertising? With seemingly limitless interactivity, can you really be sure that your audience is interacting in the way you desire? Another issue with the Metaverse that is being talked about at great length is the fact that digital security technology is not at a standard to cope with it, and as such there is a major risk of data and privacy leeks and theft and thus other cybercrimes in general.

Moreover, there are concerns about the effects that virtual reality might have on mental health, with fears that people will disconnect from reality entirely and become addicted to the virtual worlds they play in. Ultimately, however, the jury is still out on whether VR and AR technology and hardware is at a standard that it can meet everyone’s expectations for the Metaverse, and some of it is not accessible to everyone like people who cannot wear headsets due to medical conditions or those with serious motion sickness.

In conclusion, while there are a lot of potential benefits for marketing in the Metaverse, the world may not be ready for companies to completely transition over to it just yet, which we’re sure is good news for a lot of you. Technology may be constantly evolving, but it needs to evolve some more to become more secure and accessible before marketers put their eggs in the virtual basket. That being said, the belief that marketers need to start planning ahead is almost unanimous, and perhaps with the speed at which digital landscape seems to change it is a good idea to consider your brand’s path to the metaverse as a long-term goal.

What do you think the future holds for marketing in the Metaverse?

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