Marketing News: Meet the metaverse: The tech that’s creating real value for marketers in a virtual world

Marketing News

Meet the metaverse: The tech that’s creating real value for marketers in a virtual world

New research by marketing agency BDB shows that marketers have high hopes for the metaverse. According to McKinsey, more than £100 billion has already been invested in the metaverse this year – more than double the £50 billion invested in all of 2021 – and further predictions by Citi suggest that the metaverse economy could be worth trillions by 2030.

The studies show that people are increasingly open to virtual brand experiences and highlight certain brands that are embracing this new technology.

The metaverse provides a pipeline to a younger cohort of business decision makers who prefer to explore and shop in digital channels than older generations.

In fact, the research by BDB reveals that more than half of (55%) of UK marketers state that the brand they’re working for already has a dedicated in-house team or agency exploring possibilities within the metaverse this year.

Many of these brands have budget set aside for marketing activity within the metaverse that has been taken from other marketing channels and 46% of those surveyed say they are already executing a marketing strategy within the metaverse.

Mainstream B2C brands may be capturing headlines, but there’s an enormous opportunity for B2B companies to connect with customers and decision-makers.

What is the metaverse, and why should marketers care?
Facebook, arguably the tech company with the biggest stake in the metaverse, describes the metaverse as ‘a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.’

What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect and collaborate and it is built on the convergence of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies.

In the metaverse, people value digital assets rather than physical assets (and this also rings true for ‘digital experiences’ and ‘digital relationships’ as well).

In terms of brand experiences, the metaverse should have significant positive impact on customers, particularly in industries like retail and fashion. For example, virtual shops and digitised products allow users to look at items with friends and interact with company representatives and influencers, as well as experiencing services digitally.

Virtual advertising is another benefit. In-platform ads create the ability for brands to participate in the metaverse with a digital avatar, offering an immersive experience where participants can interact with real-life physical items as well as digital metaverse-orientated items.

What’s interesting is that customers are already there. When McKinsey surveyed more than 3,400 consumers and 450 senior executives around the world, it found that two thirds are excited about transitioning everyday activities into the metaverse especially when it comes to connecting with people, exploring virtual worlds, and collaborating with remote colleagues.

Interestingly, almost 60% of consumers prefer at least one activity in the immersive world versus the physical alternative and 79% of consumers that are active in the metaverse have made a purchase from an online brand.

Approximately 95% of executives surveyed believe the metaverse will have a positive impact on their industry. A third said the metaverse can bring significant change in how their industry operates and a quarter of them believe it will generate more than 15% of corporate revenue in the next 5 years.

Brands are boldly embracing the technology
Nike, Vans, Adidas, Gucci and Burberry are embracing the metaverse and have developed virtual products for multiplayer online games. Other companies advertise in the metaverse, for example via billboards or avatars wearing branded clothing.

Amazon recently deployed the metaverse with an augmented reality shopping tool called ‘Room Decorate’ allowing mobile users to preview furniture and home decor. Google launched augmented reality beauty experiences to allow customers to test out products via their apps before they buy, and without having to try them on in stores.

The metaverse presents a fantastic opportunity for brands to target new audiences – are you ready to tap into this new technology?

Reading / Sources
“Brands must put creators front and centre”: 55% of UK brand marketers set budget aside for the metaverse Performance Marketing World
McKinsey & Company’s new research shows the metaverse could grow up to $5 trillion in value by 2030 McKinsey & Company
Meet the metaverse: Creating real value in a virtual world McKinsey & Company