Despite the amount we hear about it, the metaverse still remains a fairly mysterious concept for lots of brands. We know what it is, we know the brands that are currently utilising it, but do we know exactly how it will affect the partner marketing industry? Negative.
A quick rundown
Simply speaking, the metaverse is a virtual space on which users can create versions of themselves which interact with other users, brands and more. By using a VR headset, users are able to transport themselves to the metaverse and play out their lives online. The metaverse was previously a stand-alone concept, however, with Facebook’s recent rebranding to Meta, the two have become synonymous.
Whether you’re sceptical about the metaverse or not, there’s no denying that it is exciting. It will give advertisers the opportunity to be even more creative with their campaigns; something they have already started working on.
You can liken this to in-game advertising. The metaverse houses advertising and virtual experiences under one umbrella, creating an incredible brand-building opportunity. Users can dress their avatars in clothing from a certain brand, for example, or when driving down the street the bright neon lights of virtual advertising billboards will be shining down on them.
Something that we can be sure of is the fact that advertisers will be absolutely inundated with data from their efforts in the metaverse. Not only will they be tracking the behaviour of an avatar but the real person behind the avatar, too.
Earlier this year on PerformanceIN, Paul Kasamias discussed how advertisers will be able to use eye and voice tracking to measure consumers’ responses to their advertising efforts. He said: “This provides a huge opportunity where eye/voice tracking or emotional sentiment responses are measured (for example, what is to stop heart rate data via smart watches?) in relation to advertising experiences. This opens exciting opportunities for advertisers to engage with users immersed in richer experiences.”
Obviously tech providers (those making these smart watches, headsets, phones etc.) are the ones who will be enabling and integrating the metaverse into their technology, so this poses the question – will they be willing to part with this data? There could be issues that arise in this area. If they are given access to this data, this could provide them with a plethora of revolutionary opportunities never seen before, enabling them to tailor their campaigns to heights never previously reached.
However, there will always be privacy concerns – I definitely see them arising here. Consumers also may be concerned about the amount of advertisements within the metaverse if they are using it as an ‘escape’ from reality.
Who has utilised the metaverse so far?
We have seen brands such as H&M, Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton and Selfridges utilising the metaverse, and they have done so in creative and exciting ways. This is a fundamental of advertising but it definitely shouldn’t be forgotten – just because the platform is exciting and innovative doesn’t mean your campaign doesn’t have to be.
How can you move forward?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you think back to when social media began rising in popularity, marketers had the same panic around using it to its full potential, and now look where we are. The arising of new technologies is an exciting thing, no matter how daunting it may seem. And in an industry full of data-hungry moving parts, it could be even more exciting.
The metaverse will also offer influencers a completely new space to, well, influence. They will now be able to interact with their followers ‘face to face’, even if they live across the world. The real winners in the metaverse will be the brands that utilise influencers and other partners to create a virtual experience which is multi-layered, exciting, and useful.
The metaverse is an opportunity for you to become a world builder of sorts. There is the potential to create advertising you haven’t seen before, and this is very exciting. There will also be the opportunity to diversify your partner base like never before, with the metaverse providing a platform for you to communicate with people across the world in a much more interactive and intimate way than, say, a video call. Communication blockers that may currently prevent partnerships reaching their fullest potential could be eradicated.
All you can really do is harness any opportunity you are given to get involved. Talking to your customers about what they would like to see, as well as holding conversations with your partners about any of their ideas is a great start. And we can’t forget NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and cryptocurrency – experimenting with all these is a great way to make sure your brand is at the forefront of the crowd.
Over in the Partnerships Lounge, we have been discussing the metaverse and the brands that are utilising it. Make sure to join in the conversation now to stay up to date and connected, and perhaps learn how to get started with the metaverse if you’re struggling.