Find out how the metaverse might change digital marketing forever. Learn:
The metaverse has arrived. Potentially speaking, we might be seeing a more significant shift than when SEO, the web, email, and all things digital joined TV and radio as the two main channels of communication.
We could be looking at the next evolution of the internet itself.
Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta. Epic Games, the owner of the Unreal Engine and video games like Fortnite, teamed up with LEGO to create metaverse experiences safe and enjoyable for children.
It’s here, and it’s for real (so to speak).
You might have heard of the metaverse, but do you know exactly what it is?
The name comes from a sci-fi novel published in 1992 called Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The novel‘s protagonist (the aptly named Hiro Protagonist) lives in a future where people escape to an online world as digital avatars.
That essentially describes the metaverse: a virtual universe wherein people will live, play, work, and interact with each other.
We’re talking virtual environments, an entirely virtual store or showroom, and events that take place completely in virtual reality.
In fact, the virtual and real worlds will overlap at times. You might head into a bank or store and put on a pair of HoloLens, smartglasses, or other VR tool to see augmented reality effects in that physical location.
You might even interact with a virtual teller or customer associate!
Yesterday’s science fiction has become today’s reality.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, the metaverse is “an embodied internet,” run by multiple players in a decentralized way. No single company or entity will run it and control its content and data. It will be open to everyone.
Zuckerberg further described the metaverse as “a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet, merge virtual life with real life and create endless new playgrounds for everyone.”
He even promised that "you're going to be able to do almost anything you can imagine” with it.
So, we all might get a chance to design and live in our own version of The Matrix.
Yesterday's science fiction is today's reality.
A good marketer embraces new digital technology to find new ways to reach and communicate with customers. They meet their audiences on the channels they prefer and find the most convenient.
Learn more about AI, automation, and solutions marketers feel will help them improve performance. Check out today’s top marketing technology trends.
Is the metaverse the marketing channel of the future?
The forecasts indicate so. Its market size might hit 800 billion by 2024 and eventually exceed a trillion.
Consider as well that:
The metaverse gives you a prime opportunity to target and connect with Millennials and Generation X’ers in a new, exciting way. You can even also reach out to Generation Z, as the younger generation tends to be up on the latest technology trends. They grow up surrounded by and immersed in digital and social.
What are they looking for in marketing and content?
Learn how to create and deliver video content your customers love at the right time and on the right channel with Oracle Content Management.
However, people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds embrace new technology, especially if it makes things easier and more convenient for them.
Given how new the metaverse is, it gives you a prime opportunity to stand out and strengthen your reputation as an innovator. You can show audiences you stand on the cutting edge of both marketing AND technology.
However, new technology will change customer behaviors. Customer behaviors will also change technology, especially your martech stack.
The past few years threw everyone through a loop. The pandemic, social unrest, and now recession and inflation fears.
Are you able to adapt to changing circumstances? Maybe you can get in on the ground floor of metaverse marketing to get ahead of the game. It’s better to start the race now and lead the way rather than stumble and fall behind, isn’t it?
Don’t think metaverse marketing is only for B2C. You can use it to engage B2B and all types of buyers. Create VR and AR experiences that get consumers to buy and delight decision-makers and show them just how your product can make a difference.
I mean, you can show them virtually. You could even add a lot of dazzle and creativity to your presentation or demo. Are you making an announcement about a product update? Imagine doing it in VR or with AR’s help.
The metaverse offers an array of possibilities for marketers to offer new, creative experiences for customers.
First, though, make sure you know the ground rules of the metaverse.
As a marketer, you might already be using AI for:
In short, AI helps you create more seamless, comfortable, and engaging experiences. It will do the same in the metaverse with:
As a marketer, you’ll definitely need AI and marketing automation software working together to scale, engage, and convert as many leads as possible.
Learn why AI matters to B2B marketers and how it enhances customer engagement.
But creating experiences in the metaverse requires you to know the characteristics of this new medium:
This changes the game significantly for marketers, as you’re not only creating experiences for customers, you’ll be building entire virtual worlds.
It sounds intimidating, but fortune favors the brave.
In what possible ways does this virtual worldbuilding impact the different areas of marketing?
Let’s take a look.
Already, you can attend webinars and virtual events without leaving your home or office. The metaverse takes this to a whole other level. You can interact virtually with peers and colleagues at metaverse events.
You can do more than chat and interact on video screens, however.
Into sports? How about a virtual round of golf? What about a walk in a virtual recreation of a city halfway across the world?
You can do almost anything together.
Plus, your customers can sample your products and services virtually like they would in real life. Product demos don’t have to be in person. You can experience one in the metaverse right alongside any subject matter experts who can give you tips on best uses.
As stated earlier, you could have an entire virtual showroom. Or you could use AR to spruce up your physical one.
As mentioned above, Facebook is building the metaverse and renamed itself after it. They’re on board, and Facebook owns Instagram as well. Do you expect the other social media platforms to not jump in?
Already, Snapchat and TikTok have offered AR experiences with different filters. How long until they take the giant leap to both VR and AR?
On social platforms, you might be interacting with avatars from all across the world in wildly creative environments like an underwater city, the moon, or in the sky. You’ll still probably be able to like and share content.
In fact, you can make your content stand out in a myriad of ways: fireworks, a loud blare of a horn, or even with the stars above forming words.
Interactive content will matter the most since you’re in an interactive, immersive environment. Gamification will matter since you’ll want to find a way to keep your audiences entertained and engaged.
The same old static content won’t work. Why would an email get anyone excited in the metaverse? What if instead you created a mascot to read your offer off a scroll? A court jester, talking dog, or friendly robot?
Action, diversion, and creativity will rule.
Looking for help with campaign copy, content, and creative? See how the experts at Oracle Marketing Consulting can help.
Many customer loyalty programs already use gamification to keep things interesting for their members. The metaverse will let you offer members the chance to play bigger, more imaginative games to earn points and benefits.
What kind of perks can you also offer?
The stronger loyalty is emotional loyalty. You forge a bond with your customer by making them feel special and that your brand offers what others can’t. That you offer a value beyond just price.
The metaverse can help there.
A VIP or premium loyalty program in the metaverse can go above and beyond anything you provide now.
And the most loyal customers might even promote your brand with user-generated content in the metaverse like they do on social. How creative can they get?
See how Oracle Red Bull Racing created a loyalty program that gave their fans what they wanted to build an emotional connection with them¾experiences that brought them closer to the racing action.
Cross-channel marketing involves creating a seamless, smooth experience as a customer crosses from channel to channel while interacting with your brand. The metaverse gives you yet another digital channel to work with.
A customer could click a link on an email or landing page and find themselves immersed in a metaverse environment for an event. They could click a link and experience content in an interactive manner rather than just reading it on a screen.
The same principles will apply, as you want a consistent brand experience across all channels. With the metaverse, however, you’ll have even more touchpoints to create meaningful interactions with customers.
You can go beyond cross-channel marketing, too. Omnichannel marketing takes the next step and interacts with customers on multiple channels at the same time.
For example, a customer could visit a store and receive an email, text, or push notification about a deal or discount there.
Liek I said earlier, in the metaverse, you might build your own virtual store or business!
If and when a customer visits, what kind of notifications or ads might appear to tell them about promotions you have going on there?
But, again, as I stated earlier, virtual and real locations might overlap. You might use AR to make your physical location even more enticing. Someone there might even interact with a virtual customer associate or salesperson.
Incredible to think about, isn’t it?
Again, consider consistency and how to make the best use of a customer’s time when they interact with you.
How can you personalize in a virtual world or one that mixes virtual with an actual, physical location? Can you:
SEO is constantly changing, but how can you optimize for search in the metaverse? Well, like marketers adapted to Google, YouTube, and Instagram, we will for the metaverse as well.
Visual and voice search could play huge roles, as sight and sound will matter a great deal in an immersive environment. Moreover, you might have to claim a virtual platform, world, or community to make it easy for customers to find you.
Your local listings could have a VR or AR overlay. You could place product reviews in places that metaverse users will easily find.
What can you put your brand name on virtually? What keywords and images can you build into your virtual world?
While engagement (and the conversions that result) will remain your key performance indicator, you might have a broader and wider view of numbers to gauge your success.
Email opens and clickthroughs won’t matter as much.
But customer interactions will. How many customers access your virtual environments? How long do they stay?
Also, think about how many:
Since the metaverse is so new, marketers haven’t completely figured out the best KPIs to use yet, but the time is now to put your thinking cap on about it.
Data means everything to a marketer. See how to make your customer data more effective with a CDP and why you should invest in one.
Already several brands have stepped up to the plate with the metaverse.
The metaverse is still under construction. The shape of the future and how it will affect digital marketing remains to be completely seen. Like with metrics, much still needs to be figured out.
As of January 2022, according to Statista:
So, it’s not a household name, yet.
Plus, the metaverse will involve a lot of moving parts (AI, video, blockchain, etc.) and huge, huge amounts of data. It will be complex to work with and use.
Some customers might not be able to afford a headset, smartglasses, HoloLens, or any other equipment needed for a metaverse experience.
Still, many of these drawbacks only exist because the metaverse hasn’t completely established itself yet. Once it has, do you want to be scrambling to catch up to your competitors, or do you want to be in a position to make the most of it?
Learn more about the future of marketing:
See what solutions can set you up for future success:
Michael McNichols is a Senior Content Manager for Oracle Digital Marketing. He has over ten years of experience in professional writing and has been widely published.