The Metaverse Needs To Have A Role In Your Strategy: Here Is How
The mere mention of the metaverse has the power to inspire plenty of different emotions in boardrooms and in break rooms, from intrigue to outright confusion. Most executives have at least heard of the concept, and plenty are still scrambling to figure out exactly what it will mean for their organizations.
It’s no secret that the metaverse has already garnered a few die-hard corporate fans. For the most part, however, the metaverse is taking shape as a silent revolution. While a handful of leading organizations have already incorporated the metaverse into their innovation and communications strategies, others have yet to consider its long-term implications and business opportunities.
Whether or not your organization is ready to integrate metaverse entry into its growth strategy immediately, it’s never a bad idea to start planning for the future. The metaverse has already opened up a whole new world of marketing opportunities that are certainly worth considering.
Understanding The Metaverse
According to research from Bloomberg, the metaverse is on track to blossom into an $800 billion industry by 2024. But what and where exactly is the metaverse? And what does it pragmatically mean for the future of your organization?
These are the kind of questions that are still likely to spark a wide array of different answers. The term “metaverse” is still loosely, and sometimes speculatively, used to refer to experiences that will be enabled by new forms of emerging technology.
Much like the internet isn’t one specific website, the metaverse doesn’t consist of a single virtual world. It’s actually a collective term for a variety of different online spaces where users can connect. It holds an endless array of cross-functional capabilities, from allowing users to connect to online games to serving as a forum for virtual business conferences.
It often incorporates technological innovations, such as virtual or augmented realities. But at its core, the metaverse is centered around the idea of heightening immersive online experiences. Just as Web3 promises a new form of internet governance protocols, the metaverse plans to take virtual interaction capabilities to another level entirely.
The potential for such a massive shift in online social dynamics will likely lead to a necessary shift in corporate strategy for businesses around the globe. While the metaverse isn’t likely to turn the business landscape on its head overnight, developing a solid metaverse strategy today could go a long way toward ensuring you don’t miss the boat tomorrow.
How Can The Metaverse Benefit Your Strategy?
Make no mistake, the metaverse is still evolving. This has led some companies to brush it off as a vague but distant future innovation. Other brands are already embracing the idea of getting in on the ground floor of a whole new marketing frontier. But the question many growth strategists are still grappling with is where to start.
What does a great metaverse strategy even look like? The good news is that there’s not just one correct answer. Much like the metaverse itself, the possibilities are literally limitless. Companies that are already employing a metaverse strategy have developed a wide range of different approaches. Let’s take a look at a few ways that top brands are using the metaverse to further their growth strategies.
Creating Immersive Marketing Opportunities
Effective marketing is all about meeting customers where they are, and the metaverse is attracting more people each day. That’s why many companies are embracing new ways to engage current users and newcomers of the future. Coca-Cola, for instance, recently partnered with PWR to promote the release of its “Zero Sugar Byte” flavor with a Fortnite game called Pixel Point. Chipotle, meanwhile, recently created a virtual burrito rolling game, complete with real-world prizes.
Expanded Audience Engagement
The ability to blend virtual and physical realities introduces plenty of innovative new possibilities for engaging consumers. From Etro to Dolce & Gabbana, a number of high fashion brands are already taking advantage of the many new growth avenues the metaverse has to offer. 2022 saw the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week, a virtual fashion show that offered fans from around the world the chance to purchase both real clothing and digital products.
From in-game ad placements to product placement, the metaverse provides a whole new world of marketing opportunities. Even though they’re still an incredibly new concept, metaverse concerts and events are already drawing millions of fans. Imagine the potential in a few years, when the metaverse is fully integrated by users around the world.
The Cost Of Inaction
While it’s impossible to predict if the metaverse will become as critical a component of your growth strategy as other digitization initiatives, the possibility is simply too large to ignore. According to Emergen Research forecasts, “the global metaverse is expected to reach $1.607 trillion in 2030 and register a revenue CAGR of 43.4% during the forecasted period.”
These figures are consistent with the recent rise of a concept known as the experience economy. To put it simply, today’s consumers are becoming less interested in material possessions and more interested in seeking out all the experiences life has to offer.
Does this mean that you should immediately drop everything and throw your entire marketing budget into the metaverse? Not at all. What it does mean, is that now is a great time to start brainstorming ways to incorporate the metaverse into your long-term innovation strategy. It’s never a bad idea to get an early start on mapping out a plan to ensure you don’t get left behind.
So, the next time you come across your friend’s VR headset, don’t be afraid to take the opportunity to plunge into a whole new virtual reality. After all, one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the metaverse is to experience what it has to offer firsthand. Not only will your peers thank you, but you may just end up having a blast in the process.
This article originally appeared in Forbes.com on November 1, 2022