Metaverse Marketing: What the Future Looks Like
The concept of the metaverse has been making headlines for several months now. Much more than a fast trend, 3D virtual universes herald a shift from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, which will have a significant impact on the economy and our way of life.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at:
What is The Metaverse?
A metaworld is a separate digital world that merges with the real, physical world. In 2021, projects in this area mainly concern the Social VR category – safe and “trouble-free” social networks within virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technology.
The term first occurs in 1992 in the novel “Avalanche” (Snow Crash) by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson. But due to the lack of technical capacity and the necessary level of technology, implementation has only recently become possible.
Society is smoothly and naturally moving to live in an online-to-offline format. Two years of the pandemic only accelerated this process. Alternative worlds are being created for work, play, communication. People’s time in them is growing, but real life remains real.
Inside the metaverse villages, there is an opportunity to live the lives that humans do not get enough of. The same social technologies are in demand there, there are conflicts, struggles, friendships.
And now it is also a new way of selling and buying goods:
Imagine that in addition to browsing clothes and tech, you can try them on and buy them without leaving the online space? People are buying virtual outfits for their avatar, as well as merchandise that will be delivered by courier to their homes. Or how about the ability to shop with friends and consult with a vendor directly in-game (or offline)?
In an immersive 3D world, it’s possible. Traditional notions of multi-channel retailing are taking it to the next level.
What Do Businesses Need It For?
As the world buzzes about the advent of metaverseuniverses, brands are actively exploring digital channels, as the pandemic has made adjustments and made capturing market share in the metaverseuniverse system more urgent than ever. What it’s about:
Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) Sales Within Meta Universes
D2A is a business model for selling to avatars (digital individuals) that doesn’t require supply chain management.
For example, dropshipping – a reseller retails without stocking their warehouse, goods are shipped directly from a manufacturer, dealer, or wholesaler’s warehouse.
D2A brands are sold in social or competitive virtual environments: games or open worlds where consumers present themselves as an avatar. D2A gives companies that missed the “wave” of the digital revolution a chance to leverage the power of metaverses to grow their businesses.
The customer journey begins in the virtual world and ends in the real world. Through an order in an online app, the product is delivered to the end consumer. D2C allows brands to market directly, without intermediaries.
But the process still depends on third parties for delivery and handling and becomes a competition of “who gets to the front door faster.”
Not just advertising, but brands’ presence in virtual worlds.
In addition to real products, people buy experiences. The world’s biggest brands, SAMSUNG, GUCCI, Balenciaga and others, use game engines (the underlying software) to completely change and recreate spaces and present them to audiences in new ways.
– Louis Vuitton designed skins for League of Legends in collaboration with Riot Games.
– A Gucci&Tennis Clash collaboration helps players discover exclusive outfits designed by the Italian fashion brand and purchase clothing items for the Tennis Clash character on the Gucci website.
– Balenciaga created a video game, Afterworld, to introduce the Fall 2021 collection. Players were transported to the post-apocalyptic world of 2031 to explore different areas – a Balenciaga store, a forest rave – where models either stood or danced in clothes from the new collection.
Balenciaga captured the attention of shoppers and retailers by providing an innovative way for them to experience the product through 3D avatars.
Campaigns of The Future
Meta universes are the next most complex stage in the development of blockchain culture after NFT. It is the best and most understandable platform to appeal to the cryptocurrency audience, take its place in the industry and claim relevance. Commitment to the latest technology has long been a fashion, and this fashion is starting to bring in money, not just image bonuses like demonstrating its own modernity. Looking at existing examples of projects in meta universes, you can roughly imagine what the advertising campaigns of the future will look like.
For example, on July 30, Coca-Cola held a friendship day party in Decentraland. More than 2,000 people came to the event then. For it, the company built a futuristic building with a huge branded can in the center. Those entering the venue heard electronic music that intensified as they approached the can. There was a portal on the first floor that could be used to reach the roof, the neck of the tin can. On the roof, the company placed a dance floor and a DJ in the form of a huge jacket. This jacket was the main item in the NFT auction.
The auction also included NFT tokens in the form of a refrigerator with the company logo. It took place a few days before the party. In addition to commemorative NFTs, the winner received a digital jacket that could be used as clothing for their avatar in Decentraland. Given the Ethereum exchange rate, the company was able to raise $575,000, which it promised to donate to a special Olympics fund for the disabled. This amount definitely covered the costs of hosting and developing the event. Building a full-fledged office in the meta-universe today will cost between $10,000 and $50,000. The main thing the company was able to achieve with this case was a mention in the media. Many global media outlets and the vast majority of the crypto and technology media wrote about the event. Now you can find about 40,000 articles on the topic in a Google search engine. On the scale of Coca-Cola, this is hardly a big number, but as users grow, so will the amount of attention.
The second most striking example of making money in the meta-universe from a company with a centuries-old history was demonstrated by the auction house Christie’s. Together with its competitor Sotheby’s it accumulates 90% of all auction sales of art in the world.
The company, founded in 1776, opened a gallery in Decentraland on June 10 this year. Christie’s has moved away from the futuristic architecture that is a staple among offices in the meta-universe and decided to create an exact replica of its London office on New Bond Street. At the entrance to the five-story gallery, you’ll be greeted by a butler in an antique hat. On the sides of him, the creators have displayed two NFT tokens – CryptoPunk 7523 and Quantum by digital artist Kevin McCoy. These are the main lots of the first NFT auction in the history of the house. It was timed to coincide with the opening of the building. The tokens sold for $11.7 million and $1.47 million, respectively. The total amount of money earned was $17.1 million.
The auction house owners promise to update the content inside the building as new NFTs for sale become available. Unlike the real office in London, the metaverse is much more accessible to the general public. Anyone can come here and see the lots on display.
Galleries like this one are very common in meta villages. Four major NFT venues have opened offices here. They even managed to form a museum quarter with the same name. By visiting it, you can see the most interesting NFTs of recent times. The administration of the meta-universe has already held an art week, encouraging artists to send them their work. The initiative attracted relatives of the deceased singer Amy Winehouse – they held an exhibition of photographs dedicated to the artist’s legacy. In addition to photos, they sold digital clothing.
The user gets many more facets of interaction with the content and, in the long run, spends more time on it than on standard social media. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in it and forget about basic human needs like eating and relaxing. Domino’s was the first company to allow pizza to be ordered directly from Decentraland – but so far only in the UK.
Advertisers, in turn, get a lot of room for imagination, and the cost of activating brands is reduced. When a company comes to the meta-universe, it gets an opportunity to be one of the first to enter a fundamentally new media space and try out innovative communication and earning techniques. Creating a project in the meta communiverse is a great step to join the creative economy of the future.
New opportunities help to open the consciousness, which is more and more constrained by ethical and technical limitations of classical social networks. Coming to blockchain-based worlds, one gets unlimited space for one’s imagination and a much greater degree of freedom. This is already baffling authoritarian regimes – China, for example, has banned its companies from investing in meta universes.
The metaverse is a way to go beyond the usual store and turn any user scenario into the process of buying a product or service. There are already huge open worlds of free-to-play with an economy. People spend a lot of time in them and spend a lot of money on avatars. They buy them skins – elements of improvement, and this is an additional field of sales and a new audience of customers.
If you remember the emergence of social networks – they became an extension of our reality. Similarly, in the metaverse villages, ordinary life will be repeated. Those who have the skills of communication will be needed in a virtual environment to work out the technology of interaction between people. Including in the context of brand promotion. Therefore it is worth paying attention to the community managers in order to build trust.
New Tools in Education
The young generation is actively proving that computer games are one of the most powerful forms of learning, creativity and self-expression. Thanks to the introduction of metaclasses into the educational process, expensive overheads will disappear, and the comfort and quality of online learning will improve.
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