The growth of the Metaverse over the past 12 months is nothing less than astonishing. For that reason, there’s no better time than now for marketing professionals to get serious about the opportunities available to them. But there’s a problem: many of these marketers are unsure of whether or not to buy into the hype.
To help clear the air, consider the recent development and growth of both the virtual reality and augmented reality sectors of the Metaverse. These technologies continue to evolve, with total worldwide spend expected to increase from $12 billion in 2020 to $72.8 billion in 2024. These are cold, hard facts.
There’s no shortage of reasons for the growth of the Metaverse and the hypo surrounding it. And that’s especially true when it comes to marketing. The Metaverse has created an even playing field among brands of all sizes. Previously unattainable opportunities have moved to the forefront, and the younger demographic —specifically, those in the 13 to 35 age group — continues to push the digital world forward with each passing day.
To gain a better understanding of the Metaverse, its early adoption, and how marketers can take advantage, I sat down with marketing and media strategist, Austin Rotter. He has a wealth of experience in the digital marketing space, with a focus on the Metaverse and emerging opportunities. During our conversation, we touched on everything from the current buzz to future potential and more.
Gary Drenik: There is certainly a lot of buzz and hype around the Metaverse, why should a marketer believe in it?
Austin Rotter: I think the one thing you have to keep in mind is that the Metaverse is still in its infancy. There’s buzz, there’s hype, and there’s plenty of room for growth. But that’s just the foundation of why marketers should take a strong look at the Metaverse and the direction it’s heading.
There are two main reasons why marketers should believe in the Metaverse. To start, the early momentum tells a big story. It shows that the Metaverse is “catching” on with big and small brands, as well as individual users.
Secondly, it’s a unique opportunity for any marketing professional — regardless of industry — to reach and interact with their audience. It doesn’t mean you have to throw tried and true strategies out the window. Instead, you can supplement your focus on traditional digital channels with a Metaverse marketing plan.
Drenik: Do consumers actually care about the Metaverse?
Rotter: This is one of the most common questions I receive. Everyone wants to know if consumers actually care about the Metaverse. If they care, enough to actually use the Metaverse in their daily lives.
My answer is simple: Yes! Consumers absolutely care about the Metaverse and what it can do for them. Sure, it’ll take time for the mainstream to fully adopt this new world, but that will come with time.
Take for example data from a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics Survey. Nearly 44 percent of adults surveyed said that they know what the Metaverse is. Furthermore, 15 percent of respondents expressed their desire to experience it.
With 8,210 participants, this data gives you a better idea of how consumers feel about the Metaverse today. While these numbers may not knock you off your feet, keep in mind that we haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m confident that these statistics will increase month over month, as the Metaverse becomes a bigger part of everyday life.
Drenik: If the Metaverse lives up to the hypo, what potential does it have?
Rotter: It’s no secret that it’ll take some time for the Metaverse to reach its full potential. Think about other game-changers we’ve experienced over the past two decades, such as the growth of the internet and the evolution of the electric car market. Both of these have shaped and continue to shape the world.
The Metaverse has the potential to supplement — and in some cases, replace — some aspects of everyday life. For instance, can you imagine taking a car for a test drive without ever leaving home? Or how about walking through a home that you want to purchase from the comfort of your couch?
As the Metaverse begins to live up to its hype, marketers will find new ways to reach and engage their audience.
Drenik: Are there any good examples of brands using the Metaverse now?
Rotter: I am of the belief that any example of brands using the Metaverse is a good example. I love to see companies of all industries and sizes jump in headfirst. Do they always get things right? Of course, now. There are going to be growing pains — and a lot of them.
Some of the big-name brands experimenting with the Metaverse include Google, Gucci, JPMorgan Chase, Meta, Microsoft, and Shopify.
The one thing you’ll notice about this list is that the companies don’t share the same niche. Gucci is a high-end fashion retailer whereas JPMorgan Chase is an investment bank and financial services holding company.
Speaking of JPMorgan Chase, it’s already made a big move into the Metaverse. The largest bank in the United States has designed and launched a brand-inspired lounge — known as The Onyx — in Decentraland.
The company did a great job with the launch by timing it with a report on the growth of the Metaverse, which stated that the market opportunity has the potential to reach $1 trillion.
It’s super interesting to see how brands in different spaces are using the Metaverse to their advantage. As you can see, it’s not just companies that have physical goods to sell. The Metaverse is for anyone and everyone. It’s all-inclusive and we’ll begin to see that more and more over the years to come.
Drenik: How can marketers leverage the Metaverse to connect to their other digital channels?
Rotter: I think it’s a common belief that the Metaverse has to be a standalone marketing channel. Newcomers fall into the trap of believing that there’s no way to connect this experience with other channels.
My advice for these people is to experiment and keep an open mind. Don’t assume that you have to segment and distance the Metaverse from your other marketing channels. Look into ideas such as:
- Replication: What marketing tactics have generated the best results for your traditional campaigns? Once you know the answer, find ways to replicate this in the Metaverse.
- Inform: Maybe a large portion of your audience is new to the concept of the Metaverse. That’s okay. Take the time to inform them through traditional channels, such as Twitter and Facebook, as a way to gently move them toward the Metaverse.
The best Metaverse marketing strategy is one that’s combined with other digital channels. Look for ways to marry the two.
Drenik: Thank you, Austin, for your insights and feedback on the Metaverse, why it’s time for marketers to buy into the hype, and what the future will bring.