Metaverse marketing – a glimpse into the future

The metaverse is one of Web3’s top creations, but people haven’t been talking about it much recently. So, what’s going on with the new digital space? And how can you leverage the metaverse effectively for your marketing? We have the answers here!

The metaverse: marketing in virtual reality
Image: © Oleksiy-Oliinyk / AdobeStock

Status quo of the metaverse

When Mark Zuckerberg announced in October 2021 that he was changing his company’s name to Meta, a real craze emerged around the concept of the metaverse. This virtual reality, designed as a kind of digital parallel universe, seemed to be the next big revolution in the world of technology. Countless companies eagerly announced they’d be using the metaverse for their marketing campaigns, hoping to benefit early from this new digital era. Their visions spanned virtual concerts, online marketplaces, and unique digital experiences, all with the potential to completely transform how we use the Internet.

But despite the initial hype, people’s interest in the metaverse started to fade – because their attention shifted to another equally groundbreaking technological advancement: artificial intelligence. AI technologies have been progressing at an unprecedented speed and are now dominating the headlines.

Even Meta’s Vice President of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, said the “metaverse hype is dead” in mid-2023. At the same time though, he emphasized that it’s not a problem for his company because now his team “can put their heads down” without all the noise and continue to work on building the metaverse.

Therefore, we’ll explore the following questions: What’s been happening in metaverse marketing in recent months? What companies are currently leading the way? And how are they using the space?

Metaverse marketing – still effective without the hype

Although the metaverse’s initial success has now died down somewhat, efforts to develop it are still going strong. For example, back in 2022, McDonald’s announced plans to incorporate the metaverse into its marketing activities. A year later, the fast-food giant opened “McNuggets Land” to celebrate the anniversary of the popular meal. The steps that McDonald’s took to make it a commercial success can be used as inspiration by other brands:

In a virtual world, users are taken to a digital restaurant containing a hidden factory – the starting point of an interactive journey through the history of McNuggets. Players can compete in various games, solve challenges, and receive bonuses such as utility tokens for The Sandbox, which is the blockchain used to run McDonald’s metaverse. The SAND token can be used to buy virtual items and personalize avatars on the project’s platform. In Hong Kong, users of the cryptocurrency also have the chance to win coupons for McNuggets throughout the year. The goal was to make accessing this metaverse as easy as possible; users only need to provide an email address.

Digitally animated McNugget figures are in front of a McDonald’s restaurant.
Image: © Ther Sandbox

Innovative solutions from the metaverse avant-garde

The metaverse offers many other unimaginable possibilities for the digital world. For example, Manchester City Football Club is currently working on a metaverse project in collaboration with Sony. Together they want to build the first-ever soccer stadium in the metaverse to give the club’s fans completely new experiences.

Microsoft is also investing in the development of metaverse solutions, with one of its business solutions being at the forefront: Microsoft Mesh is essentially a mixed reality platform for digital collaboration, which focuses on enabling teamwork in a digital space to overcome physical distances. Holograms and avatars make users feel as if they are actually attending a meeting together even if it is only being held online. In this way, the creatively designed digital spaces offer more room for creativity, taking digital collaboration to a whole new level.

A group of avatars is attending a digital meeting.
Image: © Microsoft

Bonus tip:

In another of our stories, you can read more about the opportunities that the metaverse opens up for your e-commerce business to help you modernize your digital presence in an even more targeted way.

Metaverse marketing: Will it finally have its breakthrough in 2024?

The majority of experts are still reluctant to conclusively predict how the metaverse will develop in 2024. There are too many factors at play to determine when the metaverse will finally become part of our everyday lives. That includes whether the general public is open to the prospect of VR and AR end devices becoming widespread.

Apple’s Vision Pro, which was launched in the U.S. at the start of this month with more countries to follow this year, could play a major role in this respect. Although it’s not necessarily the first company to present innovative devices, it is known for shaking up the market by delivering high quality and a special UX. Only time will tell what impact its AR headset will have on the metaverse.

All eyes will also be on Meta after Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would be merging AI and the metaverse. With that in mind, the trending topic of AI, which has pushed the metaverse to the back of many people’s minds, could be the thing that ultimately revives it.

Creativity is the key to metaverse marketing

One thing is clear: companies need to be prepared if the metaverse does have its breakthrough. The examples presented above show that metaverse marketing comes down to creativity. Of course, that was already the case for conventional marketing methods, but it becomes all the more relevant when you consider all the new options that are available for creating your own immersive worlds in the metaverse. Your solutions need to be tailored to your company’s industry. For example, if you’re an automobile manufacturer, you could create a virtual test route for potential buyers to try out new vehicle models in a safe and controlled environment.

Another exciting aspect of metaverse marketing is that you can incorporate social elements. Because the metaverse is a community space, brands can create social experiences and bring users together – whether through virtual events or interactive competitions and games, all of which strengthen a brand’s community. That opens up new opportunities for the creator economy, since the metaverse gives influencers and brands plenty of (virtual) space to develop their ideas. We’ll probably soon see a new generation of specialized metaverse influencers emerging.

Digital creativity: in metaverse marketing and beyond

Creativity is one of the most important skills for metaverse marketing and the digital world of tomorrow. Both in society and the economy, more value is being placed on immersive experiences. As a result, the marketing industry is having to adapt in order to provide exactly that.

So it’s with good reason that the motto of DMEXCO 2023 was “Empowering Digital Creativity”, which was explored in a wide range of sessions – with the metaverse featuring heavily. For example, the German-language BVDW masterclass “NTR the Metaverse: Immersive Experiences and Metaverse Success” presented practical application examples for the new technology. The startup company “rooom” also focused on metaverse trends in its German-language lecture “The Art of Metaverse Marketing: Strategies for Utilizing Virtual Worlds”. To do the topic justice, DMEXCO even dedicates an entire platform to Web3 on its and Tech Stage, which offers an extensive program of content on the metaverse and related trends.

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