Monday, 23 May, 2022

Scitech Special

Metaverse future of marketing

Mohammad Anisul Islam

Metaverse, a futuristic concept of a three-dimension world from Facebook, is expected to bring people to a universal virtual world.

A famous writer, Neal Stephenson imagined an online world back in 1992, where digital avatars will explore the virtual reality as an escape from the real world. Along with Facebook, Microsoft is also developing own metaverse ecosystem.

We used to live outside the internet once, now, Metaverse will let us live inside the internet where people will interact, communicate, work, shop, share and primarily enjoy whole new aspects of the internet technologies.

This wholesome experience will be an end result of integrating and utilizing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. As opposed to the current internet system, which has quite a linear and somewhat of 2 dimensional flat structure, Metaverseis expected to be immersive.

Our virtual version will travel between multiple online experiences in the world of Metaverse. Facebook introduced the Metaverse to the world, expecting it to be integrating virtual and physical spaces which would end upturning intoa virtual economic system.

In today’s world, people live mostly in digital spaces. Consumers shop online but they get the least chance to see the products from different angles.They can rarely assume the actual size and colors of a product on the flat screen. Metaverse’s business ecosystem will allow consumers to see, feel and understand a product by using digital assets and direct-to-avatar business models.

Internet in the age of Metaverse will have access to more consumer data including digital footprints, shopping patterns, like-dislikes, habits, interactions, real-time reviews by linking to biometrics, wearables, and other day-to-day digital devices. IoT (Internet of Things) backed technologies will play the role of bridges. Businesses can take advantage of metaverse by designing metaverse-friendly marketing strategies.

There’s a new product category called 'virtual product' that will dominatein themetaverse. Experts predict that virtual goods will be as important as physical goods in coming years.  Crafting and designing a product with virtual presentability is to be the core objective for a metaverse-launch. To give consumers an enthralling product experience, the product should have customizability based on customers’ input and feedback as metaverse will let consumers more advantage to react and communicate in real-time.

P&G (Procter and Gamble), an American multinational consumer goods corporation recently started their virtual storytelling worlds ‘BeautySPHERE’, which allows consumers to interact virtually with prominent beauty care brands through Livestream panel discussions, product displays,  and stimulated contents. This is the first step from a consumer goods company. More organizations will come forward to give consumers new and more exciting ways of interacting, communicating, and socializing with their brands. As a co-creation move, Gucci has set up a virtual ‘Gucci garden’ within the set of Roblox games. This is a good sign that other luxury brands will be on metaverse soon.

Whatever the product is, the future of marketing will be a blend of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality if marketers prefer to reach more millennials and Gen Zers, Metaverse would be a great marketplace to play with. Already a good number of representatives are in the world of games like Roblox and technologies like virtual reality or VR.

The brands, which need to engage more people with their communication and content, will find Metaverse to be a great tool. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Narayana Nadella recently described this celestial paradigm shift as “embed computing in the real world and embed the real world into computing”.

Massive interactive live events (MILEs) will be seen more frequently in the age of metaverse. Marketers might get chances to socialize their brands in these massive interactive live events.

From product designing to launching, crafting marketing strategies to executing, Metaverse will bring more advantages in digital distribution. Marketers just need to target right audiences and customers will be on the platform.

Choosing the right tools and the right time is also important before marketers start driving in the road of the metaverse. Seamless integration between current physical assets with intractable and virtually shareable assets should be placed in the priority list immediately for bigger marketing success in the metaverse.

Through metaverse, the current ‘Brick and Mortar’ will meet the age of VR (Virtual Reality). Shoppers will feel the ambiance of a physical store even from their homes. Walmart tried to start a 3D Virtual shop back in 2017.

Now, they are revamping this idea of ‘The Walmart Metaverse’ which is expected to be in reality soon. Once online shoppers start to get sensory experiences through augmented reality and holistic interaction experience, they might move from the conventional online store to metaverse commerce.

So, both the Brick and Mortar and conventional online stores might need to have their compact presence in the metaverse. Metaverse will let the shoppers become a part of the process, which will increase loyalty among the customers. The shoppers will be easily directed to more personalized and immediate service experiences.

Though privacy would be a primitive concern, mostly Facebook and Microsoft are under pressure to make privacy issues clear from the very first days of the Metaverse. Tech experts and consumer rights workers raise further worries related to the spread of misinformation and breach of personal privacy. US based research and advisory company Forrester urges brands to test and learn their marketing activities immediately on Metaverse and to keep the expectations low for the time being.

The single most important barrier for metaverse is requiring specialized hardware.  As a whole, Metaverse is not only a tech-backed social interaction ecosystembut more of a marketing channel.

However, marketers need to keep in mind that Metaverse is not just a tool, it is the end result of the integration and adoption of tools and hardware that create Metaverse, the next parallel universe!


Mohammad Anisul Islam is a marketing professional and tech enthusiast. He works for Bangladesh’s largest retail chain ACI Logistics Ltd (Shwapno). Reach him at [email protected]