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Marketing: what good will the metaverse really do for brands?

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What interest will brands find in investing in the metaverse? I think that in the end, the metaverse will be just another marketing channel like social networks or web 2.0. But it will open a new market to sell experiences that are not available in the real world. The pornography market could well experience a technological revolution thanks to it.

What the metaverse will not be

For the reasons I’ve outlined in metaverse not realizedI don’t think the metaverse can become a global phenomenon in the same way that Facebook has. The frictions with the real world are too numerous, and the transition from the real world to a virtual reality metaverse is too complicated.

It is, therefore, illusory to see 3 billion people walking around in the metaverse. The latter will remain the prerogative of specific public and will cover 2 types of marketing needs:

  • The first one, already existing, revolves around music and media experiences;
  • The second, yet to be created, will propose impossible experiences in the real world.

Fans, the most apparent customer segment

Some multi-sensory experiences can be organized exclusively in the metaverse. As a savvy businessman, Snoop Dog has already invested in a virtual mansion where fans can be invited to a private concert. This is probably the most prominent development in the metaverse. The technology is available, virtual shows have already been realized, and fans are willing to pay.

terrain carrefour dans le metavers The Sandbox

Screenshot of the video posted by Carrefour on Twitter. Credits: Twitter


Live or relive experiences unattainable in the real world

The metaverse is a universe full of promise for those who want to live experiences that are inaccessible in the real world. This is, I think, its most promising aspect.

The forbidden will become a new field of exploration, with further ethical questions about responsibility in the virtual. Beyond the reprehensible excesses, the moral prohibitions of real society will be the highlight of the metaverse. The pornography market will experience a technological disruption with the democratization of virtual reality headsets first and then haptic suits.

The metaverse will also be a refuge to cheat death. In our article on deadbots, we already gave some interesting examples of digital life after death. The experiment conducted in South Korea (see video below), as pioneering and disturbing as it is, could become commonplace. Slowing down the effects of time has become a vast market (cosmetics, plastic surgery). Post-mortem virtual experiences could represent a massive market if the technology follows. Indeed, it will take very advanced algorithms and immense computing power to give life to our dead and allow them to interact realistically with the living. Meta is already anticipating this constraint with the construction of its super-calculator.

3 examples of recent purchases in the metaverse

  • Carrefour has purchased a virtual lot on The Sandbox for an unknown amount. The marketing director announced on Twitter (see above).
  • Republic Realm bought a virtual land for $4.3m on The Sandbox
  • Snoop Dogg bought a mansion in the metaverse, and, more incredibly, someone spent over $450,000 to buy the virtual land next to his.

The metaverse, a new marketing territory

Through the specific applications it offers, the metaverse will become a marketing territory in its own right. This territory will be used by technophile, educated consumers with greater purchasing power. Brands will have to develop tactics to connect with them. They did it in the digital world (internet) and will have to do it again in the metaverse.

However, we need to ask ourselves if we should invest in the metaverse right now. Companies that spend crazy amounts of money to acquire land in metaverses should think twice. I understand their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but it seems that the metaverse still needs to take a more precise shape to confirm the business opportunities it will represent. Despite growth estimates of 31% per year until 2028 and market size of 800 billion estimated by Goldman Sachs, all this is still very uncertain.

 

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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