This year, 2022, can be considered a fruitful year for metaverse investment, although some stakeholders still have doubts about the viability of the virtual world. Last year, companies and venture capital firms pooled $57 billion in stakes, but that amount has since been surpassed by the $120+ billion recorded this year, according to a report from McKinsey. Despite Meta’s tragic outing in Q3 2022automated reality remains a mystery that many companies want to unravel and commercialize.
Gartner expected 25% of people should be in the digital space for at least an hour a day by 2026. The metaverse symbolizes a new way for individuals and companies to interact with technology. The use cases extend from the usual culprits like blockchain and gaming, to patient rehabilitation, digital fashion and much more. Some of the popular industry leaders actively involved in unlocking the metaverse’s seemingly limitless potential include Twitter, Microsoft, and Spotify.
While Web3 awareness is at an all-time high and translates into serious competition, Asaf Fybish CEO and co-founder of GuerrillaBuzz, a Web3 marketing agency, believes there is a lot to unravel in the coming years. While Fybish admits that budgeting and strategy for metaverse short-term goals have recently changed as a result of the “bear market,” he says, “marketing in the metaverse will increasingly become a priority over the next two to four years.”
Additionally, Fybish told VentureBeat that: “More [marketing] dollars would enter the metaverse in the coming years as major brands continue to shift their marketing spend into the emerging metaverse space.
While allocating a significant portion of an organization’s marketing budget to metaverse efforts may seem frivolous, the ability to develop and personalize new worlds for customers is a hill many are willing to die on.
Controversial, but growing
It’s not unusual for new ideas to be hotly contested, and that was largely the case for the metaverse in 2022. The blazing buzz about the metaverse seems to have divided many pundits. Mark Zuckerbergs explanation in 2021 described it as the next phase of technology where “you’re in the experience, not just looking at it”. However, respondents of a 2022 PEW survey study think of the metaverse as the harvest of the marketing hype.
To Steve Wilson, one of the study participants and founder of Lockstep Consultancy, the metaverse “isn’t defined well enough for us to make predictions about a fully immersive experience that will be more important in 2040.” Wilson believes it should be allowed to evolve naturally, noting that “digital representations of reality can convey excitement, but then the risk of adoption is not adequately considered.”
Meanwhile, the differing opinions on what the metaverse is and should be have not stopped its growth. Findings of Statistical in 2021 revealed a market revenue of $38.85 billion and estimated the figure at $47.48 billion. By 2030, the segment is predicted to be worth at least $678.8 billion.
Just as there are different opinions about the metaverse’s capabilities, industry players have also revealed different purposes for it. And while choosing to build virtual environments or enable team collaboration using a digital community are two interesting – but separate – paths, what can a brand expect from the virtual world next year?
Forrester predicts that many companies will transition from using customer-centric NFT art to providing extraordinary customer experiences. To hang, a business-to-business (B2B) startup, joins the research firm. Currently, it is focused on using NFTs to redefine customer loyalty programs such as Budweiser, Bleacher Report and Superfly.
As mentioned earlier, some brands can leverage the artificial universe to increase employee engagement. Collaboration in the workplace can increase productivity, increase problem-solving skills and reduce workload. One way to keep the team happy is to integrate metaverse-driven technology into the office. Forester also expects frequent encounters with such tools to build familiarity, leading to widespread adoption for personal use.
Microsoft last year announced Mesh, a Teams feature that combines existing “Together” and “Presenter” modes to make remote meetings more immersive. Google, Slack and Zoom are expected to roll out similar offers in the following year.
On the other side of the coin, security concerns about the metaverse deserve serious consideration. Since data collection in the virtual world is automatic and stable, there is a high probability that these assets will be stolen. In addition, aspects of the metaverse such as blockchain, AR, and VR are considered likely targets for hacks. Therefore, data security should be included in the annual budget to help teams really scale in the relatively digital future.
Aside from the conceivable benefits and incredible market potential, it’s smart to ask yourself if you should invest in the fulfillment of a virtual realm. Despite a looming economic recession, companies have poured billions of dollars into this venture. However, spending on charity is not enough; you also need direction.
By working with trusted specialists in the industry, companies gain access to proven techniques and the guts to implement them. One of the outlets that provides businesses with the much-needed focus on metaverse strategy is Invisible north. Similar to what Hang is doing, New York-based Invisible North helped with the rise of an on-site NFT experience at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This is one of many projects.
In addition to partnering with creative agencies for long-running metaverse projects, companies should also set realistic goals and be open to consistent iterations. One of the drawbacks of experimenting with simulated reality is that it evolves, which means nothing is certain and it has to be updated regularly. Perhaps this is why organizations seeking to take over leadership in the metaverse should now consider appointing a chief metaverse officer – someone who can effectively serve as a conductor in the metaverse’s royal orchestra.
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Janice has been with businesskinda for 5 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesskinda team, Janice seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.