After seeing the Facebook live about Metaverse, as a business owner or Marketeer, you will ask yourself questions like:
- How will the Metaverse affect businesses in the future?
- What will be the means of Advertising in the Metaverse world?
- What Advertising opportunities can Metaverse present to companies and businesses nowadays or in the future?
- Is it possible to step into the Metaverse world now or should we wait at least 5 years for the Metaverse to gain momentum?
- What sectors will be a good fit for this world?
- How can I prepare for it from now?
In this article, we will answer all questions crossing your mind.
All about Metaverse
“Where the next chapter of the internet begins “
Let us first take a glimpse at what “The Metaverse” means. The word itself simply means “beyond the world”, which means, that instead of looking at your smartphone screen surfing apps and the internet, you will wear your VR headset to jump into 3D virtual spaces or experiences where you get fully immersive by getting the feel of presence embodied in an avatar teleporting from one experience to another where you will meet and socialize with friends, relax in a virtual private bubble, shop, have business meetings, buy and sell digital goods in the marketplace, get entertained, and more.
According to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the Metaverse is the embodied internet and the successor to the mobile internet, where it will depend on 8 primary concepts:
3. Home Space
By wearing the VR headset and jumping into the virtual experience, the user will get the feel of presence, a shared sense of space, and the avatar will even have real-time eye contact and facial expressions.
2. Avatars: there will be 3 types of avatars ( illustrated in the images and its text below )
3. Home space: Facebook announced 4 models of virtual experiences or spaces that users can create which are :
a. Horizon Home:
A user can design his home space where he can invite his friends, display digital assets, play games, ..etc. It will also include home office space (Perhaps it may resemble the concept of a personal or business Facebook page where users display their photos, videos, and digital assets).
b. Horizon workrooms: Companies can design and customize virtual workspace for business meetings.
c. Horizon worlds: Users can design whole world experiences like a room in a spaceship or Forrest world.
d. Horizon Marketplace: A virtual marketplace where creators can sell and share their 3D digital items (It may resemble the Facebook marketplace but as a virtual space).
4. Teleporting: it means Avatars will jump from one virtual experience to another.
Let’s say your avatar can meet a friend avatar at a virtual home space (Horizon home), then you may get a VR messenger called for a work meeting, so you teleport to the virtual work meeting space created by your company (Horizon workroom), then you get a request from another avatar who wants to buy your digital shoes at Horizon Marketplace so you teleport to the Marketplace space, etc. (it will look like transferring from your Facebook page to Facebook room to Facebook marketplace).
Teleporting can be done from one Metaverse world to another, for example you can teleport from Facebook Metaverse to a Google one.
5. Interoperability: Not Facebook only will do its Metaverse, other big tech companies especially direct competitors to Facebook, will be expected to do their ones also, so they will interoperate and connect their systems to build a Metaverse ecosystem and unlock its full potential.
For example, Google displays Facebook and Instagram page search results and vice versa, users can put a YouTube video at the Facebook post, here are the two tech giants linking their systems with one another).
6. Privacy and Safety: This refers to blocking other users and keeping virtual spaces private. Blocked users can’t jump into your virtual space. You can also keep your virtual space private.
7. Virtual goods: You can dress your avatar by purchasing digital clothes designed, created, and sold by creators either persons or companies (as if you’re purchasing clothes for yourself). This represents a virtual good. Virtual trading of these goods can be facilitated using “NFTs”.
NFTs are digital assets that are secured on the blockchain. When someone purchases an NFT they purchase a unique token (entry) on a blockchain ledger that proves they uniquely ‘own’ a digital asset.
You can buy any virtual good as an NFT. This proves that you are the exclusive owner of it which facilitates the processes of taking it with you when teleporting to other spaces inside Facebook or other Metaverses, displaying, or reselling it.
8.Natural interfaces: there will be new ways of interacting with devices that are much more natural, instead of typing or tapping, you can simply make a gesture with your hand. say a few words, or just make things happen by thinking about it!
According to Facebook CEO, the Metaverse economy is expected to become mainstream during the next 5-10 years and is expected to reach 1 billion users in the next decade.
Does this means that there are no trials or early movers who step into this world?
From virtual clothing to NFTs, and from branded shops within games to virtual concerts and fashion shows—there have been dozens of experiments by brands in the past year to figure out how to market to consumers in the next iteration of the internet.
The Gaming sector is the starting point
“Start chasing big opportunities”
According to Statista, the number of video gamers in the MENA region was estimated to be 168.4 million gamers in the year 2021, with a total estimation of worldwide gamers reaching 3.243 Billion in the same year.
This provides a big opportunity for companies to begin stepping into the Metaverse world by partnering with famous video game platforms to use their virtual experience to advertise their brands to the wide base of gamers playing daily.
Fortnite, for example, is a famous game that used a VR platform and companies can use it to advertise there.
let’s take a look at some Brands that make use of the Gaming Sector :
Massive interactive life events or shortly (MILEs ) use a single simulation to bring together large amounts of users who all interact and influence an event or game in real-time. Most MILEs are game-based.
Gucci ( virtual goods for avatars )
Avatars are viewed as the “first mega opportunity” for brands due to the seemingly endless opportunities to clothing, style, and feed them. Almost every product marketed to humans can be sold to their virtual counterparts.
Luxury brands have been the first to tap into this new opportunity. Gucci has released digital collections of its signature clothes and goods in Roblox (video game platform), with avatar creator Zepeto, and Giphy.
Sentosa Development Corporation ( branded real estate in a Game )
It is a Singaporean company that develops island resorts and themed attractions, this company has partnered with a famous video game called “Animal Crossing”, where it recreated Sentosa island in an animal crossing game, inviting players to visit its attractions and do some virtual yoga while cooped up at home.
Deliveroo ( branded virtual riders )
In the animal crossing game, food delivery service Deliveroo last year sent a fleet of virtual riders to deliver virtual treats to players, which is paired with promo codes to order food in the real world.
Unilever ( A branded island in a game )
Unilever’s mayonnaise brand Hellmann’s created a branded island in an animal crossing game where it invited players to drop off their spoiled turnips in exchange for a real-world donation to Canadian food-rescue charity Second Harvest.
What is the Meta Ad?
“The Ad that will go beyond imagination“
According to the Head of Metaverse products at Facebook, Businesses will still use Facebook ads to reach the right customers at the Metaverse, but the question here is what will be the formats of Advertising at the Metaverse?
The imagination of the Ad Format in Metaverse
As we said before, individuals or companies can create virtual home spaces using Horizon home and this may be like creating a personal or business Facebook page.
When a company wants to advertise its business page, it uses the Facebook ads tool with the right targeting to reach the segment they want, so it appears to you in a form of sponsored ad.
Let’s imagine the same scenario but using virtual spaces. A company may use the Metaverse ad tool to make a virtual space called “Metaverse party”, created as an ad to reach the right target (as illustrated in the images and its text below).
After teleporting to the Metaverse party space ad, Avatars can see its displayed digital assets/NFTs and maybe purchase it.
Good Fit Sectors In The Metaverse
“Is your sector a good fit for that era?”
It is no brainer that when the Metaverse ecosystem is completed and gets mainstream in the coming 5-10 years, All Sectors must adapt to this new era.
But as for ones that can step into the Metaverse in the short term using the gaming sector, it will depend upon many things like:
How compatible the brand is with the story of the VR game experience?
Does the target segment of the brand match with the nature of gamers playing this video game and the number of gamers playing this game?
What is the business objective, is it brand awareness or driving sales, ..etc.
Preparation for the Metaverse world
Companies are advised not to rush to this world before doing the following:
1. Read case studies of other companies who step into the Metaverse, analyze them, and determine the pros, cons, risks, and opportunities.
2. Look at some worldwide consumer behavior indicators towards this new tech, market trends, 5G and satellite internet project phase, VR headsets sales worldwide, CryptoCurrencies users worldwide base, Legal ruling, privacy and Mental Health issues using this new tech, ..etc.
3. Place a strategy and decide whether you will hire 3D Artists and Creators along with video game developers as those will be the most demanded positions in the future if you’re planning to step into this world.
Finally, as you must adapt to the Metaverse market turning point either in the short or long-term, you must ask yourself a very important question:
“What will your target segment expect from you with this change and what can you provide them?”
Source: Campaign Asia / Statista / Mark Zukerberg