The metaverse will provide a profound change in relations and interactions between people and businesses - it will be a universal digital platform with an immense amount of customer data that will become invaluable to businesses, and therefore they must be ready to adapt to this revolutionary new world.
How will the metaverse come to be?
Even though the metaverse per se does not exist yet, it incorporates a lot of digital and online technologies that are already used every day. The most common starting point for this world is with gaming NFTs and VR which are already taking the digital world by storm. The concept of a digital world replicating the physical world we live in, as well as an alternative digital currency, has been around for a while. The metaverse will not be established overnight but rather it will be a gradual development and convergence of technologies and channels as these services meld together.
What to expect?
The power of the metaverse will be in its immortality and omniscient qualities. The metaverse will exist regardless of time and place, and it will persist no matter the time zone, services, or location. It will be available always as there will be no limit to the number of participants and therefore mirrors the physical world. Most importantly, it will become a new marketplace for the economy; businesses will have the ability to supply goods and services in exchange for a digital value, which is recognised by others, similar to NFTs. There will be a whole new marketplace with a whole new currency, resulting in new opportunities for marketers.
The metaverse will collect a lot of personal data as participants will be “logged in” for extended periods of time with their behavioral patterns being continuously monitored. Taking one step further in data collection and behaviour monetization, companies could have the ability to collect a participants individual physiological response, meaning their movements and potentially their brainwaves could be monitored and therefore collected and used for commercial and marketing purposes.
Naturally, this will bring up a lot of questions about the legal issues surrounding the ownership of data, as no one as of yet will own the metaverse.
How must the marketing world adapt?
As brands, creators and customers migrate to this new space, new forms of marketing will arise and can be seamlessly integrated into the metaverse. Anywhere in the physical world, you may see advertising can be replicated in the metaverse, and with this new data-collecting technology, marketers can access a whole new insight into their customer’s needs and desires. They can be shown real-time deals and advertise products and services that they need but have not even searched for yet.
As this can be considered direct marketing using an abundance of personal data, the brands and marketers might need consent. These obligations depend on a multitude of elements that have yet to be confirmed such as whether the brands themselves instigate the marketing, or whether it replicates something similar to online behavioural advertising or more like social media marketing. Today we are seeing even more rules and regulations on social media platforms about data collection and privacy and the metaverse will only ignite these issues further.
Regardless of these potential problems, the metaverse is the future space where digital and virtual meet, and if it's a new space for customers and brands, it's the place where marketers need to be.