September 13, 2022
How the metaverse works: its potential for marketing
In 2021, talk of developing a metaverse began to turn into a reality. Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook Meta and announced that the company would spend $10 billion over the next year to develop Facebook Reality Labs, and would increase investment in this area over the next 10 years.
In 2021, talk of developing a metaverse began to turn into a reality. Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook Meta and announced that the company would spend $10 billion over the next year to develop Facebook Reality Labs, and would increase investment in this area over the next 10 years. It seems that right after that, everyone started talking about meta universes. We understood what a metaverse means, why brands need it, what profit companies get when investing in marketing inside a metaverse, and who develops metaverses.
What is the metaverse
Metaworld is an immersive virtual environment. It is a new tool for exploring the world and communicating. Yes, a metaverse is still a long way from a sci-fi movie, but every year it gets more detailed and sophisticated. In 2022, a metaverse is a virtual space where users are represented by virtual avatars. It is a single space, woven together from games, technology and apps. It is united by elements that link everything and everyone together.
The term "metaverse" was first used by American science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The book describes a virtual space in which people interact with each other using avatars. The first analogues of metaverses were described in The Matrix, Avatar and the Black Mirror series.
To make the term easier to understand, Matthew Ball has highlighted six main characteristics of the metaverse:
— It is always active. The metaverse doesn't end once you get out, and continues indefinitely.
—It exists in real-time.
— Players can engage in different types of activities.
— The metaworld is autonomous and works on its own. Users create, sell, invest, and can also be rewarded for their work - just like in reality.
— A mix of different platforms. For example, you can move items from one game to another.
— Users create and can share their own content.
What a metaverse is like
The games closest to the definition of a metaverse are Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, Decentraland, Animal Crossing, Dota 2 and CS: GO. These games create a space that is gradually becoming more and more functional. The ecosystem of the games is designed in such a way that the metaverse forms naturally and gradually within them.
Games that can be played on a PC or phone are only part of the metaverse. For full immersion, you need VR glasses, or augmented reality goggles, also haptic gloves, suits and sensors.
Another element of the metaverse is NFT items. This is the case when a physical item is part of the metaverse. An example is the STEPN app. To use the app, you need to buy trainers, the data from which is sent to the app and allows you to earn cryptocurrency by using the trainer. Essentially, you earn money for running and walking.
A little bit of numbers:
— In 2021, the amount of money spent on virtual goods in the metaverse exceeded $54 billion, almost double the amount spent on buying music
— NFT tokens have a total market capitalisation of $41 billion
— Nearly 60 billion messages are sent to Roblox 2 every day
— The Second Life platform has a GDP of about $650 million in 2021 with almost $80 million paid to the creators
— To date, there are around 200 strategic partnerships with The Sandbox. For example Warner Music Group, will launch its music-themed virtual world in the game.
It is important to understand the difference between today's metaverse - the characteristics of Web 2.0 and, the characteristics of Web 3.0 that emerge as the metaverse evolves
The table below provides an assessment of the key features of the metaverse. It is important to realise that the boundaries between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are conditional, and they continue to blur as technology advances.
What activities in the metaverse do brands do
— Offer virtual advertising in the metaverse. Bidstack, a video game advertising company, has gone from working with outdoor advertising in the real world to placing ads on virtual billboards. Football Manager, for example, has virtual billboards for Subway and Coca-Cola.
— GTA V has released clothes similar to those worn by the protesters in Hong Kong. The protesters took their battle in the real world to the metaverse, and continued to express their position in the game.
GTA V players wearing clothes similar to those worn by protesters in Hong Kong
— Food delivery service Deliveroo has set up a marketing campaign in Animal Crossing. The company involved virtual riders in the game for several deliveries. Players received not only a surprise delivery, but also a promo code that they could activate in real life. Already in the first hour, the Deliveroo marketing campaign gained three million participants in the game.
— Fashion house Gucci unveiled a virtual exhibition on the Roblox platform and added paid collectibles to the game. At the exhibition, players saw the brand's display and could purchase unique in-game avatars.
— Promoting the new product as BMW is doing with the iX1. The company has created a browser-based mini-game with metaverse elements for the presentation of the new model. It's a surreal, abstract space which is easy to enter - you just have to go to the landing page and create an avatar.
— Create space within the Roblox metavirtual universe, as Hyundai has done. In 2021, the company launched Hyundai Mobility Adventure. The space was created to introduce young users to metaverse innovations, technology and products from the company. The company was the first global car brand to create its own space in the metaverse.
What opportunities are offered to companies by the metaverse
Marketing and advertising in the metaverse for brands is still an experimental expenditure item. It is an unploughed field - the market is in its infancy. So far, there are a few companies willing to develop metaverses.
Apart from what we have already mentioned above, the metaverse also offers such possibilities:
— Introduction of new techniques in education
The metaworld makes it possible to create virtual campuses, virtual exhibitions, and helps to combine learning with play.
— Sales from virtuality to reality, direct-to-Consumer (D2C) sales
The user orders a virtual product in the game, and along with the order of the virtual pizza, real pizza arrives at his home. Imagine: you are in a virtual room with friends, watching football together and eating virtual pizza, while eating real pizza delivered by a courier for immersions sake
— Sale of character modification products (Direct-to-Avatar, D2A)
Brands can sell branded collectibles and character skins, or act as an intermediary to sell goods on behalf of the game. This means that the brand is both making money and being promoted within the game.
How to create your own metaverse
Developing your metaverse is not an easy task. It is best to start by creating an idea. Our advice is not to try to create something from scratch, but to launch products that will complement or improve on existing ideas. This way you can contribute to the development of your metaverse, and save resources on developing and launching a metaverse idea.
There are a few ideas that will be in demand now:
— A programme in which you can create hundreds of character skins for games to make it easier to customize your character
— Technologies to help make VR and AR more accessible to the average user
— Technology that will open up games with thousands of online users, even on weak PCs.
The metaverse is an opportunity for a brand to get closer to the consumer. It is a new format of communication that is just gaining momentum. There is an advantage in this - the sooner you start marketing in the metaverse, the less competition you will face.
We can help you implement your business in a metaverse, or we can design your own metaverse. Let's build something big.
Call us on 8 800 201 1486 or write us —