This article is the second part of a five part series outlining Momentum Academy’s In Focus: Marketing and Growth – Beyond Google and Facebook, which happened on 27 May. You can read the first part here.
A month ago, Citi bullishly predicted that the metaverse economy could be worth up to US$13 trillion by 2030.
Regardless of the accuracy of the number, Web3 certainly has become the talk of the town. With this new trend comes new opportunities to engage with new audiences. But what exactly is metaverse marketing, and should you be paying attention at all when growing your company?
Some major brands have. For example, Gucci, which you all know, has launched multiple campaigns and NFT projects, including an immersive Gucci Garden experience in Roblox, an online gaming platform. Food delivery platform Deliveroo, fashion brand Balenciaga (which you all know as well), and Coca Cola (which Elon Musk wants to put cocaine back in), have all flirted with the metaverse.
Coca Cola’s first sale of Decentraland (a metaverse) compatible NFTs, in fact, earned over US$575,000.
You might ask – what is a metaverse?
The definition is fluid, and changing over time. But from a marketing perspective, these are the five key aspects you need to know. The metaverse:
- Contains immersive environments, which allow brands to more subtly integrate their product and story into the experience.
- Is always on, and exists across time zones, allowing brands to communicate with global markets effectively.
- Can span both virtual and physical worlds and experiences, allowing for consumer engagement to carry through.
- Contains its own virtual economy; the sale of virtual goods to avatars is already a USD $54 billion market.
- Allows for users to have a virtual identity as well as autonomy; building their own worlds and environments. Brands are able to enhance their experience within these virtual spaces, and gain recognition as a result.
There are several ways to advertise within the metaverse, and the six key ones that currently exist can be divided into two categories:
Immersive experiences are purposeful, and users are aware of the brand they are interacting with, and therefore do so intentionally.
Example: Chipotle’s Halloween themed game in Roblox
Chipotle allowed users to dress up in Chipotle themed costumes and play a game in order to earn a barcode. They could subsequently scan the code at a Chipotle store in the physical world to redeem a free meal; the exchange of a virtual experience for a physical good proved to be an effective marketing strategy for the company, and the 30,000 barcodes on offer were redeemed incredibly quickly.
Unobtrusive advertising in the metaverse is more akin to product placement in movies, and can consist of virtual billboard ads, NFT products for use, and even virtual service providers that enhance the overall experience.
Example: Atari’s casino in Decentraland
Atari created a casino in Decentraland, capitalizing on their expertise as a game creating company but still offering the usual plethora of activities expected of a traditional casino. As visitors visited the popular space, they were met with the Atari logo splashed across walls and various other digital elements.
So what works, what doesn’t?
As the market is not mature quite yet, metaverse marketing is more effective for companies who have audiences that are already interacting with the Web3 space.
Brands that have been very successful with the metaverse, and garner media attention as a result of that success, usually do so because of the strength of their image in the physical world.
There has not been a case of real growth just due to metaverse marketing yet. For brands without large consumer bases in the space, online marketing in Web2 is certainly a much safer option.