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Metaverse marketing: the importance of strategy for brands
by Liam Springate-Jones
The metaverse was once a niche concept, first coined in Neal Stephenson’s seminal novel “Snow Crash”.But now it’s a major player in digital technology and set to become a multi-trillion-pound market. There’s no doubt it will have a major impact on our everyday experiences. As Microsoft’s Satya Nadella puts it: “The metaverse is here, and it’s not only transforming how we see the world but how we participate in it – from the factory floor to the meeting room.”
The metaverse isn’t new, but ever evolving, having taken more than a decade to reach the heights that it has today. Epic Games’ Fortnite played a crucial role in the development of the metaverse. Fortnite was the first online game to introduce virtual concerts and social hubs.
Before that, we saw Pokémon Go – an augmented reality game – capture the attention of millions and become a global success. All these experiences are creating more communities and social environments, which leads us to the question: what’s the connection between Human Understanding and the metaverse, and how does it contribute to its success? Keep reading as we take a deep dive into how the metaverse is shaping the human experience.
The rise of the metaverse, alongside the expansion of web3, is one of the biggest pivots in the digital experience that we’ve ever seen. It’s a seamless system that blends physical and virtual reality. From a creative perspective, the metaverse is going to demonstrate the true power of technology. Social connections lie at the heart of the metaverse, and it offers creatives a canvas for experimentation and to develop entirely imagined places to explore, discover and play.
Initially a gaming environment, the metaverse has now evolved into a place for brands to connect with consumers anywhere in the world. The immense success of virtual reality is evident in the growth of VR headsets, which sold nearly 7 million units in 2021, with Meta estimated to have shipped over 10 million Quest 2 headsets alongside many apps and games receiving updates to support hand tracking. Virtual reality is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, but how does the metaverse relate to Human Understanding?
Splendid is always looking for new and innovative ways to capture information through human understanding. Our Human Understanding Lab uses a unique mix of insights and expertise across neuro, data and behavioural science to build strategies around human beings that deliver better business outcomes.
As part of the lab, we use LUCA – which is an AI-powered platform that mines digital data to help brands understand current human insights and market research. Human Understanding allows us to measure human response and behaviour, and the other half of the lab, EMMA is another tool that’s used to measure emotion, motivation and meaning. The metaverse can be an effective way to measure human response because our experience with virtual worlds is unique to the individual. At the heart of the metaverse is a digital understanding of human emotion and behaviour, as well as how we interact with others. We’re now in an age where our understanding of relation, emotion and perception is going to be challenged more than ever before.
When it comes to the connection between the metaverse and understanding human behaviours, there’s no better example than Glitchers’ mobile game Sea Hero Quest. It was designed to help advance the understanding of spatial navigation. Sea Hero Quest VR allows you to track detailed and subtle eye moments, and it’s become the benchmark for measuring human response to virtual reality.
For brands, the metaverse presents an opportunity to push the boundaries and engage new customers in a range of industries. One of the ways the metaverse is changing marketing is through ad placements. In-game advertising has become a major force in the entertainment world with partnerships continually on the rise. In the metaverse, advertisements can be deployed in immersive environments on behalf of sponsors. For example, Sport NFTs are making an entrance into the metaverse. Yesports is one company that’s building an NFT marketplace for teams where they can buy tokens. It’s a metaverse engagement platform that improves the fan experience while promoting the sports club.
Essentially, it’s a virtual form of advertisement that captures the attention of a narrowly targeted audience. Virtual placements help to create a human-centric metaverse where brands can interact with customers in a full-scale experience. It’s also a way to differentiate your brand from the competition, remain adaptable and experiment with a new form of advertising, which can be enhanced by Human Understanding. In hindsight, the metaverse remains the best opportunity for advertising and marketing since the birth of television. As a community-driven environment, it’s the next stage of advertising, social media and streaming.
The metaverse is set to elevate the human experience by driving real change in how people interact with each other, from socialising with friends to working and meeting colleagues. While online gaming and social spaces have existed for decades, the metaverse is a step forward and has the potential to transform and expand people’s lives, all the while demonstrating how far technology has come.
So, where does that leave Human Understanding and response? In the metaverse, the most successful experiences will likely depend on a deep understanding of customer behaviours. Focusing on human interest will continue to ensure the metaverse is successful as people journey through the array of virtual environments.
At Splendid UNLIMITED, we offer our clients introductory workshops to give you a basic understanding of the metaverse. You’ll have the chance to wear the headsets, play a game or two and explore the virtual worlds that can help take your brand to the next level. Contact Stuart Hobbs, our New Business Director, to secure your spot at one of our sessions.