The 3 biggest challenges for marketing in the metaverse

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Marketing in the metaverse is like setting up a website in the earliest days of the internet, or putting up a dusty wooden clapboard in the 19th century Old West. It can be extremely difficult to know how much time and resources to invest in a venture that is highly experimental in nature and far from guaranteed financial success or meeting many other key performance indicators (KPIs).

That’s how current conventional wisdom might have it, at least urging people to exercise caution and caution about something so nascent, so unproven, so prohibitively opaque (at least to some).

The reality, however, is that midsize and large companies interested in building long-term relationships with the younger half of the Millennium Generation and Gen Z really shouldn’t think of marketing in the metaverse as a hypothetical twist. their hands and hem and haw about.

As Facebook’s massive rebranding and $10 billion investment in its own metaverse attest — among other big, blaring indicators — many of the sharpest, most powerful minds in tech are betting that this isn’t a passing fancy or pandemic phenomenon, but rather the natural evolution of the internet itself. That’s why executives and entrepreneurs should take the wide-open, nearly limitless marketing possibilities very seriously. Below are some of the key challenges businesses face as they begin to brave this digital terra incognita.

1. Decide which metaverse to market in

The first challenge is also the most obvious. Despite popular misconceptions, the metaverse is no place. Rather, it’s an ecosystem of immersive virtual worlds all competing to host users, events, play-to-earn games, and everything else that makes these platforms such exciting alternatives and additions to physical reality. There are several major players in the space right now, including Decentraland, Sandbox, and Roblox. Prospective advertisers should study each of these platforms and develop a working knowledge of their respective demographics, land costs, growth opportunities and monthly users before deciding where to focus their metamarketing push.

For example, Roblox generally targets a younger audience, and companies should be aware that spending ad dollars in that particular metaverse will move toward exposure to tweens, teens, and early 20s. Decentraland, on the other hand, positions itself as a platform for adults interested in big, inimitable events like the Metaverse Fashion Week held in late March.

Over time, the differences between these platforms will likely only grow, making it even more necessary for companies to do their due diligence when choosing their virtual landing sites.

Related: Metaverse: A Breakthrough Innovation for Entrepreneurs

2. Understanding the Means of Engagement

This is arguably the toughest and most important challenge that companies and ad agencies currently face when accessing and communicating with the metaverse. The logic and logistics of marketing in places like Decentraland and Sandbox are dramatically different than in the physical world, and the gap can be explained in these simple, succinct terms: Metaverse users want an authentic experience.

This is not the world of billboards, commercials, print ads and banner ads. That era of marketing, which is still very much with us, didn’t try to disguise their ads as anything but unequivocal attempts to grab your attention and land your business.

But the world of marketing in the metaverse is different, less about one-dimensional showcases for your product than about creating imaginative, highly interactive, three-dimensional experiences. Let’s take a particularly relevant example: Gucci Garden

Related: 3 Steps Brands Need To Take To Win The Metaverse

In May 2021, the Italian fashion label hosted a two-week virtual space on the Roblox metaverse platform. When they entered Gucci Garden, Roblox users turned into naked, faceless mannequins. As they move through each room in the exhibition space, featuring courtyards, garden parties, subways, and other “levels” reminiscent of traditional video games, the mannequins gradually absorb the features of their surroundings.

At the end of the experience – which also includes hidden items such as dresses and sunglasses that users can purchase with Robux – your temporary mannequin avatar will be adorned with vibrant colors and patterns that reflect the experience of traveling through Gucci’s strange and sometimes enchanting location.

While Gucci Garden is by no means a dazzling adventure with brilliant graphics and exciting gameplay, it is a relatively impressive example of how companies can treat metaverse users to a living, breathing event that is far more dynamic than traditional marketing techniques.

Marketing in the metaverse means launching auctions, opening exhibitions, hosting parties, and generally giving users and their avatars something intriguing and unprecedented that they’ve never seen before. Whatever industry you are in or what products you want to grow, coming up with something like this will prove to be an important but very valuable task.

Related: Why Your Business Should Prepare for the Metaverse

3. Measure performance

KPIs include everything from financial metrics like net profit, revenue, and sales to customer-centric metrics like customer retention and satisfaction. Suffice it to say, marketing in the metaverse won’t lend itself to many of these KPIs at this point in the ongoing evolution of these fledgling platforms. Instead, companies and their executives should focus on one metric: engagement. The more users can engage and entertain businesses through their marketing experiences, the more successful the business should be considered.

While a KPI such as “clickthroughs” to your Web2 website may eventually become an important yardstick, for now it is enough to succeed at the brand awareness level in these virtual worlds. In a few years from now, when millions of people will converge on Sandbox, Decentraland, and Meta’s upcoming metaverse Juggernaut, the companies that have been most diligent in cultivating engagement will be in a prime position to introduce a host of other KPIs. .