Companies such as Microsoft, Epic Games, and Facebook began to create and develop their metaverses back in 2021. Each company has its vision for this. "Meta" is a new round of progress, a digital reality, a 3D world in which millions of people from different parts of the world can meet and even interact with each other.
What is the Metaverse?
This phrase was first mentioned in a book by Neil Stevenson in 1992. He believed that the metaverse is one virtual space where people can contact each other with the help of avatars. M. Zuckerberg supports the opinion and says that anyone can be in this virtual world, find friends, buy things and do much more. In other words, the Meta world can combine 2 spaces into one - virtual and physical. Inside there is its economy and any number of participants, or users.
Based on a variety of experts opinions from Shopify Development Company, we can conclude that the metauniverse is a hybrid world, in the online space it is a new stage in the development of the Internet, namely the Web 3.0 version. It was developed based on blockchain technologies, where all information is stored not with the help of servers, but in decentralized registries. As a result, the database is not owned by a company, person, or group of people.
The main differences between the metaverse
The virtual world of the new generation is often compared with online games. However, there are significant differences:
- The world is endless, but at the same time, it exists for any user in real-time. Such a “game” cannot be paused or loaded with previously saved data.
- The system is completely decentralized, independent of specific people and companies.
- The Metaverse unites the real and digital worlds. Any items are compatible with each other. In other words, users can buy things and use them in the game, order food in the "meta" and get it actually at their place of residence, etc.
- There can be any number of participants in the space of the universe, there are no restrictions on use.
- Inside there is its economy, where the user can work and earn money, spend it, make investments, use loans, and much more.
Grayscale filed a report outlining the potential size of such a market. The amount is equivalent to 1 trillion. dollars.
Today there are many new metaverse platforms, but for 2021 there were only 4 main ones:
- Decentral and;
On the platforms described, last year's sales totaled $501 million. The bulk of the investment fell on the purchase of land. Which can be resold, rented out, or used for the construction of housing, shopping centers, and other things.
The meth market is not limited to the sale of land or real estate. For example, global brands such as Adidas, Puma, Gucci, Tesla, and many others use the platform to create their own digital products with further implementation within the digital world.
At the end of May 2022, a record deal was made to buy land in the metaverse, the lot size was $5 million. 19 sites were acquired by Curzio Research. The sale was made not in the most famous "meta" under the name TCG World. The founder wants to use the investment to create a place for investors to meet and attend real events. According to him, it was the metauniverse that should have long ago become the Internet, where there is decentralization, without restrictions. So, people will be able to make any digital content on their own and be its owner.
Possible paths for the development of the metaverses
No one can clearly say what the digital world will look like in 5-10 years or more. It can be a full-fledged breakthrough, like the advent of the Internet or mobile phones many years ago, or it can simply become hype with fade in 2-5 years.
But experts identify 3 main ways of development:
1. Opinion of ideologists. Meta in the Russian Federation is considered an extremist organization, but if this company, together with the giants in the form of Epic Games and Microsoft, can realize their plans, then in the near medium term, humanity will exist in a hybrid world, with the union of real and digital space.
There will be a large number of such sites, but they will be compatible with each other. Users will be able to take their things and move around in these worlds. Being at home, meetings and meetings will be able to be held anywhere in the world, which will become available with the help of a hologram. Effective and better education will become more accessible to many. Students themselves will be able to attend classes in person.
In addition, there will be opportunities for sports development, people will go to training in the virtual world, they will be able to participate in competitions, etc.
2. Meta under state control. The new world and universe is an excellent market with large capital, within which there are no restrictions on users. If such a project, as the ideologues think, is being implemented, then the states will not be able to stand aside, they will try to regulate success at the level of legislation. Depending on the attitude of the state to such technologies, restrictive measures will be different and directly depend on this process.
Some countries of the world are already considering the metaverses as one of the opportunities for development, and there are those that are cautiously considering the possibility of introducing the metaverses into life. Since May 2021, the “Metaverse Alliance” has started working in South Korea with the participation of the government. Currently, it has more than 500 companies, including major global brands. Already in 2022, several million dollars have been allocated for maintenance.
The Russian Federation does not share this approach. The government believes that the inability to carry out the identification of avatars and the use of digital currency within the system may cause a failure of political boundaries because there will be no legislative regulation of the sale.
With the legal regulation of metaverses, the main restrictions may be imposed on economic and labor aspects, but a ban on access to such space is not excluded.
Individual corporations are local metaverses
It is not necessary to exclude the fact that Zuckerberg, like other ideologues, is simply mistaken, and the potential of the metaverses is not so huge. In this case, the hype will subside every year, which will cause not mass application, but use within games, at the level of individual corporations.
The very idea of a digital world is not new, but people's demand for it is small, due to the lack of comfortable glasses or helmets for augmented reality. There are also technical difficulties associated with network speed and coverage stability. This does not allow scaling digital reality. For metaspace, you will have to create a new programming model, within which the characters will easily move around the locations to anywhere in the world, and the codes will be able to interact with each other.
It is difficult to draw a clear conclusion about what the metaverse will be like in 20 years. Any project and company working on development and creation have its own views, fantasies, and ideas about the new future. Along with this, the metaverses are designed for ordinary people. Without them, the meaning will be lost.
Metaverse Marketing Trends in 2023
Research and consulting company Gartner, which specializes in information technology, predicts that by 2026 a quarter of people in the world will spend at least 1 hour a day inside the metaverses. They will start shopping, studying, playing sports, working, and relaxing in the digital world.
The emergence of such an opportunity can be compared with the beginning of the emergence of social networks in 2008. In those years, marketers were just beginning to understand what their power and ability to influence users was. Today, the metaverses are not finalized, they are at the idea stage, and it will take about 5 years to fully implement the plans. Many global manufacturers and brands are already starting to think about what and where to buy in this hybrid world, with a future in mind. Therefore, we will analyze the TOP marketing trends in the metaverse for 2023 and beyond.
All meta projects use an NFT product, which is a digitized analog of a document, which gives the right to a certain product or object. Many brands in the modern world use NFT sales to sell unique products. With the help of the product, it is possible not only to receive money, but also to carry out public transactions, and this helps to form a virtual campaign around new information.
With the help of NFT tokens, marketers can quickly and conveniently launch their product or service into the virtual world, the already created metaverse.
Key ingredients for 2023 for NFTs:
- an unusual presentation that will interest users;
Any company that has a built-in chain of communication with the target audience can switch to NFT sales. For operations, only cryptocurrency wallets of any type are needed.
NFTs themselves are closely related to the environmental issue since when they are created, there is a negative impact on them. However, now there is a trend towards CleanNFT. This current unites users working with cryptocurrency. They use protocols that don't have a carbon footprint, like Tezos as an example. GAP used Tezos to sell their NFTs.
The popularity of tokens is only growing and will continue to do so, and the product is gaining particular relevance for brands that produce luxury goods.
Trade in goods as a method to introduce people to the brand
Inside the digital world, users are ready not only to earn money but also to spend it for self-expression. All similar to real life. Direct-to-avatar (D2A) is a special business model that allows companies, individuals, and brands to sell their own products to digital characters or use NFTs for this.
Manufacturers can create virtual copies of the flagships or use absolute novelties, with the help of which they will recognize the soil. In other words, the brand release a product in the metaverse, conduct a demand assessment, and then physical production begins in the real world. Such an opportunity to work successfully in the field of fashion allows you to be more environmentally friendly, and to abandon the production of products that are obviously unsuccessful for sale.
One of the major representatives of the D2A market is the Roblox platform. Inside the trading platform, you can sell virtual goods. For the whole of 2021, more than $5.8 billion worth of similar goods were purchased.
Back in 2021, Gucci hosted a metaverse installation of Gucci Garden Archetypes for Roblox. And all this was done for users who could buy limited edition virtual items for their own characters within 2 weeks. Thus, Gucci fashion glasses would cost $1.40, and a handbag $5.50, which then rose in price to $4114.
Human interaction is like social networks
Roblox is very similar to social media. networks where users can not only interact, but also communicate. Companies wishing to find a place within the metaverse should treat it like a normal social network. In other words, it is important to involve the person and try to contact him. People who play games get a certain experience, and marketers must add brands, products, and other services so that the user can feel like they are inside the digital world as the protagonist.
For example, back in 2021, sportswear company Vans added its own skate park to the metaverses. It has real locations, namely analogs of parks in London and California. Any user can come there and ride doing tricks. For this, coins are issued, and with their help, you can purchase unique goods. Additionally, when returning to such parks, participants receive gifts for completing quests.
Additionally, users can buy things from famous brands in stores. Vans uses personalized skate and shoe appearance options to increase people's engagement. In addition, such a function is available not only in the metaverse but also in real life.
Through collaboration with Roblox, manufacturers can better understand the needs of young people, and their desires, which affects the relationship between the person and the brand. This example shows that it is possible to create effective work with the target audience through the metaverse, similar to how contact occurs through social networks.
Creating Events in the Metaverse
The next trend is events. They help to attract a large number of people to a particular brand or product. Concerts or other meetings where a famous person can perform are suitable for this. A large number of users will come to such events, where companies will be able to advertise and even sell their services or products. This is a powerful tool given the unlimited number of users of the metaverse.
A large number of participants is not the last opportunity. Inside the digital world, you can realize any creative activity, or idea, giving people invaluable experience. To achieve your goals, it is important to select only the target audience, otherwise, the result will be unsatisfactory.
In the winter of 2022, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S22 phone for the first time in the digital world. It was made in Decentraland on a VR platform. For the presentation, we used the Samsung 837 store, which is in real life right in New York. Inside the store, users can have fun, explore the place, and also go through interesting quests for which they give prizes in the form of NFTs.
According to the participants, it was the quests and the emergence of a new location within the metaverse that were much more interesting than the presentation of the flagship. The reason for this was not the best implementation of the event, because the company did not make it possible to order a flagship, or consultations from employees.
Parallel Marketing Method
To draw attention to the brand, products, and marketers, it is important to create everything in the metaverse as naturally as possible. Otherwise, the proposed product will be rejected. A parallel marketing strategy is a great opportunity for those who already have advertising in the physical world.
Take AB InBev as an example. In 2021, they signed a contract with Zed Run. This platform is dedicated to digital horse racing and at that time the corporation was the first to start supporting sports in the metaverse. AB InBev has been sponsoring sporting events for many years.
Regular users have the opportunity to purchase horses for NFT, with the further possibility of breeding, selling, and using them for sporting events. From the very beginning, it was possible to buy 1 horse for only 30 dollars, currently, the cost comes to 165,000.
A little later, Stella Artois, collaborating with Zed Run, made it possible for the participants of the metaverse to use unique NFTs and provided a race track. After their product - NFT Stella was used in the real world to market The Life Artois.
The concept of gamification is not new, but the modern reality of the digital world, especially when it comes to using mobile services. Therefore, we have the opportunity, with the help of only one process in the application, to be introduced into quests, games, and testing. This, in turn, helps to organize interactive activities, and with the help of gifts, tokens, and other incentives, the interest of the audience is reinforced.
The main essence of gamification is working with human psychology. He should have a sense of habit, and expectation. Accordingly, people have a certain impression of a secret gift, discount, or other miracles that will only happen if certain conditions are met. Of course, such a link in the virtual world is always able to work. Therefore, by completing tasks on your phone or PC, in the digital world, you can receive rewards in the real world by converting them into money or goods. Of course, the entire target audience should be included in the game, and not feel like they are being watched in the process. In this case, marketers receive the necessary response.
Avatars - new customers
The whole concept of the metaverses and the great demand, and the interest in them came from Fortnite and Roblox. In such spaces, people live a full life, they have their own economy, within which a person and a brand are in contact. All this is done with the help of an avatar.
With the help of metaverses, people change their lives, personality, and habits, and all this happens in a digital embodiment. As a result, marketing should not be directed to a real person, but to his avatar. If you separate 2 entities (a person and an avatar), then the task will be difficult, but extremely interesting. Everything is connected with the fact that a real person and his hero in the metaverse will be very different, habits, appearance, and so on. People will want to create a new self, which means that avatars will become new buyers who need to be guided in the first place.
The Metaverse helps to discover potential, and new creative, social, or economic skills. The digital world combines a lot of software bundles and products, including games, instant messengers, and financial instruments. Time will pass and virtual, augmented reality will not just be part of the entertainment of mankind, but an element of a full life. Digital layers will begin to cover cities, in the form of advertising banners, signs, and menus in cafes, everything will become digitalized.
Through the use of blockchain-based decentralization, people today easily own digital assets - items for games, lives, and money. All this gives the economy a new level of security and speed of development. Users transfer any amount of money around the world in a few seconds, taxes can be automated and full transparency of their application can be made, which is naturally not to the liking of some governments.
DAO systems allow votes on legislative drafts and other actions to be carried out honestly and without shady schemes. But the most important thing is that the metaverse consists of real people, its task is to meet the needs of users, to make their life better, more ergonomic, and more comfortable.