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Welcome to the Metaverse: but is it a friend to marketing?

11 November 2021

Rachie McCarthy

3 mins

blog

Fun fact, I only found out about Larry King dying (back in January!) last week when my mother mentioned it in passing. Whilst it’s very comfortable and homey, I can no longer deny the massive rock that I live under. But as I decided to finally emerge from my cosy hovel and embrace the outside world, I was suddenly confronted with some very strange and unbelievable sentences. Things such as ‘Facebook is changing its name’ and ‘welcome to the metaverse!’ were thrown at me. Needless to say, I didn’t have a bloody clue what was going on – do you? Let’s take a look into Mark Zuckerberg’s most ambitious plans yet, and why they could benefit the B2B marketing world.


First I’ll clear some things up (more for my own understanding I predict). Facebook, the social media platform where your grandmother shares unflattering photos of you as a spotty teen, is not changing its name. It’s the parent company (confusingly also called Facebook) that owns Facebook and all of its sibling sites, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, that is transforming. It’s new name? Meta. The word meta has different meanings, but the most common are to change, as in metamorphosis, or to become self-aware (like when a tv show breaks the fourth wall). I suppose both of these can be applied to Facebook’s use of the word, especially when talking about their new ‘Metaverse’.


Let’s take a look at what the metaverse will actually be, and all of the incredible things it will hopefully allow marketing and technology agencies to do.


So. The Metaverse. To (attempt) to put it as simply as possible, it will essentially be a limitless virtual world in which people (as avatars) will be able to do, well, anything. Zuckerberg envisions it to have its own economy, companies, and countries. You’ll be able to go to concerts, watch live theatre and meet up with other people all in a self-contained virtual space. Now Zuckerberg says this is much more than just a VR game, but to those of us (ahem, me) that need a little time to process all of this, comparing it as a VR game helps my mind make sense of his vision. He has also given his assurances that it won’t just be Facebook, sorry, Meta that controls this space. Instead, companies will be able to buy their own small slice of the Metaverse, and some spaces might even be publicly government run. Let’s look at some of the way B2B marketing could transform in the Metaverse.


In recent years, B2B tech marketing has been forced to shift into a new digital scape to avoid the risk of becoming outdated. Nowadays, the first place you go to when thinking about B2B services is the internet, with sites such as LinkedIn hosting a massive marketing community/hub. With the construction of the Metaverse looming over us, it’s beginning to look like marketers will have to start adapting again. But with a technology that is currently still barely being built past a concept, how do you prepare for something like that? Try looking to the technology that we already have an understand. I’ve explained how the Metaverse will incorporate both AR and VR, two technologies that have now been around for quite a bit. And now is the time to start using them in your marketing strategy.


Begin creating content for your website and social media that uses VR or AR – for example, you could create a virtual showcase for a client’s new product or service. Another excellent way to introduce these types of technology into your marketing strategy is events. Event creation is a large part of B2B marketing agencies, and designing and producing an exciting, unique virtual experience will not only appeal to a lot of leads, but is excellent practice for your future foray into the Metaverse.


Another pro is the opportunity it offers to connect with other people. Whereas you can connect with friends, family, and strangers on the social media platforms we have today, the Metaverse allows you a much more personal environment to do it in. Instead of just faceless texting on a tiny screen, you can actually talk, walk, hear and see the person (albeit as the avatar they’ve chosen). This is a fantastic benefit for those working in sectors that require high rates of client interaction (e.g., our B2B technology marketing world). Not only does it open another avenue to the dreary, 2D world of Zoom meetings, but it helps to build rapport and trust between you and your customers.


Potential customers and businesses will be able to try out products and services before fully committing to buying them, which presents an excellent opportunity for marketers to test and alter their products according to the response to them, at a much lower cost. Not only this, but it’ll make it a lot easier to liaise with your full team and clients throughout the process via teleportation. Yep, you read that right. In the Metaverse, you’ll be able to instantly teleport from once place to another. Pair that with the prospect of being able to have multiple screens hovering in the space around you, and the difficulty of trying to figure out how to screenshare over video call will be a thing of the past. You’ll be able to interact with the other person’s screens in real time, in (virtual) person.


So there you have it. Apparently Meta’s Metaverse will be happening in the next five years, and needless to say I hope it’s the utopia that we’re promised – either way, marketing is going to change drastically in the near future, so I suggest you get ready.

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