Let's talk about the businesses that are shaping the landscape. Gaming and Entertainment companies are spearheading this industry with the most engaging consumer-facing content...
What is the Metaverse?
In the digital era, we are taking the next step, which is the Metaverse. But what is the Metaverse? Science fiction movies like The Matrix explored the idea early on but now it is a reality.
Simply put, it is a VR (Virtual Reality) space in which users can interact. The metaverse is evolving into a huge interconnected ecosystem that includes metaverse gateways, platforms, infrastructures, and service providers to engage consumers with a multitude of entertainment and business activities. The boost of blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital assets further fuel the demand for the metaverse.
It may be incorrect to say “the” metaverse because it is not a single universe. Each entity that creates a VR world does so with its own access, membership, monetization rights, and formats of creative expression, so the business and technical specifications vary widely. The metaverse refers to the collective of these individual universes and the general concept of a more immersive experience with the use of various new technologies.
The Metaverse and Businesses
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be rebranded to ‘Meta’ in October 2021 which sent a strong signal to the rest of the world that the metaverse is here and will be within your reach very soon. But the Metaverse doesn't just belong to one company. Other companies (such as Nvidia and Microsoft) are also investing a lot of money into it and exploring the vast possibilities.
Let's talk about the businesses that are shaping the landscape. Gaming and Entertainment companies are spearheading this industry with the most engaging consumer-facing content. Inside Roblox, a newer gaming platform, people can create and play across immersive worlds created, and often monetized, by users. Another great company that is essentially an entire 3D virtual world owned by its users is Decentraland. It allows us to create virtual structures (from theme parks to galleries) and then charge users to visit them. It is, like many newer companies in this space, powered by blockchain technology. Other companies, like MetaVRse and Unity, are creating engines to power gaming studios and brands. They are accelerating the development of AR and VR content creation.
Many companies want to know how the Metaverse will be monetised. As users start spending more time in the metaverse, brands will naturally begin to run ads in these spaces as well. It is a huge opportunity for businesses as it allows them to offer consumers a highly personalised and interactive experience. For example, instead of commenting on a brand’s Instagram page, customers could speak directly to the brand itself, in the form of an avatar or 3D human figure.
What we can't predict yet are the ways in which the metaverse could permanently change consumer preferences and buying behaviour. Brands should therefore keep an eye out for emerging trends to keep their marketing strategies relevant and effective.
A report by Bloomberg predicts that the metaverse will be worth $2.5 trillion by 2030.
Most businesses are still in the novel stage in regards to the metaverse. They are the pioneers of this industry. They are investing heavily because the payout could be enormous in time. For brands thinking about how to enter this new space, knowing where to start can be daunting.
The Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY, Jeff Wong, sees the metaverse as an inevitable next step in the tech world we inhabit though he is well aware of the major concerns. He points out that while building in the metaverse, early adopters will need to prepare to face the challenges of cost, regulation, supply and security.
The commercial applications of the metaverse are heightened by the new consumer behaviours that are coming up. For example, “Social commerce” (buying products and services directly from social experiences) is becoming a larger percentage of e-commerce over time.
What is the metaverse consumer base going to look like in the Future?
Mark Zuckerberg envisions something much larger than just a VR application. The big picture is the Metaverse’s ability to establish a new equitable world order, in his opinion.
One of the biggest benefits of the Metaverse is that once the infrastructure is established worldwide, geographical boundaries will cease to be a problem. From attending virtual classes to collaborative workspaces, nothing will be restricted by physical locations. Of course, when covid hit, we were all going about our lives from our homes already, however, we all felt the inefficiencies of simple video calls. In the metaverse, this will be more realistic and immersive. In the future, if another pandemic hits, we will need technology to come to our economy’s aid.
For brands, this means that the TAM (Total Addressable Market) will be much larger. Customers can virtually try and purchase products from anywhere in the world. This is a huge opportunity for businesses that are losing relevance and also for businesses of the new age.
The metaverse is potentially the biggest technological innovation since the advent of the internet according to its investors. It will influence how we live, interact and work for decades to come. Brands will have to innovate their marketing strategies for this new world. But ultimately, the metaverse will allow companies to develop meaningful relationships with customers.
It also presents a huge opportunity in the Consumer Research field. With new types of data come new insights. These insights will help businesses improve their services even more. Aeon understands the importance of rich and meaningful data. We offer end-to-end Marketing Research services with customised insights. Feel free to reach out to us for your needs!
Published On - March 11, 2022