Marketing in the Metaverse
December 13, 2021
In a highly anticipated proclamation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a name change for the tech giant. Like Google becoming one segment of its parent corporation Alphabet, Facebook has squeezed itself under a new umbrella company: Meta. Unlike Google’s transition, the creation of Meta is more than a reorganization of corporate entities. It is an audacious prediction of the future of tech. Zuckerberg proclaimed, “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
Facebook is putting its money where its mouth is, announcing they will invest $10 billion over the next year to build technology to create and support the “metaverse.”
What is a “metaverse?”
In simplest terms, the metaverse involves surrounding ourselves with the internet. Until recently, the internet was confined to a screen in front of us. Whether on a laptop, cell phone, or tablet, or on a smart device like a refrigerator, the world wide web was confined to a single viewable portal before you. The metaverse will immerse you into a three-dimensional simulated world, or “virtual environment” as Zuckerberg calls it. Through VR headsets and rapidly improving VR technology, metaverses will be virtual places where users might have meetings, hang out with distant friends, or even “try on” and buy new clothes.
How does this relate to marketing?
Savvy marketers will need to start thinking in 3D. As this burgeoning field of technology is being experimented with by brands, you can be sure there will be marketing opportunities throughout. Augmented and virtual reality will put information and entertainment literally all around you. Search marketing will take on a visual component, which will mean objects as keywords. Social media will become more interactive and immediate, bringing new chances to reach your audience.
What does this mean to you?
Right now… not much. But that will likely change soon enough. One thing we learned during the pandemic is that quality opportunities for interaction from the comfort of your own couch are a valuable commodity. Virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and Google Meet saw enormous growth over 2020-2021. Zoom alone experienced a more than 3000% increase in use over one year. If Facebook’s plans pay off, they will become the new go-to space for virtual meetings, where you will be able to actually look around a “room” and see your colleagues seated around a table. They also plan to be leaders in shopping, virtual travel, entertainment, gaming, and much more.
With Facebook’s big announcement, a rapidly growing technological market has burst into the average person’s vernacular. Brands will need to build comprehensive strategies that send a consistent message across traditional digital channels and metaverse channels. That way they can bring the real world into the metaverse, and vice versa.