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The Metaverse: Advertising and the future of marketing

By Isabel Smit, Implementation Planner at The MediaShop

The Metaverse is here, but only in its infancy. Many of us may think of the Metaverse as that virtual world we’ll one day be able to enter with VR headsets and see-through digital avatars, but it’s much more than that. It’s a convergence of technologies and experiences that will transform our world as we know it. The Metaverse is the combination of augmented reality, virtual reality and the internet of things (IoT), all accessible through a single interface.

Think Google Earth meets Second Life meets Tinder. The Metaverse will have a game-changing impact on how brands communicate with consumers, how marketers find new customers, how businesses optimise their marketing spend, and how advertising campaigns are created and executed across channels. Let’s take a look at what this brave new world has in store for advertisers.

Virtual reality advertising

VR advertising is an immersive form of marketing that places the viewer in a simulated environment, like a 360-degree video, a VR game, or a VR shopping experience. In the advertising world, brands and agencies are experimenting with immersive content strategies through VR. By placing the consumer inside the advertising experience, it allows the user to be fully immersed into the brand’s world. The viewer’s senses are activated and engaged, making the message much more memorable. VR advertising has already proved to be successful in many industries, particularly those with tech-savvy customers. VR advertising campaigns have been extremely effective in the travel industry, real estate industry, and sports and entertainment marketing.

Augmented reality marketing

AR marketing is the process of leveraging augmented reality to place virtual images and objects into the real world. An example of AR marketing would be an AR advertisement that lets you see how a new couch or other product would look in your living room. With AR, marketers can bring their brand to life in the physical world. With AR, a customer can use their smartphone to see a virtual product come to life in their physical environment. If you want to get a better idea of what AR marketing looks like, check out AR apps like Pokemon Go, IKEA Place, or Lowe’s Vision that has inspired the overseas markets. ARKit is a software framework that was built by Apple to bring AR experiences to the mass market. ARKit is now available to developers, which means marketers can now create AR experiences for their brands.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of devices to one another through internet-based technologies. Brands are already leveraging IoT devices to gather customer data and create personalised experiences. One of the best examples of IoT marketing is Amazon’s Echo device. It’s an always-on device that can hear you talk and then perform an action, like turning on your lights, playing music or ordering products from Amazon. As devices continue to be connected, marketers will have the opportunity to use real-time data to create personalised brand experiences.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is the process of using software and data to create personalised marketing campaigns across channels. Marketing automation is used to create customer personas, analyse customer data, and then serve personalised content across all customer touchpoints. Marketing automation is a marketing tool. It’s not the same thing as marketing in the Metaverse. So, when marketers take their tools into the metaverse, what does that look like?

Let’s say we have a mattress company, and we want to advertise our product in the Metaverse. We’d want to make sure our product information is accurate and that we have the correct images. Then, we’d want to find a real estate agent who has a space in their virtual store that we can advertise on. Once we’ve settled on a location, we’d create an ad that links directly to our product on our website.

Conclusion

It’s important to understand the implications of the Metaverse and how it will change the way we create and distribute content. VR and AR are already being used in marketing campaigns, and we need to be prepared to create immersive experiences that will change the way brands connect with customers. With IoT, marketers have the opportunity to gather data and create personalised customer experiences. Finally, marketing automation will allow brands to create and serve personalised content across all customer touchpoints.

Just like when the internet first came around, we’re now at a point where people are wondering what this technology means for them personally. Will it change how they interact with their friends? How they communicate with colleagues? What kinds of new jobs will it create? And how will all these changes affect society as a whole? Are we ready for it?

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