Of the many trends and topics that have dominated the marketing dialog in 2021, the topic of the Metaverse, powered by Web3, has reached a fever pitch.
Open, interoperable, virtual engagement has seen innovative technology companies, global brands, and new-age creatives combining their efforts to create experiences and virtual commerce in the virtual realm.
Recently, The Marketing Society held a panel discussion titled “The Metaverse: What it Means for Marketers” featuring executives and thought leaders from Group One, Coca-Cola, Culture Group and Holland & Marie. Speakers and over 100 attendees explored the opportunities for marketers in the region and the key takeaways for brands as we journey into the Metaverse.
Coming out of the session we have compiled three (3) key actions brands can take to prepare for virtual success.
1. Rethink Brand Role
There exists a near term opportunity for brands who are able to break out of digital to embrace virtual - a space where the next generation of consumers who are native to concepts like crypto and blockchain will be engaging. This new generation does not distinguish between the real and virtual - they will adopt new ways to express themselves in open worlds, form identities and establish new connections. The most successful brands in the Metaverse will be those who embrace these new behaviors and focus on authentically engaging the consumer, rather than delivering a brand message.
2. Redefine Ownership
As Web3 will bring about permeability and open worlds, ownership of virtual assets will be continually refined through the use of blockchain technology where smart contracts and unique transaction records can be used to award - and reward - consumers. We have already seen this through NFTs and will increasingly witness new definitions of ownership emerge as blockchain is more widely adopted.
3. Relinquish Control
The biggest distinction between the internet of today and Web3 is decentralization. This open nature has thrust co-creation into the hands of brands, businesses and consumers, offering us a glimpse of what having several open, user-created, seamless worlds would look like. In a world of democratized IP, brands will need to embrace participating and creating alongside users. This mindset shift - from storytelling to story making - will enable brands to succeed in the virtual attention economy.
The Metaverse is a futuristic vision of an interconnected virtual world - and while we experience some components of it today, how successful a brand can be in this new era of virtual engagement is dependent on a marketer’s ability to have an adaptive mindset to how engagement is being reinvented.
Michael Patent & Marie Lee // Culture Group