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Marketing in the Metaverse; Another upper funnel tactic or game changing conversion tool?

Single Source Data

Marketing in the Metaverse – A Game Changing Conversion Tool?

1st June 2022

Marketing in the Metaverse; Another upper funnel tactic or game changing conversion tool?

Brands like Red Bull and Louis Vuitton are already grabbing a slice of the metaverse action, but this exciting virtual 3D space is still finding its feet. Despite the hype, the metaverse isn’t yet somewhere consumers can live, work and play therefore its growth, at least in the beginning, may be slow. Gartner estimates that by 2026, only 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse. 

 

But there will certainly come a time when consumers are more immersed, and brands looking to engage with them will need to be able to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns from the very outset. This means they need to be able to understand what consumers do before and after they enter the metaverse as well as their behaviour while they’re inside it to get a perfect view of the full consumer journey. Our CMO, Andrew Carmody took part in a debate on this fascinating subject at Advertising Week Europe’s Creative Capital event alongside Emily Trenouth, Head of Influencer Marketing at MediaCom, Carmen Lambrianos, Senior Producer at Poplar Studio and Hannah Thompson, Group Media Director at Tug, where they discussed how advertisers can measure metaverse campaigns and whether it is the right marketing tool for all brands.

 

What is the Metaverse really? 

The term metaverse was actually coined back in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. Stephenson said it would involve avatars of humans spending time in a shared online space — an idea that took off way before our version of the metaverse today – remember the The Sims game which launched way back in 2000?  Now as this more complex 3D world begins to take shape, the technology that enables it to thrive and provide consumers with a fully immersive experience will be what sets it apart from earlier versions.

 

What type of Meta activations are available? What are the key challenges?

While the metaverse is still in its early days we’ve already seen some brands tap into its vast advertising potential. As Hannah Thompson, Group Media Director at Tug  pointed out in our discussion, Balenciaga recently sold virtual outfits in Fortnite and Red Bull filed trademark applications in the metaverse to sell branded non-fungible tokens (NFTs). So, for established brands with plenty of spend for experiential advertising the metaverse brings new opportunities to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world and create exciting experiences for consumers.

 

However, many brands are holding back from dipping their toes into the metaverse’ waters,  because they’re unsure about how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and justify their ad spend. In order for brands to feel more confident in this virtual world, they need to look at the full journey to purchase. Using Single-Source data will enable brands to do this as it measures online and offline purchases, viewing habits, browsing and location data for the same individual over time. Only through understanding consumer behaviour across all channels can brands determine what their audiences are truly doing both in and outside of the metaverse and drive measurable metaverse outcomes.

 

Andrew Carmody discussing Single-Source data

 

Have metaverse campaigns to date been a success? 

Some brands have made the metaverse leap and survived. Take Red Bull; it immediately noticed a gap in the market for avatars in the metaverse who will need clothing, drinks and sports gear and filed a trademark application to provide these. This move is purely based on building brand awareness and consumer experiences, rather than selling the drink itself. Metaverse activation doesn’t always have to be product-related but rather a combination of resonating with your audiences and meeting their needs.

 

However, metaverse campaigns are not cheap, so brands should proceed with caution. They should assess if the channel is right for them before parting with their dollars. They should also look if similar brands in their market are using it effectively – using Single-Source data brands can track what their competitors are doing to inform their own campaigns.

 

What do brands need to thrive in the metaverse? 

Advertising success in the metaverse depends on many factors such as budget, strategy and type of product. It might be easy and make sense for a clothing brand who can sell virtual clothing to avatars, but for brands that have no practical use in the metaverse – for example, a toothpaste brand – they may struggle to gain traction. This is why brands must figure out if it is the right marketing activation for them before taking the plunge. 

Andrew Carmody discussing why brands must assess if the metaverse is right for them

 

The metaverse, like all channels, is just one part of a consumer’s life. Advertisers need to understand how consumers interact with all channels in the media mix to make sense of their behaviour in the metaverse and how they can best reach them. Answering these questions is the key to unlocking meaningful brand experiences in the virtual world. Single-Source data can measure an individual’s behaviour over time across multiple channels. This  gives brands a clear view of the journey to purchase that can inform their metaverse marketing campaigns. By studying the common behaviours of their target audiences in and outside of the metaverse, brands can begin to understand what works and what doesn’t and suddenly, this unknown realm will become much more fathomable.