Reaching almost 2 billion active users, Facebook has the largest virtual community in the world. With its recently announced focus on creating a metaverse, Facebook, among others, is entering new territory. But most users have no idea what a metaverse is, or what the implications are for the future.
In its ideal form, the digital world will not replace the physical world but augment it. The vision for the metaverse isn't only a channel or a new place to own virtual real estate. Instead, it could be a new dimension in which to provide richer, more immersive experiences that persist across multiple platforms. In return, marketers will have the opportunity to track client movements and extract more meaningful data.
What should you do to get ready for the metaverse? Here are considerations for a new world:
- Consider alternative universes. What if clients could experience your offer in a new way? Adoption will accelerate quickly in 3-D social networks where people can interact with each other.
- Personalize. Each immersive experience will allow for unlimited choices for customers, and the ability for machine learning to improve the client experience.
- Commercialize. In addition to the endless B2C products, the metaverse will also have applications in B2B through both AR and VR technologies. There are enormous commercial opportunities, including using AR in training, quality control, design and all types of applications. Imagine immersive hybrid meetings where people working at home feel like they are in the office.
- Monetize. Sandbox -- built on Ethereum -- is a decentralized metaverse where users can buy land through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Sandbox has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is one of the first to monetize the new frontier.
- Analyze. Blockchain is expected to be a key technology in the metaverse, allowing marketers to converge data about users and their experiences. Imagine providing content to users based on where they have been (tracked by their car or phone) along with what they are viewing online.
- Iterate. As is always the case with innovation, exploring a new frontier is about experimentation and adaptation. As the metaverse will provide immediate feedback, savvy marketers will have a laboratory for learning.
To scale such technologies will require significant investment. According to Intel vice president Raja Koduri, "Persistent and immersive computing at scale will require a 1,000-times increase in computer efficiency." For the metaverse to gain wide adoption will require providers to build powerful software and hardware platforms. Marketers better get ahead of the curve if they want to remain competitive.