Gap is the latest brand to set up shop on Roblox. But despite what the headlines say, the brand isn’t activating in the metaverse — it doesn’t exist today. No singular immersive platform is the metaverse yet. And that’s okay. While the actual metaverse is years away, now is a good time for brands to test and learn with extended reality (XR). But what must B2C marketing executives do to be strategic, creative, and realistic about their metaverse ambitions?

Start By Asking Why

Our just-published report, Ready Player Brand: Marketing In The Metaverse, establishes four questions that brands should answer before letting fear of missing out (FOMO) cloud their decision-making. And it all starts by answering, “Do I have a clearly defined metaverse business objective?” Seems obvious, right? Yet many brands fail to articulate one despite the fact that 76% of B2C marketing executives in the US plan to invest some of their marketing budget toward metaverse-related activities this year, according to Forrester’s Q1 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 2022.

Marketing In The Metaverse Is A Long-Term Play

Outside of behemoth immersive gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite, Forrester found that the vast majority of online adults in the US, the UK, and France have never heard of most metaverse platforms, let alone used them. And a downturn in the NFT marketplace is yet another reminder to brands that we’re in the messy, early days of the 3D internet right now.

Brands that temper their expectations and stay focused on the long game are poised to benefit the most. This is the theme of my upcoming fireside chat with the NFL’s Ian Trombetta at Forrester’s CX North America event on June 7. And two days ago, I recorded an episode of “Meet Me In The Metaverse,” a video series from Media.Monks where (in Horizon Workrooms) Catherine D. Henry, Henry Cowling, and I debated metaverse hype versus reality. The full episode premiered today on the Media.Monks blog.

Be sure to check out Forrester’s new report on marketing in the metaverse to learn how to navigate what’s possible for your brand right now. Tweet me your thoughts at @McProulx and if you want to learn more about this topic join us at the upcoming Technology & Innovation North America event live September 29-30 where I’ll be presenting a session entitled The Future Of The Internet? The Metaverse, NFTs, And Web3.