Mike Proulx, VP, Research Director and Julie Ask, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

The metaverse concept has been around for a long time (the term was coined in the 1992 novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson) but exploded into the popular lexicon when the company formerly known as Facebook rebranded in 2021. A rush of excitement has swept across marketing organizations, with 76% of surveyed B2C marketing executives planning to invest in the metaverse this year. But will the results live up to the hype?

In this episode, VP, Research Director Mike Proulx and VP, Principal Analyst Julie Ask separate the real opportunity from the FOMO. First, they define the metaverse — essentially the 3D experience layer of the internet — and why we’re at least a decade away from a true metaverse.

But there’s still room for experimentation with “metaverse precursors,” such as the online game platform Roblox. Should your brand get in on this? It all comes down to use case. Proulx and Ask encourage marketers to do significant strategic planning and customer-centric designing before engaging with metaverse precursors. FOMO or wanting to look innovative are understandable motivations, but they won’t produce results. Take NFTs: Many brands have stumbled trying to get in on the action.

Metaverse marketing also faces an uphill battle with consumer sentiment — a paltry 14% of US adults think brands should build more branded experiences. Many consumers, even tech-literate ones, are either uninterested in the metaverse or don’t know what it is. And social media’s mistakes — privacy violations, misinformation, and harassment — contribute to this low sentiment. Tech won’t be the metaverse’s limitation, Ask says; it will be enthusiasm.

Anything can happen as the metaverse becomes a reality. As it develops, brands should stay focused on meeting consumer needs — which could involve the metaverse — and let someone else try to keep up with the Joneses.

Join Mike and Julie at CX North America on June 7–9, 2022, to learn more about marketing in the metaverse, and read their report about the state of the metaverse.