Marketing brief: Marketers are banking on metaverse marketing, but is it premature?

In recent months, marketers have seemed to be increasingly optimistic about the metaverse. Arguments for various metaverse activations — some with in-person extensions — have been consistent, as marketers seem to be hoping to grab headlines for simply having branded activations in the metaverse, agency executives said. at Digiday.

Marketers are always looking to be part of the next big thing, whatever it is, so experimentation makes sense. That being said, it’s still unclear if the Metaverse will actually become the next big thing or be yet another fast fad that marketers once poured money into hot apps like Clubhouse or The Peach or technologies like chatbots or AR and VR. (Remember how a few years ago agencies were so optimistic about virtual reality that they were gobbling up testing costs for clients?)

Some agency executives question the purpose of metaverse marketing, wondering what problem it solves for marketers as well as the public. Others say it already gives marketers access to audiences they couldn’t interact with without it, and it’s worth continuing to test various activations even if the audience isn’t there yet. .

“The fact that no one can agree on what the Metaverse really is is a good sign that the pressure to be there is more FOMO than common sense,” said Mark Pytlik, CEO of Stink Studios, asked about the future of metaverse marketing. . “Marketers need an audience to market to, but the ‘metaverse’ is so fractured and platform-dependent that there isn’t a critical mass of consumers in one place to really deserve it. a serious long-term investment of most brands.”

Pytlik went on to say that some of the metaverse activations felt like a “quick PR” offer, but even that has “diminishing returns.” “A lot of it feels like pure hype, public relations and speculation,” he said.

The opportunity for PR or being the first brand to do something can tempt some marketers to experiment with trends and spend on apps that make little real sense for their brands. Take the metaverse – it’s still unclear if the viewership will grow to make it a staple of the marketing budget.

To contextualize the popularity of these technologies, Sarah Stringer, evp and head of US media partnerships at dentsu, turns to Google Trends, which provides public data on the terms users search.

As examples, she said, virtual reality peaked in December 2016, blockchain a year later, esports in 2019, and the metaverse in late 2021. Even though Google Trend data shows a downward trend, marketing efforts for the metaverse still seem to be on the rise as brands continue to launch new efforts.

“All of these technologies and concepts evolve into bigger trends over time, but interest wanes when scale and audience don’t follow,” Stringer said. “We see interest reappear as opportunities evolve and technology becomes more scalable and accessible. Metaverse has become a buzzword, which feels like it’s quickly being replaced by broader conversations around Web3.0. »

The metaverse has recently motivated some marketers to experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality again. Maybe the years and years of marketers and agency executives touting augmented reality and virtual reality as the next big thing were just a few years too soon? Or maybe the agency executives are trying to spin things that way to make these experiments worth their time? Time will tell us.

“The criticism that the Metaverse is Second Life’s new clothing version of Emperor is reasonable, but it ignores some fundamental factors that make this new era potentially as important in changing the landscape for marketers as the emergence of the television or the open internet,” said Berlin Cameron, Founder, Ewen Cameron.

Cameron continued, “Blockchain technology and the resulting tokenization of assets creates the potential for personalization and personalization of marketing on a scale we have never seen before in history.”

While Cameron is optimistic about the possibilities of the Metaverse – and NFTs and Web3 – for marketers, he acknowledges that the Metaverse in its current form may not deliver the ROI needed for all marketers.

“Today, Decentraland’s metrics only make sense in terms of ROI if your target audience is adolescent males with a propensity for fantasy gambling,” Cameron said. “However, the applications of blockchain technology, Web3 and the metaverse offer endless possibilities for brands. These technologies help marketers find revolutionary new paths to awareness and engagement before and better than their competitors, which is what good marketing is all about. »

3 Questions with Weedmaps CMO Juanjo Feijoo

What do you think of marketing and advertising as legalization efforts arrive?

Many people are starting to discover cannabis. We’ve spent, especially the last two years, a lot of time trying to build our brand in a more traditional way for people who aren’t as comfortable with cannabis. A heavy user might be very intentionally looking for a specific type of concentrate that is made a certain way, from a certain strain, whereas your more casual user might be [less knowledgable.] How do you serve these two audiences and speak to them? That’s been a big part of the balancing act we’ve done over the past two years.

What strategies did you use to achieve this balance?

On the marketing side, what we’ve done is figure out where we need to go. We’re really trying to find areas where we can in some ways be more transactional and more sophisticated with our consumers, but at the same time make it something very accessible from a discovery perspective for new consumers coming into the space.

How do you get a mainstream audience to be a more niche brand?

These are certainly levers. Our levers are inevitably limited by who will take the cannabis advertising and the censorship that always occurs around it. We are very lucky not to be a plant company, aren’t we? Because we’re all about technology, which means we have a lot of publishers or partners who are more comfortable working with us. We do a lot of activations; we were at a lot of festivals last year as things came back from COVID. —Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

At the height of the pandemic, women bore the brunt of household chores that led to the so-called “secession” phenomenon. Now, as the so-called Great Resignation looms, companies are rolling out various perks to attract and retain talent. To understand what it will take to get women back into the workplace, consultancy DE&I Have Her Back conducted the Women in the Workplace study, which was provided exclusively to Digiday. Find the details of the report below:

  • 79% of survey respondents said they prefer flexible work environments, defined as “the ability to make your own arrangements, as needed”, as opposed to hybrid work environments, defined as “scheduled working days onsite and some offsite “.
  • 33% of respondents said they prefer to work remotely five days a week.
  • 43% of respondents said they had the ability and felt comfortable taking family leave without fear of reprisal. —Kimeko McCoy

quote of the week

“For a lot of young people, there is no esports; they are just video games.

– Rob Moore, CEO of esports organization Sentinels Gaming, on the difference between gaming and esports.

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