Head of SEO & Content
The metaverse is on everyone’s lips but, at the same time, no one seems to know quite what it is. From scientists prophesying the end of the world as we know it to experts who believe it will be the biggest business opportunity of the millennium.
The truth is that it is still too early to know what it will be. If we can begin to glimpse its full complexity and what the idea is of what the metaverse is intended to be. Will it succeed? Will it, on the contrary, end up being a bluff? We are still a few years away from being able to answer that question with certainty.
What we can do now is to begin to understand how it will work and, above all, whether there is a place for our business in this new virtual world. And there probably is. Even if only in terms of advertising.
Marketing and advertising in the metaverse is on its way to becoming the new goose that lays the golden egg. Carlos Arenal, our digital advertising expert, has already developed this aspect in the previous post. Being there is really going to make a difference.
But I don’t just want to talk to you about digital advertising, I want to talk to you about the concept of the metaverse itself and what opportunities it can bring for your company.
What is the Metaverse?
To the question of what the metaverse is, we can say that it is a new virtual world. A reverse side of the 100% digital reality, where you can do any of the things you do in the real world, but without the limitations of the physical world.
The great predecessor of the metaverse is Second Life, another digital universe where people met, bought virtual houses and did different activities. However, Second Life ended up being a failure.
In contrast to Second Life, the metaverse aims to be a much more realistic virtual reality. To do so, it will be based on virtual reality glasses so that we can travel through this world in three dimensions and on different technological devices that will try to bring the sensations closer to our senses.
Gloves are already being developed for the sense of touch, smell devices, etc… The idea is that the experience we live inside the metaverse will be as real as the one we live in the real world. We can touch, we can smell, we can feel, we can see with no difference to what we would see, touch or feel in the real world.
But with a big difference that is its great differential value, you can have all that universe right at home.
A world in the image of our own
As utopian as it may sound, don’t think of the metaverse as a harmonious, accessible and enjoyable place for everyone. In the metaverse, as in Second Life, everything is for sale and virtually everything will cost money.
Don’t think of the metaverse as a place to live the fantasy of being a rich heir to a Central European castle. You can have a castle, you can smell the winter snow, you can wear medieval armour, but you will have to pay for the castle, for the weather and for the clothes you wear.
You can imagine snorkelling in the Maldives. But you will have to pay for access to those sensations. Or a completely invented or fictional world, for example, on a planet in Stars Wars or in front of the Wall in Game of Thrones.
At the moment, thematic areas are being created. There are, for example, areas dedicated to fashion and art. Different galleries and designers are buying space there to set up exhibitions. If you want your metaverse house to have a certain painting, as in real life, you will have to go to the gallery and buy it. If you want a certain garment for your avatar, the same thing.
Being a completely digital world, the possibilities multiply. You no longer have to worry about raw materials, in the metaverse the only thing that matters is the energy needed to keep it going (and that hasn’t been without controversy either).
This problem is already happening with cryptocurrencies, which will probably be the currency that operates in the metaverse, but work is already underway to find greener solutions.
How does my company enter the metaverse?
Having more or less understood how the metaverse works (and bearing in mind that there is still a long way to go and that technologies such as touch or smells are still in the experimental phase), it is time to ask ourselves what we can do to participate in it.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether your product or service has a place in the metaverse. For example, if you are a fashion designer, you know that you can transfer your designs to the digital world. But, of course, you will need an expert to create the metaverse version of your garments.
If you are a travel agency, you may be able to organise your own trips through the metaverse, visiting different neighbourhoods and allowing you to enjoy different experiences. And with never-before-seen possibilities. Perhaps a round-the-world trip, a journey through the desert followed by a trip to the pole or the jungle, or simply through fantasy worlds.
A restaurant, on the other hand, will have to wait for the development of taste technology in the metaverse. It is being tried, will it succeed? We shall see.
If, like us, you are a digital marketing agency, you will of course be able to run your marketing and advertising campaigns in the metaverse. And with a much wider range of possibilities than ever before.
Advertising in the metaverse for real life
Another way to use the metaverse is to advertise in it for real life. People will continue to work outside the metaverse and will continue to consume outside the metaverse, both products and services.
Having clear customer archetypes will allow us to go and advertise in those places where we know they will be. And, there, be one of the first to offer our ad.
If everything develops as expected, advertising in the metaverse will be what allows it to work. And although at a given moment the advertising in the metaverse will be mostly from the metaverse itself, there will also be room for advertising from physical or digital businesses that are not there.
On the other hand, we also have to mention hybrid models. Think of a clothing shop, for example. You can not only advertise the clothes and sell them through the metaverse as you do on Instagram.
You can also, on the one hand, sell the metaverse version for the avatar, but what is much more interesting (at least for our current analogue mentalities), is that you can try on the clothes virtually before ordering your physical garment.
Giants like Inditex, H&M and virtual marketplaces like ASOS will be pioneers in this technology, but the idea from Meta, the developers, is that the technology should be cheap enough so that also small ecommerces can benefit from it.
That would be the success of the project, that you can not only try on the clothes of a large corporation in the metaverse, but also discover new emerging talents with small boutiques located in any corner of the world.
The key to the success of the model is to bring those things closer that would not be possible otherwise. For example, you can go to a place similar to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and choose from the comfort of your own home, but live the experience thanks to Augmented Reality.
Only one possibility
The metaverse is being so popular because it gives the opportunity to dream. However, it should not be forgotten that much of the technology it needs to be truly revolutionary is still under development.
You can already buy plots in the metaverse, you can already make advertisements and you can already start to enjoy this virtual alternative space, but we have to keep in mind that, for the moment, we are looking at something similar to what Second Life offered.
And we already know that Second Life failed in the face of something apparently much simpler like Facebook. So we also have to be cautious. We have to wait and see if the billions that Mark Zuckerberg is investing in developing the idea have the optimum result.
If they succeed, it is clear that the world as we know it will change. Although it has already changed, for example, with the advent of social networks. If it is over-ambitious and remains a wish-fulfilment, it will serve as a warning for the future.
Be that as it may, this is a process worth watching, worth participating in, and worth discovering each and every one of the ramifications it can have for business. There are only two potential impediments: that it does not become cheap enough to be accessible and that people are not interested.
Otherwise, goodbye world, hello metaverse.