How brands are using the metaverse to solve business challenges

The metaverse has captured the attention of both marketers and consumers. However, many brands are still in the early stages of adjusting their strategies and approaches to this new virtual ecosystem.

While some companies are watching the evolution of the metaverse from the sidelines with anticipation and curiosity, recent research shows that consumers are ready to engage with brands in new virtual environments. increase.

According to Sitecore’s “Metaverse Perceptions” report, 42% of US consumers identify themselves as Metaverse enthusiasts. Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) also expect the metaverse to play an important role in their future shopping and interactions with brands. The report is based on a survey of 1,000 US consumers and a survey of 310 US consumer brand marketers.

Sitecore Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill said: “Understanding who to target and how customers want to engage in these environments is critical to success.”

Technology is still evolving, but savvy brands are using this time to start exploring virtual environments as another way to reach consumers. According to a Sitecore report, one in three of his marketers (31%) say the metaverse is part of their current marketing program, and 55% plan to use it in the future. . Marketers willing to experiment and dive into the metaverse use these virtual environments to address brand awareness (68%), customer engagement (59%), and new product or category creation (55%). I envision it as a way to

In support of these lofty goals, 57% of marketers use or plan to use the Metaverse as a novelty item to excite shoppers, and 55% use it as a way to test their products. increase. Half of brands are using or planning to use the Metaverse as a gamification feature, and 40% see it as a customer experience tool.

Consumers use the Metaverse to “experience things they wouldn’t normally experience” (57%), “escape reality” (51%), and “meet new friends” (79%). We want to expand. .

The survey also shows that millennials and Gen Z are most likely to want to engage with brands in the metaverse. Reflecting this, 91% of organizations are targeting millennials in their metaverse strategy, followed by Gen Z (55%) and Gen X (52%).

O’Neill suggests it’s important for brands to know how to target these different audiences in the metaverse.

“Our research shows that millennials and Gen Z value access to exclusive content, ensure that these environments have diverse representation, and value being part of a community. “Taking advantage of these preferences will be key to making sure we target the experiences these consumer groups want.”

Going forward, 67% of marketers believe the Metaverse will be their primary platform for interacting with consumers, and 79% of consumers say they will be more likely than popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in the future. We think you will spend a lot of time in the metaverse.

“To meet customers in the moment, brands need to embrace this shift in behavior and target it with the right content on platforms where consumers prefer to spend their time,” said O’Neill.

Brands Are Approaching The Metaverse From A Consumer Engagement Perspective

Augmented and virtual reality enable brands to create experiences that reinvent everything from shopping to customer support to employee engagement. Nearly three-quarters of organizations are considering what experiences they will create in the metaverse.

The most commonly planned metaverse features focus on personalized and interactive shopping experiences. Certain tactics may include motivating users with personalized suggestions based on past preferences or allowing shoppers to use avatars to try and test products.

To further engage with consumers, marketers are creating community settings and forums for users with similar interests (57%), developing inclusive experiences that represent diverse sets of users ( 55%) and reward users for their activity (51%).

“The concept of community excites both marketers and consumers,” says O’Neill. “Nearly two in five consumers (38%) said they would be more encouraged to participate in brand experiences if they could join and connect with a community of ‘like-minded’ people. It is therefore clear that capturing consumer interest and creating community, connection and belonging is critical for brands building experiences in the Metaverse.”

Measuring Brand Success in the Metaverse

As marketers focus on metaverse initiatives that support brand building and other top-of-funnel initiatives, how can success be measured, not only within the metaverse, but as part of a brand’s overall marketing mix and brand marketing investments? You have to decide how to measure.

At the moment, the most important ways marketers measure the ROI of metaverse activation are bringing new buyers to their brand (54%), gaining new followers (51%) and increasing direct sales revenue (50%). ) am.

According to O’Neill, one of the most effective ways to measure success in the metaverse is to show how it solves a particular business problem.

“If you look at retailers, they’re experiencing higher return rates, and this is having a big impact on their bottom line,” explains O’Neill. “But what if we could give consumers the option to actually see the items they want to buy before they buy without having to set foot in the store? It will be a game-changer for both retailers and consumers as it enables consumers to make smarter choices while doing so.”

As we head into 2023, it’s clear that virtual environments will become an important part of marketing strategies and budgets. In fact, nearly seven-tenths (69%) of businesses have current or future plans to build metaverse experiences in 2023, and 48% of businesses planning to invest in 2023 have limited marketing budgets. 10-25% of the total is devoted to the metaverse.

Over the next five years, 42% of all marketers, including those who have not yet committed to the Metaverse, estimate they will invest 10-25% of their budget into a Metaverse experience. Respondents also expect Metaverse spending to surpass advertising channels such as social, digital and mobile.

O’Neill said: “This is a testament to the enormous potential of technology. Virtual environments offer compelling new opportunities to connect with customers, and brands bold enough to explore and experiment with this new frontier will It will be profitable in the future.”

Sponsored by Sitecore

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