A metaverse waterfall (image credit: MatthewBall.vc)
Metaverse marketing offers CMOs new retail channels in virtual worlds where consumers enjoy immersive experiences and brands build stronger relationships with shoppers. The practice is already underway as brands and publishers like Prada, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, Balenciaga, Burberry, Gucci, Vans, Zara and Forever 21 use NFTs to drum up attention and excite loyal customers and audiences.
Marketers are likely to wonder what issues they should be considering as metaverse marketing becomes a budget item and a must have across online and offline channels. Five issues marketers should keep top of mind as they test out the metaverse: the balance between branding and performance; campaign buying methodologies; the development of new metrics; what customer data will look like; and how to build secure experiences in this new frontier.
Here’s what marketers need to do to strategize for each of these dimensions of metaverse advertising.
Balance Branding, Performance Marketing
On the performance front, the key will be to bake metaverse marketing organically into the virtual path to purchase. Advertisers will need to collaborate with publishers, be they virtual concert venues, game developers or sports leagues, to integrate transactional opportunities seamlessly into the customer journey.
If brands can create native virtual marketing experiences, they can meld together the immersive dimension of brand marketing and the data-driven results of performance advertising while winning the hearts of consumers.
Lobby for Optimal Campaign Media Buying Mechanisms
Digital marketers are still determining how to best purchase media in the web2 environment. Many of the same considerations — for example, minimizing fraud, eliminating inefficiencies, reaching target audiences and securing impressions — will shape the web3 media buying landscape.
Will agencies look to buy and run campaigns across guaranteed premium inventory in an upfront fashion, or will inventory be sold programmatically in real-time bidding auctions? Adtech companies have the opportunity to build afresh in the metaverse. Brands and agencies will get the chance to make their case for what the pipes of this next generation of digital advertising should look like.
Determine, Track Helpful Metrics
Marketers will need to discuss how they will measure success in a virtual environment. Part of developing a winning metaverse measurement strategy will be growing strategic partnerships with publishers to get a holistic view of campaign performance. But the other part will be determining what marketing success looks like in a virtual setting and how to quantify progress.
For example, will you view a virtual storefront visit as a qualified lead, and how will you track those visits? Will the cost per completed video or video completion rate be helpful metrics? How will you weigh the cost of a video view in an immersive virtual environment relative to engagement with a 2D YouTube ad?
Will responses within the various channels be weighted differently across stores, ecommerce, mobile, apps and the metaverse? Figuring out how to measure value across channels and environments will help marketers calibrate metaverse advertising spend.
Design Metaverse Data Strategies with Privacy in Mind
Digital marketing has been undergoing a reckoning over data privacy. Web2 was built on loose data privacy practices. Many companies assumed the right to vacuum up consumer data and share it with third parties with little transparency.
Web3 offers the opportunity to get privacy right from the beginning. Marketers will need to put systems in place to collect consumer data with full consent and transparency. They will also need to adopt solutions to share data in the most privacy-safe possible fashion.
Metaverse marketers, creators and publishers will use privacy-enhancing technologies to harness data-driven insights and deepen their relationships with customers and audiences without compromising personally identifiable information (PII).
Build Secure Virtual Experiences
Customers have become more attuned to what data brands collect, how they use it and with whom they share it. Brands suffer when customer trust is violated, yet data breaches continue to be the norm, even among the world’s largest organizations.
As you enter the metaverse, adopt the proper infrastructure to securely collect, store and share data while minimizing the risk of breaches and harm should security lapses occur. Brands will also need to work with publishers and metaverse media owners to make sure virtual environments are secure, both for brand safety and customer well-being.
Many of the same considerations that continue to make web2 digital marketing complicated will also shape the next generation of multichannel marketing. But the most forward-thinking brands will not merely apply web2 standards and methodologies to the metaverse. They will treat this new era as an opportunity to reinvent subpar processes, create more value and better serve the customer, no matter the environment.
Matt Kilmartin is the CEO of Habu