By Dr. Vikram Kumar, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SRV Media
CIOs are looking at Metaverse
To those who are updated with the kind of revolution Metaverse is about to bring about in the way we conduct commerce, it is needless to say, at least for the world of business, the appeal of the metaverse is not for the sheer novelty of emergent technology.
In the last decade, the very way social media has become a ubiquitous and inseparable part of our life, the metaverse is about to touch our lives in that manner. Leveraging the immersive nature of the metaverse, entrepreneurs have started to eye the metaverse as a tool to boost consumer engagement in order to make the most out of the parallel digital lives we have built for ourselves.
Based on Roblox, the metaverse ecosystem of Nike, the company recently launched its virtual sneakers and outfits, garnering a whooping sales of $3.1 million. The brand owes this successful campaign to the power of Non-fungible Tokens, a unique digital identifier that uses blockchain technology to assert authentication and ownership.
This recent performance of forward-looking, high-end brands testifies to the potency of the metaverse as the tool which is set to change the present way of life fundamentally. That the future is metaverse, it is amply clear. International market aside, in the Indian scenario, Metaverse technology, despite being at its nascent stage, has still allured major players in the business, including companies such as Tech Mahindra, TCS and Infosys. As major businesses are looking into Metaverse, it is only a matter of a few years before India will see a Metaverse Revolution.
According to a recent report by Deloitte, the economic impact of the technology is set to degenerate between $ 79- 148 billion by FY2035 despite the fact that the hardware necessary to experience the Metaverse is far too cutting-edge and limited in India and, ergo, unaffordable.
Aligned with metaverse, in 2021, as suggested by the Deloitte Report, in India, VC investments stood at US$38.5 billion, amounting to US$400 billion in valuation. Moreover, investments were made into 50,000 active start-ups, including 107 unicorns. Such is the promise of the Metaverse.
Given the inevitability of the revolution we have yet to witness, companies must find ways to tap into it to propel their success. To prepare their companies for the Metaverse, here are a few things for CIOs to consider:
It’s immersive; therefore, engage.
Marketing, in its essence, is effective story-telling. Capitalising on the power of the metaverse, marketers are looking at surpassing the challenges of running campaigns that flat, traditional media interfaces could only deliver so well. In the digital world, gaming has never stopped being the rage. Imagine adding to it the 360-degree experience of the metaverse. Thus, with the emergence of the metaverse, we are looking at integrating campaigns into immersive games or making campaigns themselves into mini-games or videos, which will push the new revolution on the marketing front. The change only awaits our creativity to unfurl.
Metaverse is all about the touch and feel, which we never knew was digitally possible. Since the COVID-19 crisis, virtual seminars and meetings have become the so-called “new normal”. The epidemic has shown how critical the power of virtual engagement is while exposing the gap in communication in the absence of the comforting in-person touch. Filling in this want in virtual interaction, the metaverse, while being virtual, gives us the much sought-after 3-D presence of people.
With this enhanced way to engage, the companies have before themselves a new horizon of business opportunities. Nike’s virtual shoes serve as evidence that virtual products have a potential market that we have yet to experience to its fullest. In fact, what the example of the virtual Nike shoes shows is that, given how new the metaverse experience is, it takes only simple ideas to make an effective campaign.
Ushering in a new trend in the world economy, several start-ups worldwide are working on avatars that will be able to produce, own, sell, or invest in virtual items within the metaverse. Moreover, in the context of business collaboration or deals, the metaverse could serve as the perfect digital tool which could carry the nuances of human and cultural interactions that would not previously transpire virtually.
To put it succinctly, given what can be so far be gauged, the hype around the metaverse seems to be every bit worthy. While predicting the future of the economy in terms of virtual goods might require more time, with the metaverse, customer engagement is sure to reach new heights.