Today, I’m going to talk to you about building community in the metaverse, a new framework for brands.

Marketing 1.0: The golden age of media

It used to be the case that there were very few advertising channels for brands. I call this the “attention consolidation phase” of marketing where companies could place an ad on TV for shaving cream, hair products, and toys in the same place and know they’d likely hit 100% of the household.

Marketing 1.0 table

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The pre-digital days of marketing were all about the brand putting together a monologue that was broadly appealing.

Marketing 2.0: The digital revolution and measurement marketing

But, with the internet came digital ads. These ads allowed marketers to measure clicks. This is very powerful because it allows us to see what is working at each stage of the digital funnel.

Digital ads also allow us to target specific ads to specific profiles even tailoring messaging to a single individual buyer. This is important because most digital activity is currently done solo.

marketing 2.0 table

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This places a high premium on relevancy of ads.

For example, if I see ads for baby diapers but I don’t have kids in diapers then I’m gonna likely wonder WTH is going on with that dumbass brand.

On the flip side, if I just had my first kid and he poops – that ad has a ton of value for me.

Let’s got to Marketing 3.0: Measurable connection at scale

Today, we have the metaverse. This is different. It is like the internet in 1998. We know it is important, because tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook (now Meta), and Google, along with a host of CPG companies, are investing hundreds of millions to billions in this space.

marketing 3.0 table

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In fact, the metaverse is pegged to become an $800 billion market by 2024.

What is the metaverse?

The word “metaverse” was coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.

metaverse definition

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In that book, Stephenson referred to the metaverse as an all-encompassing digital world that exists parallel to the real world. Think Ready Player One for those who have seen that movie.

metaverse is pegged to become an $800 billion market by 2024

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What is the metaverse? Neal Stephenson describes the concept of the metaverse:

“The people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse. Hiro’s avatar is now on the Street, too, and if the couples coming off the monorail look over in his direction, they can see him, just as he’s seeing them.”

The movie Ready Player One brought Neal’s vision to life.

In 2021, Nike partnered with Roblox (a metaverse where users can play games or shop in virtual stores) and introduced Nikeland. Nike has reported that more than seven million people have visited their store on Roblex from 224 countries.

Nikeland offers consumers a totally unique experience where fans can shop for real products and hang out with popular NBA players.

Another great example is Fortnite, which features weekly concerts with top artists. Players just log in and head to the concert area to hang out in a digital context.

The metaverse is bridging the gap between content creators, physical products, and their customers.

This creates an opportunity for customers to have a voice in a completely unique way which feels far more like a townhall than an, “I’m going to vote with my dollar”. Brands now have the opportunity to partner with their customers and add value that isn’t directly tied to the terms of trade. For example, imagine spending a few minutes chatting with Michael Jordon in Nikeland…then buying your shoes.

For further consideration

My next post will cover how the Gig economy is impacting Gen Z and employers.

If you’d like to learn more about HubUX, please feel free to reach me on social or via email.

Lastly, you are always invited to attend the MRxPros’ Virtual Lunch. This is a group of UX, CX, and market researchers that meets every week for 30 minutes to do three things: learn one new thing, make one new friend, and have fun.

Happy researching! 😊



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