By Jeremy King, Contributor to SpiceWorks
If the thought of the metaverse makes you want to run for the hills, don’t exit out of your browser just yet. With mega-brands like Facebook rebranding to “Meta,” it deserves a little attention at least and some serious planning at most. As a marketer, you might have even had some internal conversations about how your brand might just fit into this confusing, complex virtual puzzle. More so, should you even try at all?
If you have not already started talking about the metaverse, it might feel like it is a bit too soon to be having a conversation about such a trendy tech topic. But, consider this — some of the world’s top brands are already building a presence in the metaverse. And they are seeing some pretty great results.
Take, for example, athletic brand Nike, which has opened NIKELAND in the metaverse Roblox. Within NIKELAND, people can use their avatars to play games and do virtual workouts. Or consider Gucci, who occupies space in the metaverse The Sandbox. Gucci’s “The Vault” allows users to do various treasure hunts that lead them to exclusive NFTs for their avatars to wear.
Now more than ever, it is crucial you keep an ear to the ground on your target consumer to get an understanding of how you should or should not approach the metaverse. The upside is that you do not have to go at it alone or walk into the virtual world blindly. Instead, you can use continuous insights from regular consumer research to help you develop a sound metaverse marketing strategy.
Consumer Profiling Will Keep You Abreast of Your Ever-changing Demographic
With most of the current metaverse activity centered around gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox, you might be wondering if marketing in the metaverse even makes sense for your brand. But, projections show that the metaverse is not going to stop with gaming, and it will transcend and see traction everywhere, from virtual conferencing to industrial manufacturing. So, where exactly will your brand fit in?
Take the guesswork out of the process by implementing regular consumer profiling into your marketing stack. Figuring out who your target demographic is will not only help you discern whether or not it is time to throw your brand’s hat in the ring but also which metaverse makes the most sense for you. And as your brand matures and grows, this will change. Your existing and future customers are constantly evolving, and figuring out your target audience is a journey, not a destination. Knowing in real-time how your customers think, behave, and buy will help you make a much more informed decision about your ongoing metaverse marketing strategy.
Creative Testing Will Prevent You From Falling Flat on Your Face
Let us fast forward to the point where you are ready to deploy your first metaverse campaign. Where do you start? The best part is that you do not have to make any guesses. Instead of throwing your campaign out into the ether, it is key that you use creative testing as a gut check.
By turning to your target consumers to help you iterate on your campaign before it goes live, you can A/B test your way to success. Let us say you have several different ideas you are toying around with — a storefront, sponsored concert, or an advertisement on an already popular metaverse destination. How do you decide which one to move forward with?
Instead of trying to guess what your consumers will resonate with most, you can ask them! By way of creative testing, you can test your creative ideas to quickly gauge impact and make sure your campaign drives the desired outcome with your customers. By surveying your target audience about what they do and do not like, you will build campaign confidence and, in turn, see more ROI on your efforts to make a mark in the metaverse. You will also learn valuable lessons for your next campaign.
The Metaverse Is Not Set in Stone; Your Campaigns Should Not Be Either
Like most trending technology, we can expect an everlasting evolution of the metaverse. What we think it will look like now will undoubtedly be much different than what it turns out to be. This is a prime reason why your metaverse marketing strategy should not be stagnant or linear. Instead, you should remain nimble in the face of change and prepared to alter your plans where necessary.
To do this, you must keep an open and honest channel of communication with your target audience. From brand tracking, consumer profiling, creative testing, and beyond, you must keep a close eye on consumer perception and purchase intent. This will help you unlock your next wave of growth while also preventing you from going down expensive dead ends.
Even if you still feel as though the metaverse is too trendy to invest in, you now have a clearer idea of how you should approach your strategy when the time comes. This will help you cut through the media hype and fanfare and put the consumer at the center of your business. Brands that do not keep the consumer on top of mind risk getting swept up in fleeting trends and costly mistakes. But by putting in place a flexible strategy, your brand can meet the metaverse moment and carve out your own virtual square footage within it.
Article originally appeared on SpiceWorks.
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