60% of marketers don’t understand the metaverse well or at all. [Survey]
- Over half of marketers surveyed believe the metaverse will benefit marketing.
- More than 1 in 5 marketers plan to host or attend a VR event in 2022.
- More than half of marketers believe it’s important to be involved with Web 3 for future marketing strategies.
Evolving technological spaces present challenges to all kinds of businesses, and with new potential opportunities for marketing, utilizing these spaces early on in the business world can feel like an endeavor of the bold. Without any history of effective techniques or a track record of successful promotions, marketing in a new space can feel very much like a shot in the dark.
As the technology used to access virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) slowly becomes more affordable and more common, virtual spaces like the metaverse have come to represent the Wild West for marketers—but perhaps also the opportunity of a lifetime. Understanding this new world is the key to utilizing it successfully. We surveyed more than 800 marketers to discover their thoughts on the internet’s latest buzzword: the metaverse. Read on to find out what we discovered.
The Next Frontier
The metaverse is a network of digital worlds where users can interact with other users in a computer-generated environment. It’s a virtual space where people can work, live, shop, or play using digital representations of themselves, or digital avatars. The adoption of innovative technology requires its users to imagine seemingly foreign ways of working.
As virtual spaces become increasingly popular, especially among younger generations, companies like Gucci and Vans, who may be looking to reach this market more effectively, have shifted into the VR and AR spaces. However, using a platform like a metaverse can be daunting for those with little literacy in virtual and augmented reality spaces. This doesn’t seem to be stopping marketers from participating: 60% of our respondents admitted they don’t know the metaverse very well or at all, but plan to launch metaverse marketing strategies this year anyway.
How to Tap Into the Metaverse
Staying relevant in a constantly evolving landscape is key for any marketing team. After all, being adaptable to technological change can mean the difference between success and failure.
Although many companies have engaged with their staff in virtual spaces, meetings in the metaverse are not yet commonplace. However, when we asked respondents how they planned to incorporate new tech in 2022, hosting or attending an event using VR was one of the top selections at 27%. A quarter of those we surveyed even planned to use the metaverse to develop new content. External marketing isn’t the only use for this new technology, either: 26% of respondents had plans to use the metaverse for internal education this year. Overall, more than 40% had an interest in a future career path related to marketing in the metaverse.
The Pros and Cons of New Tech
Marketing, perhaps much like Facebook was described in the movie The Social Network, is sort of “like fashion” in that it’s always developing and never finished. It would seem that marketers have accepted this inevitable shift, as the majority of those we surveyed felt it was important to be involved in a variety of new technologies. Despite this, only half of the respondents who placed importance on being part of the metaverse actually had a good understanding of it.
Tied with AR and just eclipsing VR and the metaverse, cryptocurrency was the most popular tech among respondents to our survey. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after the digital currency skyrocketed in public popularity and accessibility last year. It might be likely that some marketers are willing to outsource the expertise due to a number of factors, such as cost and continual changes to the tech, as reported by respondents to our survey. As an example, InBev, who often sponsor sporting events, worked with Zed Run to create a virtual experience around the Kentucky Derby.
Getting Skin in the Game
Understanding new tech and figuring out how to make it work for a specific business model depends on company identity, target audience, and the practicality of implementation.
Marketers are tasked with finding the right tech for their brand or client; doing so is crucial to achieving tangible success. Our respondents have already recommended a number of strategies and initiatives involving new tech—including producing branded NFTs (35%), a market that has exploded in the past few years with sales skyrocketing from $94.9 million in 2020 to a staggering $24.9 billion in 2021.
Releasing products, creating VR or AR experiences, or even hosting launch parties in the metaverse were all marketing strategies that at least 29% of respondents had recommended to their clients or brand. Of course, with any new technology there are bound to be growing pains, as with Samsung’s recent metaverse product launch, which left some unable to gain access due to technical issues. Not everyone was on board, however: 19% of respondents had not recommended any of the strategies listed.
The Metaverse is Here
As the VR and AR landscapes continue to grow, marketers who don’t find ways to adapt could miss out on potential opportunities. Even though more than half of the marketers we surveyed believed they could benefit from the metaverse, a similar number reported worries about the costs associated with AR and VR technologies. And, while some respondents were willing to dive in without fully grasping the tech, some might argue that knowledge is power, especially when facing new frontiers. Information is therefore invaluable when it comes to developing marketing strategies in a foreign landscape.
The metaverse is poised to rapidly expand and present new opportunities for marketers across all industries. Whether you’re ramping up a strategy to enter the metaverse—or remaining focused on the physical world—getting the most out of your campaigns is essential. See how Unsupervised empowers marketing teams to automate the preparation, analysis, and prioritization of data by visiting www.unsupervised.com.
Methodology and Limitations
We surveyed 802 marketers to get their opinions on how marketing is changing and the impact of new technologies. 50.9% of respondents identified as millennials, 23.8% were Gen Zers, 16.6% Gen Xers, and 8.7% baby boomers. The average age of respondents was 34.8 years.
Sample sizes of respondents by business size were as follows:
- Large (250 or more employees): 201
- Midsize (50 to 249 employees): 349
- Small (1 to 49 employees): 252
All respondents were required to pass an attention-check question. Top-level survey results have a margin of error of +/- 3% with a 95% confidence interval.
Survey data have certain limitations related to self-reporting. These limitations include telescoping, exaggeration, and selective memory. This is an exploratory project that examines prevailing sentiments toward emerging technologies in the marketing sector.
Fair Use Statement
If you enjoyed reading about how marketers are approaching the metaverse as a potential space for opportunity and engagement, please feel free to share this study for noncommercial use. We just ask that you link back to this page so our contributors can receive credit for their work.