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Is the Metaverse trackable?

As any creative marketer will attest, we have entered an era where virtual and physical worlds are increasingly intertwined. We now have an ecosystem of digital platforms at our marketing fingertips, which is fuelled by a convergence of 5G, AI and edge cloud processing.

Advances across augmented and virtual reality as well as wearable technology are positioning what is being coined the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet and an extension of ‘what comes next’ for human creativity.

Whilst the metaverse will not actually replace the internet it is likely to iteratively transform it.

From a marketer's perspective being able to deliver seamless, entertaining, and cost-effective AR and VR experiences across a variety of connected devices is the next game-changer.

The pandemic propelled this evolution forward as the lockdowns forced us to interact with people over video calls and in virtual environments. The result gave virtual spaces a new license to be seen as a marketing channel. If the experiences we have online are no less real than those we have when out and about or watching TV, the impact of marketing in those spaces should be just as effective.

The fact that e-commerce has equally accelerated has led to brands’ increased interest in exploring this metaverse. Now we are seeing gaming platforms serving as marketplaces, successfully driving transactions across numerous sectors, from automotive, art and fashion to media and entertainment.

So if the next big marketing trend is viewing the world through VR glasses and leveraging immersive technologies just how trackable are the results? Could it be that we need to re-write the measurement playbook?

The opportunities to entertain and monetise are still largely the same in the metaverse, performance marketers can apply the same logic and metrics, from brand uplift to frequency and depth of interaction. There are still plenty of traditional trackable metrics, especially whilst the metaverse centres around gamification, which is where it currently focuses.

It was not that long ago Amazon didn’t maximise on social media to map out a customer’s journey, now Amazon calculates attribution from social media and the same will no doubt occur with the metaverse once it starts gaining traction.

There are, however, new benchmarks that need to be taken into account such as immersive dwell time - the amount of time a consumer spends in a given digital experience.

Certainly we will need to adapt our approach to ensure we are maximising on all additional opportunities. In the meantime Facebook has announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the EU alone to build its version of the metaverse things are already ramping up and Amazon has started embedding elements of the metaverse that can be accessed using their Shopping App.

The metaverse is still a new environment and as such we will need to re-frame the way we measure performance.Whilst we are indeed creating a digital world that mirrors our real world, we will be going beyond our physical limitations and this will drive new performance metrics we have not even thought of yet - this will require adapting what we know to a whole new level.

Article originally published in Performance Marketing World, October 2021

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