The metaverse is the future of business

By: Nicolene Maree, Senior Copywriter at Flume

Technology is constantly evolving and the way we do business has to adapt to keep up. The metaverse has been around since the 1990s but it has only re-entered the lexicon after Facebook changed its name to Meta. Just like social media became an important instrument in marketing, the metaverse will play a key role in your marketing strategies and adopting these new platforms will help your business remain relevant. The metaverse is changing how we conduct business and is making it easier for us to connect with our colleagues, partners, and clients.

But what exactly is the metaverse and how can you incorporate it into your business?

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a new iteration of the internet that we know. It’s a concept of a persistent, online 3D universe which is a combination of multiple different virtual spaces. This means that interaction on the internet will no longer be one dimensional as you will be able to enter virtual spaces to work, meet, game, and socialise in 3D. The concept of the metaverse was introduced in the science-fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash and is a combination of multiple platforms, similar to the internet, containing different sites that can be accessed through a single browser. It is achieved through the implementation of Web3 technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). 

A clear example of the metaverse can be found in gaming where a virtual world is created with virtual meeting places and currencies. It creates the opportunity for new job roles as was found when social media became popular. The metaverse can already be experienced through small-scale intelligent physical spaces such as smart factories, intelligent cruise ships, and automated ports. The current trajectory of the metaverse shows that there will be growth in smart neighbourhoods, cities, and countries where digital twins mirror physical reality. This will play into large corporations where they will have massive internal metaverses where employees can work and interact from anywhere in the world.

How to prepare your business for the metaverse

It may seem like the only way that your business could participate in the metaverse is through fun virtual meetings, but as the technology advances, your business will need to gear itself towards meeting customers and clients in the metaverse. There are plenty of challenges, of course, but the idea for companies to move into the metaverse isn’t very far-fetched. Recent research shows that more people want companies to adopt the metaverse in the workplace with the view that it will increase workplace flexibility. The metaverse has already been employed for more hybrid and remote approaches to working as it provides a more immersive experience for remote and office-based workers.

To take advantage of the metaverse opportunity you will need to be able to think ahead, have patience, and an appetite for risk. Here are four things that you need to do to get ready for the metaverse for return on investment:

  1. Define your metaverse strategy

It won’t be an overnight change when we adopt the metaverse into our business models, which is why it is necessary to have a long-term vision of what the metaverse inclusion in your business will look like. You’ll need a practical plan to invest in the necessary technologies, skills, and use cases.

2. Build a metaverse foundation

Technology is a medium and you need to define how you will employ it in your organisation. This means that based on your strategy you will need to build a team that will handle the integration to plan for future innovations.

3. Address metaverse risks

It might be difficult to assess the risk of a new technology, but it is important to establish trust for your business when employing metaverse technology. You may need to bring in new processes to meet evolving compliance challenges, complex tax requirements, and risks associated with blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.

4. Drive metaverse outcomes

Don’t just embrace metaverse technology because it’s the next best thing, make sure that it is aligned to your business outcomes and stay true to your brand. Adoption of metaverse technology should benefit you and your customers and like any other marketing tool, it is important to analyse data and adjust your approach accordingly.

How to include the metaverse in your marketing strategy

Apart from the many benefits that the metaverse has for internal business functions, it will also be an important tool in marketing. You need to ensure that your business has a clear goal and strategic approach when using metaverse technology in your marketing. The best way for you to do this is to partner with a marketing solutions company that understands the metaverse and how it can be used to market your business and its products. Together you can build a solid plan to ensure that investment in the metaverse will have clear returns. It is important to keep in mind that the metaverse is a step into the future and that is where your customers will be, that is why you need to be there with the right solutions when they need them.