Prepare for the Age of the Metaverse Economy
THE UPCOMING age of the metaverse will have a dramatic influence on both business models and experience design, leading to a more decentralized, intelligent, and immersive web. Proponents and designers of these future digital experiences envision a shift in the power dynamic among the buy-side, sell-side, and multisided marketplaces. Metaverse economies, by design, will favor users’ privacy and anonymity even as the transparency of sellers increases, a scenario brought about by security improvements in how ecosystem participants share data. Although many consumer use cases exist—from gaming to entertainment to sports betting—Constellation Research has homed in on enterprise use cases and brand enablement in experiences and engagement. Since the fall of 2021, Constellation has worked with more than 100 clients to curate 22 customer experience and commerce use cases:
- Advertising and search.Identify new events for sponsorship. Provide B2B partner marketing opportunities to new communities. Monetize search results. Charge for product placement.
- Marketing.Design new consumer experiences. Improve campaign automation for metaverse scenarios. Launch products and create exclusive VIP experiences.
- Sales.Conduct immersive 3-D demos. Improve collaborative team selling. Conduct internal sales training.
- Commerce.Create digital worlds and digital malls. Design interactive and immersive showrooms. Staff with bots and global representatives. Provide peer-to-peer selling opportunities.
- Customer service and support.Deliver 24/7 real-time support with digital twins. Monitor existing capabilities from a customer’s digital twin. Connect customers with other customers for peer-based support. Collect real-time feedback.
- Live events.Blend in-person events with physical events. Host customer advisory boards. Support user groups and fan communities.
SEVEN STEPS FOR GETTING STARTED
When designing a metaverse-specific engagement strategy, don’t treat it as a siloed development or confuse it with a separate department. Think of it as part of an integrated business strategy leveraging a new set of experiences and capabilities. Apply these steps to begin your metaverse economy journey:
Consider overall brand strategy in context with the metaverse economy. Entry into the metaverse should take a purpose-driven and brand-led approach. Find key partnerships and alliances to lead a smooth transition.
Choose an enterprise use case. Begin with an end in mind. Prioritize which set of use cases to pilot. Understand the stakeholder expectations and apply a design-thinking mind-set.
Determine the desired business outcomes. Choose business metrics such as minimized risk exposure, faster response times, lower cost of delivery, improved revenue per interaction, new business models, and greater brand value.
Design and build reusable digital assets. From avatars to set design to digital worlds, develop digital assets for use across multiple platforms. As with website design, commerce, and digital marketing, the designing, building, management, and operation of digital assets in the metaverse will require a concerted strategy that optimizes development dollars via reuse.
Identify an experience strategy and engagement modality. Simply taking an existing immersive experience strategy and applying it to the metaverse is like taking a 2-D picture and hoping it will look good in a 3-D format. Interactions in the metaverse create new modalities for engagement. Use this opportunity to renew and revise existing approaches for this new medium.
Apply analytics, automation, and AI for scale. In a digital environment, every choice by a stakeholder is an A/B test. In fact, this is an A-to-X test with infinite attributes. Capture as much data and context as possible. Automate the capture of data and as many processes as possible. Feed this information into machine learning and artificial intelligence models.
Use insights to power a data-driven digital network. DDDNs give enterprises an unfair advantage by creating a multisided platform that brings data to decisions. As these platforms interact, customers, suppliers, partners, and employees interact with objects such as invoices, orders, ads, and service requests. The context of their interactions (e.g., time, location, weather) provide dynamic feedback loops and signal intelligence to the overall ecosystem. Use the data to mitigate credit risk, reduce liability, improve operations, identify new offerings, maximize monetization, create new opportunities, and elevate brand value.
R “Ray” Wang is the author of the new book Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Surviving and Thriving in a World of Digital Giants (HarperCollins Leadership) and founder of Constellation Research.
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