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The Metaverse for B2B finance marketers

The metaverse for B2B finance marketers

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7 months ago

7 months ago

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While still an emerging technology, the metaverse is where the money is. In fact, some estimates say that by 2030 it could be generating value of $5 trillion. A trend we’ve had our eye on, we look at what the metaverse is, where it’s headed and whether there’s real value for B2B finance brands.

Step into the metaverse

While it might sound intimidating, the definition of metaverse is pretty simple. Basically, it’s a generic term to describe an online 3D space where every user has their own unique avatar. If you’ve seen or read Ready Player One, it’s a little bit like that: an entire world set in an online location (just without the wild dystopian vibes).

What are some examples of the metaverse?

The biggest name in the metaverse is Meta (formerly Facebook). They’ve pumped serious money into their Horizon Worlds project, which has more than 300,000 users exploring a virtual world through VR headsets. Here, you can interact with others from all over the globe, check out brand activations and host events.

Another project, which is more about blending existing ways of working with the metaverse, is Mesh for Microsoft Teams. In this tool (where VR goggles are optional), users from all over can join together and collaborate. Whether it’s having a meeting, working together on shared documents, or exploring the virtual world, Mesh is a versatile tool that can add a new level to your Microsoft Teams experience.

Interestingly, some of the other companies putting money into metaverses are a bit more unexpected. These include Epic (who make the incredibly popular Fortnite video game) as well as Roblox Corporation, developers of the Roblox phenomenon – an online world where users can create, program and play games online. Although these might seem like typical videogames to the uninitiated, they’re actually incredibly rich online metaverses featuring concerts, one-time events, celebrity appearances, and virtual currency that users can spend in-game.

Such things might not be where your brand would usually advertise, but they’re a clue into where we might be headed in the future – a truly interconnected world.

How B2B brands can benefit from the metaverse

Whether it’s a custom space or media-grabbing activation, there are plenty of opportunities for B2C companies to make their mark on the metaverse – which is why brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Adidas, and fast-food chain Wendy’s have all gotten involved.

“It has always been those businesses that have been early adopters and pioneers who have often benefitted the most and become leaders in new products and services that customers have migrated to,” says The Dubs social media director, Andrew Frith.

“Financial companies need to be present and active in new media if they hope to keep engaged with younger generations who will mature and become their next main customer persona.”

In the financial sector, businesses have also gone about setting up in the metaverse. Pakistan’s Allied Bank opened a virtual branch where users can conduct transactions, meet with staff and learn more about services, while HSBC bought up land in The Sandbox metaverse so they can engage with a younger audience. Also of note: JP Morgan Chase entered the Decentraland metaverse with a locale where visitors can learn about how the bank is getting involved in blockchain and other emergent technologies.

While these are exciting developments in the B2C space, opportunities also await for B2B companies. Why not try one of the following:

Level up your marketing materials: Studies have shown that people remember information better when it’s presented in a virtual environment – and that’s precisely what you get when you have a presence in the metaverse. Forget overwhelming clients with an avalanche of old-fashioned documents or static infographics. Instead, use the interactivity and tactile nature of the metaverse to your benefit. Once you’re hooked in, you can present your marketing materials like a physical book, play brand videos in a virtual movie theatre, or create a bespoke explorable space that shows off what makes your brand memorable.

“ The trick is finding a way to interact with the metaverse that feels authentic to your brand and gets you value for money.”

Take client calls into the 21st century: The metaverse is a great way for B2B businesses to keep in touch with clients from Alaska to Zimbabwe. It’s easier than an email and more personal than an everyday video call. Just throw on some VR goggles and suddenly you’re sharing virtual space with clients and communicating like you’re side by side. Once you’re in, sales pitches become more streamlined, collaboration is stronger, presentations take on a new level and you can hold meetings that blur the line between virtual reality and reality.

Elevate your event: For an example of a virtual event done well, take a look at iHeart Media’s virtual Billie Eilish concert, where the company invited hundreds of advertisers and branding head honchos to attend a concert and catch up in a custom 3D space. Instead of a generic avatar, the guests were represented by a live webcam feed of themselves, so they could recognise other concertgoers and chat between songs.

Now, your company might not have the budget to have Ms. Eilish perform, but imagine what your next event or expo could look like if you decided to get away from the traditional physical space and blaze new trails in the metaverse.

So, is switching to meta for the better?

There’s no doubt that metaverses are still in their infancy, but it does seem like they’re going to – in some capacity – be the future of the internet.

The trick is finding a way to interact with them that feels authentic to your brand and gets you value for money. For a B2B finance brand, the real opportunities come in how you communicate with clients, host industry events, and display your marketing materials in a way that stands out from the competition.

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