Remember the old parable of an elephant and the blind men? In the parable each of the blind men concluded what an elephant looked like based on their limited experience. The immerging world of the metaverse and Web3 are similar to this.
Metaverse and Web3 are now set to dilute this space and gradually eliminate the gaps by enabling seamless movement of people and products across both the digital and physical worlds; for instance, a virtual ecosystem allowing users to have a nearly-real experience through a virtual avatar that helps you shop for clothes without trying them on, and much more. This evolution is set to bring forth creative technologies and solutions that will redefine how we interact, engage and live in the virtual world, as well as cement the existing gaps between the physical and digital realms.
So, how does a typical customer experience journey look nowadays? A typical customer journey starts with Google, which takes them to a brand’s website where they can explore their portfolio, then to YouTube to see what others are saying about the brand, then to Instagram to look for discount coupons, and finally to an online marketplace or a physical store to make the purchase.
Let’s Metaverse it now! Consider how a 3D-hologram enabled virtual product trials on your website; how, instead of a monetary discount, buyers were rewarded with NFT-linked loyalty points or rewards; and how, when they walked into the store (either in the offline world or in the metaverse), their products were already ready for delivery.
So, as marketers, how does the advent of Metaverse and Web3 influence our customers’ experience and what could we do to forge our relations with them? Let’s take a look:
Imagine how perplexed our customers might become if even the marketing fraternity is uncertain. Handholding our customers through this evolution will be critical not only for acquiring new customers, but also for increasing the stickiness of the relationships.
Like traditional ecosystems, metaverse and Web3-based ecosystems require a seamless and cohesive experience journey that ideally evolves over time. Although the Metaverse is still in its early stages, we must never approach it with a fragmented view of customer experience or with predetermined exit dates. A temporary game or a limited-time special offer may increase engagement, but it is unlikely to result in long-term commitment or advocacy.
Before diving in, companies must establish the “why” of their presence on the metaverse and blockchain, as the possibilities are endless. Ironically, when social media initially entered the sphere of marketing, the majority of brands made their presence known not because they knew what purpose it would serve, but due to peer pressure. To make the most of what Metaverse may offer, it is essential for firms to comprehend the marketing and business strategy voids it would fill.
Physical or virtual, Metaverse or not, there is never room for inconsistency in a brand’s identity, positioning and promise. With Metaverse and Web3 opening up a whole new dimension of expression and experience, it becomes critical for brands to take the right calls so that across each touchpoint through a customer’s journey, the user enjoys a consistent, delightful experience.
Co-creating products with customers has always ensured accountability and buy-in; Metaverse and Web3 now make it easier to get a collective perspective on product ideas without investing heavily in resources for pilot versions.
In essence, all brands must evolve. Not only in terms of products, but also in terms of memorable experiences and tangible advocacy campaigns. Web3, Metaverse, and other similarly powerful avenues may be in their infancy today, but they will evolve, mature, and provide limitless opportunities to form meaningful partnerships with stakeholders in the future.