There’s been so much discussion about the metaverse recently, as companies try to understand what it means for their engagements with customers and employees, and how their brand can be extended into it. Because the metaverse is a complex technological concept, the first step in understanding the potential impact is to define it. Is the metaverse a virtual place or network of places online created and run by tech companies? Is it the technology-mediated experiences we already have day to day combining physical and digital journeys, like location-based offers that appear on our phones and interactive displays in museums and stores?
Both views are correct. The metaverse is the next (not final) iteration of the internet where human interactions will be a combination of virtual, real-time, three-dimensional, and physical experiences. Our ways of working, creating, buying and consuming are already radically changing. The impact of the change will be deeper than the impact of the smartphone.
We are still at the beginning stages when it comes to real ROI for businesses, but now is the time to experiment and invest and innovate in metaverse-based use cases.
The key for organizations is to focus on the business outcome and goal for creating metaverse experiences, regardless of whether they happen online or in a hybrid digital-physical space. For example, while there’s been a strong business and media focus on the marketing- and revenue-generating potential of the metaverse, there’s also a growing recognition of the variety of potential metaverse use cases. In addition to entertainment, for example, organizations may use the metaverse to optimize business operations and enrich employee collaboration and training experiences.