Though the metaverse isn’t yet truly here, it is coming, and big business as well as audiences around the world are preparing for it. According to McKinsey & Company, more than $120 billion in investment flowed into the metaverse in 2022 alone. 25% of senior executives expect more than 15% of corporate revenue to be made in the metaverse in the next five years.
It’s a given that where big business goes, advertising goes too- or even scouts ahead. In the coming years, advertising, and consequently AdTech, will be called to drastically adapt to the new parameters and requirements of promoting brands and content in the metaverse. Challenges and opportunities are already arising, and the future is exciting for how design, management of data, and the general consumption of advertisements will change.
Here are some of the most important demands that will redefine advertising and the AdTech that comes with it:
Big companies are already investing heavily in creating their metaverses. However, in this phrase lies the challenge and the risk: if these companies don’t find a way to smoothly integrate in a cohesive, wholistic experience where all users have equal access to a unified, single metaverse, they will end up competing for those exact users. And if that happens, not only will the experience be fragmented and unsatisfactory for the users of the metaverse, but it will also undermine the companies themselves and the way advertising is done. A way to maintain a harmonious, open connection across the various spaces that inadvertently will be created in the metaverse- especially for advertising and payment terms- is vital.
Already on the regular internet, users find disruption in their digital experience deeply aversive. The best advertising campaigns are those that provide entertainment and meaningful content alongside the brand message and calls to action.
The need for a seamless, immersive experience in advertising is even more prominent in the metaverse. Advertising will be completely redefined as many of the well-trodden approaches to promotions cannot transfer well in a 3D environment like what the metaverse requires. Ads will need to complement user experience, establish meaningful interactions with the users, and offer significant support, content, or gaming experience to be effective.
Everything, from customization of users’ avatars to digital assets from specific IPs and brands being sold can be used for cross-promotion collaboration and for pushing more than one advertising message at a time. The metaverse redefines not only the technical aspect of creating ads but also the format, method, and deliverables (from avatar skins to NFTs) available for campaigns as well as revenue.
Data Use and Regulation
Already data privacy and the continuous restriction of access to user data is an issue in the regular internet. In the metaverse, it’s going to be even more of a prominent challenge. Data collection for advertising purposes will need to be transparent and open. With the gigantic bulk of Big Data that the metaverse is going to provide, how this data collection is managed and regulated will pose significant issues and challenges for advertisers and brands alike.
Already, companies dedicated to the fortification of user privacy, especially for children, are working to make 3D environments safer through gaming platforms. Their know-how will be invaluable for advertisers to implement in ethically collecting data without infringement of sensitive data or privacy of the average user.
What exists in terms of AdTech for the regular internet is likely to carry on to the metaverse as well. However, the new realities of the 3D environment of the metaverse and the different approaches to advertising that the metaverse requires will also bring forth entirely new AdTech to support it. The metaverse is naturally experiential, and therefore some of the new AdTech that will emerge will cater to exactly that: expect tools for the creation of virtual experiences and virtual ad formats, for example.
Instead of pop-ads and virtual billboards, it’s a lot more likely that ads in the metaverse will be actual virtual spaces. Within those spaces the users will be able to interact with the ad, be entertained, or be informed or otherwise be able to consume unique content.
The AdTech required to support such advertisements will extend to the assorted data collection and measurement of these experiences.
The metaverse is the next revolution in technology and advertising methods alike. Everything will revolve around the user and their experience. Metrics and designs will be catering to that seamless, undisrupted immersion that is already a requirement for audiences around the world. Ad campaigns will contribute to this user experience, entertainment, and even education while inroads in AdTech will support these setups while ethically and transparently collecting the necessary data to keep improving. New, exciting times are ahead, disruptive, and transformative for everyone involved.