How Do B2C Marketers Plan to Use the Metaverse?

November 7, 2022

Almost 1 in 3 B2C marketers in the US who are professionally aware of the metaverse say that they are using the metaverse as part of their current marketing program, and an additional 55% have plans to, according to a survey [download page] from Sitecore.

These figures are broadly similar to a recent survey of B2B marketers, in which about one-fifth said they are already using the metaverse for their brand experiences, and a further 57% plan to do so in the next year or two. Another recent piece of research found that one-quarter of marketers are already deploying technology to support advertising within the metaverse and an additional 62% are either piloting or exploring technology to support such an effort.

Not surprisingly, the B2C marketers surveyed in this report will be targeting their metaverse strategies primarily at youth: 91% of the Sitecore survey respondents said they will target Millennials (ages 27-43), while 55% will target Gen Z (ages 12-26). This makes sense, given that consumer interest in the metaverse is led by youth.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of US B2C marketers have thought about the types of metaverse experiences they might create for their buyers. The experience they’re most likely to create for buyers is one that allows them to easily talk to brand representatives and ask for advice, as cited by 61% of respondents. Close behind, about 6 in 10 (59%) are likely to create a community experience where buyers can talk/engage with other customers who are familiar with their brand/product.

With a majority of marketers thinking about using the metaverse for testing products, most are likely to create experiences that allow buyers to test their products. In fact, 83% believe that if consumers could test or experience their product/service in the metaverse they would be more likely to purchase it.

Meanwhile, the features that respondents most commonly plan to build into their metaverse experiences center on personalization and interactivity, while engagement tactics will focus on creating community settings, inclusive, and gamified experiences.

What Will the Future Bring?

Despite apparent apathy on the part of consumers towards the metaverse, marketers are quite confident that people will adopt it wholeheartedly. In fact, roughly three-quarters agreed to some extent that within 5 years they believe consumers will spend the majority of their online time in the metaverse. Likewise, 3 in 4 agreed that consumers will spend more time in the metaverse than on social media. About 8 in 10 believe that there will be widespread adoption of metaverse technologies for consumers and brands in the next 5 years.

To meet that forecast demand, 8 in 10 agree that marketing managers/directors will create a new role within marketing teams that is responsible for metaverse marketing/advertising, and two-thirds believe that most brands will advertise in the metaverse.

Other Survey Highlights:

  • Presented with a list of challenges, marketers were most likely to say they believe metaverse experiences can help them address brand awareness/visibility (68%) challenges and customer engagement/loyalty (59%) challenges.
  • 7 in 10 would consider using influencers when operating in the metaverse.
  • 8 in 10 are very (37%) or somewhat (44%) concerned about keeping consumer data secure when doing business in the metaverse.
  • More than 6 in 10 are concerned about the volume of content need and how they’ll scale content.
  • Marketers believe consumers will have the most interest in engaging with the Gaming industry in the metaverse, followed by the Retail and Sports/Fitness/Wellness industries.
  • So far, only a minority (47%) have seen or experienced compelling metaverse use cases that they think would help drive ROI for their business.
  • Marketers envision investing more over the next 5 years than they will next year. Recent estimates find most believing they will increase their metaverse spending next year.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 310 US brand marketers for consumer brands who are they are professionally aware of the metaverse. Some 72% work at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues.

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