Our digital lifestyle is increasingly overtaking our physical existence. We train with virtual coaches while riding our Peloton, attend concerts via Fortnite and make automated digital payments when buying our groceries. This hybridisation is taking place in virtually every area of our lives and will evolve ever faster. By 2030 at the latest, we will be spending more time online than offline.
For brands, this means that their future communication strategy must also be hybrid. Because what happens in the virtual world has ramifications in real life. In order to inspire customers, brands must offer a consistent, stand-out experience at every point of the data-driven customer experience journey – both online and offline.
Our current era of Web 2.0 already represents an enormous challenge for many companies, with some of them struggling to manage the many existing touchpoints. We are now moving towards Web 3.0 – the next generation of the Internet. In the same way that the internet of today is not simply a place but a huge accumulation of websites, apps, services and publications, Web 3.0 (also known as ‘the Metaverse’) describes a collection of technologies, business models and interactions that are very different to what we are currently familiar with. Instead of observing everything ‘externally’ via a screen, we are moving towards a world where we occupy a virtual space, constantly surrounded by computers that are seamlessly integrated with the real world.
We are therefore talking about a new era that will inevitably bring about a complete transformation in user behaviour. The Metaverse can serve as a great opportunity for companies – but only if they radically focus on their consumers and prepare for this new era.
1. Know your audience
The key to success is continuous target-group analysis. How do customers think and act in the virtual world, and which new target groups can be reached?
2. Keep an eye on the competitors
What insights can be gained which could boost your own brand?
3. Engage with new technologies
A thorough understanding of NFTs, crypto, blockchain and AR/VR is essential in order to be a relevant player in the Metaverse.
4. Analyse use cases
This new world allows brands to try out new things and also achieve long-term goals faster.
5. Pay close attention to the customer journey
Which elements of the journey are suitable for new touchpoints or new experiences?
6. Connect with existing communities and influencers
They know what might work, and what won’t.
7. Integrate with existing platforms
This allows brands to engage with users without disrupting their experience or irritating them.
8. Replicate what works in the real world
Brands can adapt existing activities and bring them to the virtual world. This results in a consistent brand experience.
One thing is imperative for a brand to stay relevant with its own communication strategy: constant innovation and experimentation. Not just on an occasional, ad-hoc basis, but continuously as an integral part of the overall set-up. This takes courage. And a little pioneering spirit!
Author: Christian Waitzinger, Chief Experience Officer at Plan.Net Group