The 7 Point Plan for Marketing in the Metaverse: Point 5 - Keep the Seats Warm
Here’s the firth element of our 7 Point Plan for Marketing in the Metaverse - Keep the Seats Warm. Before we explain this part of our strategic framework in greater detail, here’s a recap on the first four points..
1. Have a Plan. Don't dive into the Metaverse without proper planning. It's 'just' another marketing channel so treat it accordingly.
2. Design in an Output, not an Input. Just because you can build a skyscraper doesn't mean you should. Design and build should be an element of an overall strategy, not the driving focal point.
3. Integrate. Don't think you have to reinvent the wheel with Metaverse marketing. An excellent approach is to augment and integrate real-world marketing initiatives into the Metaverse.
4. Giving is Better than Receiving. Don't create asynchronous virtual experiences in the Metaverse and always think about how you can improve and enrich the user experience.
Establishing a presence within the Metaverse requires an understanding of its unique dynamics and a departure from conventional digital marketing approaches. Treating virtual world engagement as synonymous with website activities or considering the mere existence of a virtual venue as sufficient for a successful Metaverse campaign is a grave misstep that companies must avoid at all costs.
Virtual worlds transcend the boundaries of traditional digital spaces. They're vibrant environments, crafted to facilitate engagement and interaction through avatars and actions. These virtual venues in some cases will emulate real-world settings or events and consequently, they necessitate a distinct treatment that recognises their immersive nature and their purpose as conduits for genuine interaction.
A prevalent issue that has come to the forefront is the perception of emptiness within marketing venues in the Metaverse during certain periods, especially when the company's personnel fail to occupy and manage them adequately, or, the agency that created the space failed to plan according for venue and/or concierge management. This prominence of company coverage arises from the fact that visitors can readily observe the presence or absence of other individuals in the same virtual space.
As marketing departments strategise their entry into the Metaverse, it becomes crucial to devise effective approaches for providing visitors with company representatives who can readily assist and engage with users in these venues. Trust us, there is nothing worse than a visitor showing up at a company branded venue inside a virtual world and seeing that it's empty.
It is important to note that this does not imply a constant 24/7 presence at the virtual venue. However, during pivotal moments such as product launches and other significant events, it is essential to have knowledgeable individuals who can authoritatively represent the company's interests and the overall objectives of the Metaverse activities.
This is an approach we deployed for the McDonald's Feel-Good Marketing Awards. We identified and recommended the need for Concierge coverage during three important phases of the overall campaign timetable and planned well in advance of the event phasing to ensure we had trained staff on-hand to effectively on-board, assist and guide the visitors to the awards show. We identified a clear set of customer management objectives.
Assist new users for their first visit to the McDonald's venue to ensure they understood how to create and drive their avatars in-world
Be on-hand for returning visitors when they came back to the venue to watch showcases of the award nominees
Pro-actively manage the main event to ensure everyone took their seats on-time and enjoyed the awards show
Embracing this approach yielded numerous benefits. Primarily, the presence of Concierge support avatars wearing McDonald's branded clothing sent a resounding message to visitors of the show that McDonald's was genuinely committed to the event, its activities, and the Metaverse community. Additionally, no-one was left standing outside the venue during the event itself, negating the down-side of actually missing the awards.
And now, with the advent of intelligent NPCs powered by AI chat, there's a new and novel alternative to having 'real' people representing your company. Autonomous agents can effectively provide out of hours support for users wanting further information or simply a guide around your venue.
In conclusion, establishing a strong foothold in the Metaverse demands a distinctive marketing approach that recognises the immersive nature of virtual worlds.
By appreciating the living, breathing environments they embody, companies can position themselves as committed stakeholders within the Metaverse community.
Bolstered by the presence of knowledgeable personnel (or AI agents), businesses can engage in real-time market research and forge meaningful connections with potential customers, influencers, and other significant individuals.