A market according to most analysts that will reach $800 billion in two years, with incredible growth potential: Fortune and Deloitte talk about $13 trillion by 2030, when they will have 5 billion users according to Citi (currently estimated at 350 million., +900% last year, with an average age of 27, divided by 43 platforms). It is the Metaverse, the system of technologies that enables virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences that allow a kind of extension of the physical world into virtual and semi-virtual universes, with their own operating and communication logics.
But it’s not just a game: In these worlds, which have catapulted to the center of attention of consumers, brands, managers and investors, real business can be done. And in fact, there are already several important brands that have decided to land in the Metaverse and build an attractive presence there for consumers, who, thanks to increasingly sophisticated technologies, are experiencing experiences on the edge of reality by trying and buying products through their avatars.
To offer this opportunity to all interested companies, allowing them to evaluate the possibilities offered by virtual reality, the Metaverse Marketing Lab was born, at the initiative of the School of Management of the Polytechnic of Milan, in collaboration with UPA and UNA (Associations representing Advertisers and Advertising Agencies), which intend Making known the state of the art but also to track the evolution of a market that is as dynamic as it is flexible, disseminates good practices and analyzes consumer behavior in relation to the immersive, the virtual and the augmented.
The goal – comments Lucio Lamberti, Full Professor of Omnichannel Marketing Management and Scientific Head of the Metaverse Marketing Lab, presented today at Polytechnic – is to understand whether and how this ‘Metaverse poisoning’ represents a trend or a wave. For this reason, in addition to examining initiatives Branding at a national level and comparing it to global experiences The lab will focus on user perspective, analyzing their behavior and objectively measuring their emotional engagement We firmly believe in the alliance between universities and supply chain associations as a tool for sharing and comparison: We are on the cusp of a further shift in the paradigms of the relationship between brands and consumers, and the more The faster and deeper the metaverse’s ability to evoke strong emotions, comparable to those in real life, a phenomenon that is already occurring, according to data from the PhEEL laboratory at the Polytechnic University.”
And to prove it, this morning a demo created in collaboration with Il Salotto di Milano and SimCoVR technology allowed the attendees, invited to don a virtual reality helmet, to live a very realistic experience on the deck of a cruise ship at sea, reproduced in the highest image quality: some of the products are arranged branded in the room and it was possible to interact, as well as with other demo participants, with a virtual model, changing her clothes and accessories and thus reproducing the experience gained. In fact, the so-called Web 3.0 offers many new possibilities: from “simple” product placement in virtual environments to direct management of spaces by brand, from proposing immersive experiences to purchasing in augmented reality, up to the total display revolution (dynamic digital art, furniture And digital decorations, virtual tourism…).
“The analysis of the research conducted to date and the main marketing cases on Metaverse at the national and international levels – explains Manuela Pali, Director of the Metaverse Marketing Lab – confirms how dynamic the debate around the topic is. Regarding cases, in sectors ranging from fashion to furniture, and from commodities There is a predominance of exploratory initiatives, currently associated with individual campaigns, but with a recent growth in structural investments to ensure a brand ‘home’ on the Metaverse. Then there is a more unified reality of the Metaverse’s virtual products and services, such as avatar accessories. Experiments shed with users highlighting the role of curiosity and the so-called “wow effect” of these experiences.The challenge is twofold: on the one hand, maintaining a high level of engagement by encapsulating and engaging initiatives; on the other hand, integrating the presence on the Metaverse into omnichannel strategies, so that it becomes A true marketing and sales channel, which innovates the shopping experience.”
So if the complexity of the Metaverse (platforms, viewers, NFTs, contents…) makes it difficult to unambiguously estimate its market – $28 billion a year for technologies alone and $10 billion for venture capital investments, not counting Microsoft and Meta which ‘ They ‘bet’ on it $80 billion in the last 12 months alone and are doing massive operations – however, the potential of such a viral phenomenon, capable of reaching a very large audience, seemed immediately apparent to those involved in consumer communication and marketing starting with Target The most elusive, which is GenZ. It is not surprising that McKinsey assumes that global virtual advertising sales will be $ 150-200 billion by 2030, and purchases of goods and services for avatars already reach, according to JPMorgan, $ 54 billion. And what about Italy? 3 out of 4 Italians say they do not know exactly what the Metaverse is, but 84% know the opportunities that virtual reality generates and almost half believe that it will become part of our daily lives.
“The” new “always has the advantage of being interested, and today we are in the case of the Metaverse, so interesting in its premises and in its promises that we cannot fail to engage with it – confirms Raffaele Pastore, Managing Director of UPA, the reference association of advertising investors -. We thought that the best way To do this is to have the most realistic and market-oriented monitoring and study points, companies, communication agencies, polytechnic to collaborate, which has set up a laboratory specifically aimed at understanding what “works” and how, and what does not. The new that does not work ends up being forgotten, But the new one that opens the horizons of diversification and growth must be pursued with due stubbornness.
“For the world of communication, the Metaverse marks the beginning of a new era and a real cultural revolution and we are pleased to collaborate with SOM to create new pathways that bring young people closer to this world of endless opportunities – adds Massimiliano Gusmeo, Training Delegate for the UNA Digital Innovation HUB -. We professionals in this sector will have to We embrace this historic change and be ready to support brands in implementing increasingly consistent and effective projects, because in the near future we will see professions born around new paradigms and languages that need a prepared and competent training sector.
“I am very proud to have signed this partnership with Politecnico di Milano – concludes Massimo Colautti, CEO of Il Salotto di Milano -, one of the most prestigious and recognized universities not only in Italy, but internationally. The theme has been developed and used by some of my companies for some time Already in 2018, we proposed some Metaverse experiments internationally, when this term to describe them did not yet exist. Therefore, we enthusiastically accepted the proposal of the Polytechnic to make all our experience and technological know-how available for the joint implementation of such an innovative project, at a crucial moment for this new sector. I am sure of We, with the Polytechnic, will contribute to modifying many aspects of our lives and business in various product sectors, and expanding the interaction between the company and the market using this revolutionary experimental environment called the Metaverse.