Should small businesses be thinking about marketing in the metaverse?


Although there are caveats, my take is that small business owners shouldn’t be allocating marketing budget specifically for the “metaverse”, “web3” or even “NFTs” just yet.

Here’s why:

Most people are have not even heard of the metaverse!

Even though Facebook/Meta tried to make a big deal of it, most people don’t know of the metaverse nor are they interested in exploring it. And don’t expect them to get “web3” or “NFTs” either.

Actually, what is the metaverse?

The metaverse was first coined in the science fiction novel, Snow Crash. It’s basically a connected network of 3D worlds. That said, there’s no telling how the “real” experience of a metaverse would eventually turn out.

Currently, the relatively small community that understands metaverse currently, are mostly the folks who are into cryptocurrencies, gaming or even venture capitalists. 

Hence, before jumping onto the bandwagon, or buying into marketing agencies that are pushing their latest NFT marketing packages to you, ask yourself 2 questions:

Do your ideal customers know (or care about) the metaverse?

Most people might have heard of the metaverse, but most would not understand it yet, nor do they care. 

Yes, the bigger brands are experimenting different experiences to reach a wider audience via the metaverse. However, currently when people think about the metaverse, they still mostly think about Second Life, Ready Player one or games like Roblox and Fortnite which many of those aged above 25 view as a “kids” games.

As small businesses, we do not have the budget to experiment like the big brands do. 

Instead of splashing your marketing budget into the metaverse, it may make more sense to explore new social media platforms with large existing user base.

Will your clients be comfortable transacting in a new way?

Your answer to this would depend on your industry and business model. 

A tech company serving web developers or programmers might be able to quickly guide their savvy clients and onboard them into the “metaverse”.

A games company might give its gamers the option to explore play-to-earn or NFTs (although most gamers don’t seem to like this monetisation model yet). A media company might be able to sell its audiences the idea of a token. 

But what about your business?

For example, my mobile coffee business Alliance Coffee, may be able to tap into existing NFT communities to sell our coffees globally. But we’ll not be able to sell digital coffees or NFTs to clients who just want a good ol’ coffee cart serving actual coffees that they can drink. 

You’ll need to ask yourself if exploring or marketing in the metaverse makes sense for your current business model. It boils down to knowing your customers and finding out if you can enhance their experience through the “metaverse”.

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