With ‘metaverse’ dividing B2B marketers like marmite (a reference for our UK readers) at the moment, we thought we would share some of the functional benefits that it offers going beyond the novelty of a new shiny platform.
First of all, it is again good to get aligned, the reason that most B2B marketers are looking into or are currently using the metaverse is simply to drive engagement with their key accounts.
Buyers’ attention is at an all-time premium and the biggest challenge is standing out. 84% of buyers want a better buying experience with the majority believing that the buying experience is just as important as the product itself.
The way our role model, Dave Gerhardt, Founder of Exit Five, believes B2B marketers should overcome this is through, creativity. “Creativity is the most important skill for B2B marketers today” and there is no reason why B2B marketing can’t be fun and interesting just like B2C marketing.
The metaverse is a new channel of communication that gives B2B marketers more creative options than they’ve ever had before. B2B marketers can break up the monotonous marketing and sales playbook and get accounts excited to engage with them.
Here are our top three functional benefits the metaverse provides B2B marketers with over other digital channels.
Increased brand awareness
The business world has become obsessed with efficiency and in a lot of ways that has been brilliant for the global economy as a whole but we too often forget the context. This is best explained in one of my favourite TedTalks of all time, Rory Sutherland: Perspective is everything.
“Instead of investing in a new Eurostar route, £6bn spent to reduce the time from Paris to London by 40mins. For 0.01% you could have had fast wifi on the trains which wouldn’t reduce the duration but would have improved passenger enjoyment and usefulness of the journey more. For 10% of the budget, they may have been able to hire the world's top supermodels to walk up and down the train, handing out free champagne in their underwear, they would have £5bn in change, and the passengers would have asked to have the trains slowed down”
A marketer's job is to educate buyers and drive demand for the story. Approaching marketing with a transactional focus undermines their brand story and might just be the quickest way to ineffective marketing. Think about your favourite book, podcast, film, or TV series where you were reluctant to stop reading, listening or watching. The factor that keeps you grappled is the story.
Based on B2B buying behaviours, the metaverse is the most immersive, interactive, and compelling way to tell your brand story, keep your accounts and prospects gripped, and paint a picture of what their life could look like before and after they implement your solution.
There is a lack of asymmetry between how creative work gets signed off to how rational numerical work gets signed off. The CEO wants to see attribution which is far easier to determine with paid ads (economics), but what separates the B and C marketers from the A marketers is they understand the importance of leveraging stories to make their brand memorable in the buyer's mind.
The Sweet Spot Credit OgilvyOne
Collect more qualitative and quantitative feedback
There are some fantastic tools out there now which provide you with graphs, metrics and insights into how your stakeholders are receiving you, and the Mixed Reality Rooms metaverse is no different. In fact, you could argue that the level of insight actually goes deeper with visibility into each experience down to the individual user level.
With the metaverse you are able to track where people spent most of their time, what did they watch and for how long, what did they score on the immersive quiz you set out for them, what they downloaded, along with analytics on how they reacted to your presentation. Ultimately allowing you to determine where they are in the buying cycle by how educated and engaged they are, moreover, how and when to follow up with them post-event.
Quantitative data is great and provides a strong foundation in lead scoring but where the metaverse really differentiates itself from other channels is its ability to capture qualitative data. Qualitative data is what is going to give you as a marketer potentially the most insight into why people are engaging with your solutions, what their biggest challenges are in their current role, and how they are thinking about approaching the problem.
Now until recently, companies were traditionally using sales qualification calls or long lead generation forms to collect this information but the best marketers have begun to use chatbots which are more frictionless and cater to what Drift calls conversational marketing.
An additional way that marketers can obtain this information is by building the questions into a gamified experience where the prospects don’t just get the answers they were looking for but are also rewarded for doing so. The informality of a gamified experience may also lead your accounts to be more honest and transparent with their answers.
Overall, both forms of feedback provide a new way to collect insights and valuable knowledge to help you build out your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Book more one-to-one meetings
Perhaps the biggest functional benefit of the metaverse is the introduction of spatial audio. Spatial audio allows for everyone to be in the same environment and space but to spread out and have multiple conversations going at the same time, all isolated from each other. You only hear the people standing close to you, at the same table, or in a different section of the room just like you would in the real world. Once you are finished with the conversation, again just like in the real world, you can wander off and join another.
The fluidity in the conversation has made it easier for sales teams to divide and conquer large accounts and maximize the time spent with each individual person when in comparison to traditional video conferencing solutions, where one person speaks and the others sit patiently waiting for their turn to talk or worse, switch off altogether.
In addition to this, marketers are now able to entice their accounts to engage with them by offering a gamified experience rather than a Zoom or Teams call. It’s the little unique quirks like this that make all the difference when trying to differentiate from the competition who have the same feature set, level of service, and approach that help you to win those big deals.
Our clients statistically are now booking in up to 6x as many one-to-one meetings using the Mixed Reality metaverse over what they were traditionally doing over Zoom.
So as a B2B marketer, should I be getting involved in the metaverse now?
The concept and adoption of the metaverse as a whole is accelerating on a similar trajectory as the internet did in the early 2000s just before the dot com crash. With that in mind and applying some common sense, it’s easy to believe that perhaps 8/10 of these newly built metaverse platforms looking to take over the world and be everything to everyone will crash and go to zero.
With that in mind, however, we have clearly established that there are functional benefits of leveraging personalized 3D immersive spaces over traditional forms of digital communication, benefits that will only grow in sophistication over time, and therefore we believe over the next few years it will become a core pillar of every B2B marketers toolkit.
Instead of asking “is the metaverse the future?” a better question to be asking is “what do we know will be a certainty in ten years time?”. Along with taxes and energy companies raising their prices, you will also have B2B marketers leveraging their existing customer success stories to build pipelines. Social proof is and always will be one of the best ways to build trust with stakeholders. Another certainty that has been around since humans began to inhabit the earth is our unwavering ability to enjoy stories and games. From the very first game of chess to the acceleration of esports (digital gaming), this only continues to grow. The B2B brands that can work social gamification into their marketing will build the strongest communities and in turn win.
Finally, for those marketers out there who have been in the game for 20 years+. Before the world caught up, do you remember when:
Emails had 95% open rates?
Organic reach would spread across your entire network on social channels?
You could buy generic keywords like ‘phones’, ‘books’, and ‘wine’ on google for 50cents a click?
When people were excited by the concept of a video call?
Well, this is where the marketing within the metaverse is at right now. It pays to be first and the courageous early adopters are the ones who are rewarded for it. Our clients are achieving over 20x ROI in some instances with the pipeline and revenue being generated.
Nevertheless, with any new marketing strategy or innovative technology, there are always questions. Why not speak to the team here who can run you through how to Engage with more prospects, ensure accounts renews, discover new opportunities and accelerate deal flow.
About Mixed Reality Rooms
Mixed Reality Rooms brings B2B companies closer to their target accounts, customers, and partners with stand-out marketing metaverse experiences. Reach out today if you'd like to talk to one of our team about the benefits of leveraging Mixed Reality in your customer, partner and product marketing.