Updated: May 4
With the metaverse being a hot topic for many B2B marketers at the moment we wanted to share some of our key learnings and observations from the hundreds of B2B experiences that have been delivered through Mixed Reality Rooms.
We’ll discuss why an increasing number of B2B marketers are flocking to the metaverse, the applications that are driving top-line results, what the most successful experiences have in common, equally what to avoid, and finally how to get started with your first steps.
To begin with, it’s good to establish what’s driven so many B2B marketing teams to the metaverse? Well the simple answer is, engagement.
Buyers’ attention is at an all-time premium. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many B2B companies to change the way they approach and interact with their target accounts, customers, and partners and this had led to almost all of them fighting for attention using the same tools. They are numb to traditional channels of communication making it increasingly more difficult to stand out.
This is contextualised nicely by marketing leader Dave Gerhardt who said:
"Everyone in B2B is:
Posting on LinkedIn
Focusing on SEO
and that’s why CREATIVITY is the most important skill for marketers today."
With the metaverse, it enables a whole new wave of creativity to the point where no two experiences ever have to be the same again. You can apply hyper-personalisation to every touchpoint with minimal effort and create stand-out experiences at scale, all the while minimising your risk. You no longer need to dedicate hours to come up with a witty caption to get people to click on your ad or send out thousands of emails hoping that someone will respond, find a way to make a webinar sound more exciting, or go all out and organise an in-person event (although they certainly have their place). This can now all be done in 5 minutes.
In addition to this, we also had one company report that they book in 6x as many one-to-one meetings post-experience in comparison to running similar meetings over other video-conferencing solutions. This is because 3D environments naturally allow and encourage the audience to disperse and explore, making way for proximity audio to come into play, allowing sales teams for the first time, to seamlessly divide and conquer larger groups of people online.
Now with the pandemic restrictions being lifted and with the world beginning to reopen, companies may think that they can go back to operating how they were pre-pandemic, which although is somewhat true, B2B marketers should to understand is that buyers attitudes towards how they make decisions have evolved. 8/10 B2B buyers say that they are now comfortable and prefer to buy solutions online due to the convenience, meaning your pre-pandemic B2B marketing and sales strategy may be less effective.
Diving deeper, what B2B buyers now want is frictionless (ungated) content, knowledge at their fingertips, and to be connected with their peers. How do you deliver that? The same way as everybody else? On your website, in decks, webinars, zoom calls? Well, the metaverse is one way to stand out and differentiate yourself from the competition. It delivers the three needs of B2B buyers above but in a way that makes it enjoyable, lighthearted, fun, and memorable.
Below are some of the ways in which B2B marketing teams are leveraging the metaverse:
Product marketing in the metaverse
Particularly when the pandemic started we had a wave of companies who sell consumer goods (B2B2C) come to us to see if they could bring their products to life in 3D. The common request was that they wanted an ‘online showroom’ that supported interchangeable products, presentation areas that could be supported in multiple languages, and analytics that tracked the audience’s reactions to certain products.
Whether it was a range review with existing wholesalers or pitching to new channel partners the metaverse made it possible to present 3D product models alongside corresponding media and slide decks to groups of 5-25 people. It also helped facilitate one-to-one introductions who would have not otherwise had the possibility to meet had it been over a Teams or a Zoom call.
In terms of results, it really depends on how many products you are looking to showcase and how you set up your pitch but you can find a few examples below:
The European branch of a global company with revenues of $180m achieved these results:
307 prospects engaged in 30 days.
36.4hrs video consumed (in addition to presentations being delivered)
764 attendee downloads and interactions (product info, decks, videos watched).
The UK branches of a global enterprise with revenues of $2.5bn achieved these results:
549 attendees across 12 partners
167 hours of face-to-face contact time
120 product videos watched (in addition to presentations being delivered)
If you’re curious about how you can bring your products to life in the metaverse reach out to one of the team.
Customer marketing in the metaverse
Customer marketing is arguably the most powerful application of the metaverse for B2B marketers and has yielded some incredible results. So how are companies doing this?
The process is as follows:
Identify existing customer - this is typically your contact at an account that you believe you can expand your business with and/or their contract is up for renewal in the next 3 months.
Approach them - “You’ve achieved so much with [insert your product] within your role/department... why not let your whole organization know about it?”
Delivery - “Take your colleagues into an immersive environment to share your successes and provide them with a soft introduction to [insert your product] or approach to work.”
Outcomes - Generate [insert your product] interest in other departments of your business, build a case pipeline & grow your team to cater for this demand.
Once you have a date locked in and the estimated number of attendees you can liaise with the sales team to determine how many reps you would like at the event to support.
If you are looking to learn more about why this is so effective you can find out more information here on how to land, renew and expand accounts.
By converting your flat case study decks into 3D experiences you can generate some great results as seen in the first 6 months with the company below:
The EMEA Marketing department of a global company with revenues of $800m+
$3,000,000+ in attributed pipeline and revenue.
How are you leveraging the great work you are doing with your existing customers?
Partner marketing in the metaverse
Whether you’re looking to drive growth with a single partner or want to encourage customer overlap by bringing together a group of partners, the metaverse provides you with the flexibility to accommodate multiple partners at once, where you can co-brand accordingly.
Similarly to customer marketing, companies are also getting inundated with requests to partner up and what's on offer? the same marketing stack and channels as everyone else is offering: webinars, backlinks, joint-content etc. The metaverse is a unique channel of communication that allows you to position yourself as innovative, and run co-branded experiences with partners in a way that gets them excited.
The marketing team of a global data intelligence provider with annual revenues of $126m brought together 8 of their most valuable partners for one event and achieved:
1,259 unique visits in 48 hours
360 leads captured for partners
28% attendee conversion rate
What successful events have in common:
The optimal number of attendees for customer workshops is 6-25 people
For product launches, showcases, and range reviews limit the number of exhibits to 5 per room with the main product positioned in the centre of the environment. We found that statistically when attendees are allowed to roam free they gravitate to the center of a room 4x as much as visiting the side exhibits.
Host companies don’t force attendees to consume content. That’s not to say they don’t have a visible agenda and make announcements for when certain presentations are starting but generally, by letting attendees roam free, account managers and sales reps have more natural and informal one-to-one conversations around the room.
Keep individual presentations less than 10 minutes in length
Do simple well. You can achieve a lot just by hosting an event in a new environment or swapping out the content on the walls, plinths, and presentation areas.
Designate a host who can lead the session and provide guidance and structure accordingly.
What to look out for:
It is very easy to get carried away and in turn, overcomplicate it. You don’t need to send out VR headsets or Augmented reality packages to guests homes to guarantee a standout experience. It’s 2022 and people are still talking when they’re on mute, by giving them software and hardware you’re doubling your exposure to unnecessary potential issues.
No more hour-long presentations, otherwise by all means do it on Teams or Zoom. Your audience will appreciate the autonomy they have over their own experience.
Not pre-testing that the technology is accessible by the target account beforehand.
Not providing clear instructions to guests prior to the event on how to access the platform, how to self-troubleshoot if things are not going as expected, and a direct contact they can reach out to should they not be able to resolve their issues on their own.
Final thoughts ~ apply common sense.
We’re not saying you need to have every interaction with a prospect, customer, or partner in the metaverse. If there is a $10m on the line and you have the opportunity to go meet them in person, do it. If it’s the routine daily catch up with an existing client, by all means, do it over Teams or Zoom, if it’s not broke why change it? You should use Mixed Reality when you want to make an impression and get the excitement going.
Are you a B2B marketer looking to take your first steps into the metaverse?
If so you can either book a time to speak to the team directly here or if you would like to experience the platform for yourself you can get access by requesting 'get access' on the Mixed Reality Rooms website.
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.