How to Create a Sustainable, Effective Metaverse Strategy in 4 Steps

The metaverse and related technologies like cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Web3 have generated a lot of hype. Business executives are attempting to make sense of everything, wondering what kind of strategy they need and how risk and trust alter in a virtual environment.

Many customers are still confused by the metaverse, but there are some hints that businesses may have an opportunity. In fact, according to 66% of executives polled recently for PwC’s first US Metaverse Survey, their organisations are actively pursuing the metaverse strategy. Recent developments in the economy, governance, user experience, and other areas of the metaverse may need reevaluating how your business develops and nurtures trust.

What exactly is the metaverse?

The concept of the metaverse has been developing for some time, so it’s not quite new. We see it as the culmination of several emerging trends and technologies, including virtual reality (VR), adoption of digital assets, and digital identity.

You could, for instance, don a VR headset and visit a factory on the other side of the globe using the metaverse. Without getting up from your desk, you could look at and interact with its equipment, shake hands with the regional manager, and look over its processes.

How relevant is it to my business?

When creating your metaverse plan, it’s crucial to keep your desired result in mind. Decide whether your goal is to build for brand recognition and use it initially only as a marketing and advertising channel, build to engage your target audience in novel and relevant ways, create new offerings to generate revenue by selling digital or physical products and services, or use it to improve processes and as a workforce transformation tool that uses immersive environments for onboarding, training, and collaboration.

What risks does it bring?

Three hazards came out in PwC’s poll of more than 5,000 US consumers and 1,000 US business leaders: cybersecurity, privacy, and costs/restraints of technology. Cybersecurity, privacy, regulatory compliance, brand reputation, and anti-fraud operations face additional issues as a result of the metaverse and its built-in building blocks, which need to be handled. For instance, businesses must take security into account at the services level to ensure that security is maintained regardless of where your digital asset is used. The necessity to create a reliable metaverse is highlighted by the high long-term expectations and concerns.

Modern technology may be useful. Blockchain and artificial intelligence, for instance, have the potential to automate the verification of assets, contracts, transactions, and identities in specific circumstances, fostering trust in continuing metaverse activity. The code of smart contracts as well as the underlying hardware and software infrastructure should be audited by independent teams, both internal and external.

Four steps that can help your business today

Concentrate on implementing metaverse components into your company now to gain benefits right away while preparing yourself to take use of the metaverse’s full potential in the future. Here are four methods for getting going.

1. Build metaverse foundations: Set people and tech priorities.

In addition to their expenditures in metaverse-related technologies, businesses are giving metaverse recruiting, consumer research, and skill development equal or even greater priority. Tech is largely an enabler, therefore that is a sensible decision. To extract the most value, the proper personnel, procedures, and abilities are required.

Many metaverse-related technologies are seeing an increase in consumer adoption. In the past two years, 13% of people have purchased a VR headset, but it’s not the only way to access the metaverse. On a mobile device, apps can potentially provide metaverse experiences. The potential for the metaverse to grow and scale quickly is indicated by the rapid advancement of VR, Web3, blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and other technologies that enhance metaverse activities. As a result, your employees and processes must be prepared.

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Get your due while looking to the future. Make sure you’re developing capabilities you can use in a fully immersive metaverse that’s expected to cross a variety of interoperable platforms as you concentrate on the aspects of the metaverse that can offer immediate benefits, such as brand building, e-commerce, data gathering, or improving the working environment.

Invest in multipurpose technology.

Some specialised technologies are necessary for the metaverse, but not all of them are, and many of them have applications outside of the metaverse. Cryptocurrencies, for instance, are utilised outside of the metaverse, and certain transactions within the metaverse just call for a credit card. Metaverse technologies can be flexible and provide both short- and long-term benefits with the correct organisational strategy.

Design unique, expandable metaverse experiences.

If you use the metaverse as an additional dimension of your corporate and brand expression and a chance to rethink ways of working, you can experiment and learn more about what stakeholders want. Consider it the most effective approach to engage customers, boost your brand, and improve the experience of your employees by utilising a brand-new, immersive digital environment. To strengthen your brand voice and retain distinctiveness, make sure there is a foundational level of consistency across all of your platforms and online personas.

2. Drive metaverse outcomes: Meet business needs and consumer desires.

The majority of consumers already indicate interest in the possibilities for experiences and services the metaverse offers. Many people are also eager to search the metaverse for new brands and actual goods to buy or sell. However, the majority of companies do not yet have plans to offer what customers are most interested in, such as the thrill of virtual travel or the ease of speaking with doctors, customer service representatives, and well-known brands in the metaverse. It makes sense that corporate executives tend to concentrate more on internal operations like onboarding, training, and collaboration. But taking unnecessary risks can also be dangerous. It could be time to start providing your customers with what they want with some customer-facing proofs of concept if they are enthusiastic about the metaverse.

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Stay on brand

Building on your current brand presence is frequently the best place to begin when joining the metaverse. You might want to add personalised metaverse storefronts, token-gated communities, and immersive experiences that include education and discovery of your goods, services, or brands to current marketing and loyalty programmes, for instance.

Use metaverse data responsibly and with consideration for privacy.

Data troves are produced by decentralisation, 3D experiences, and new technologies. As long as you handle customer privacy, security, and control concerns, the correct metaverse data strategy can help you identify and predict client desires and their preferred channels.

Be smart about pricing

Whether it comes from virtual goods and services, experiences, or platforms where customers may purchase physical goods and services, new metaverse-specific pricing schemes can help generate income. Create a profit with your pricing while enticing clients to test out your virtual products.

3. Address metaverse risks: Build and spread trust.

Most consumers believe that the metaverse is mostly for younger people and are concerned about its social repercussions (such as online discrimination, bigotry, and sexual predators). However, about half of respondents also believe it is exciting and will hasten the utilisation of digital assets. Only one-third of respondents are sceptical that a true metaverse will be realised, and only two-fifths label it a fad. This cautiously upbeat vision may be influenced by the internet, which developed swiftly but frequently at a price. For the metaverse, it makes sense that businesses that achieve long-term success will do two things right: use the metaverse and its component technologies to develop goods, services, and experiences that genuinely transform the relationship between a brand and its customers, and take proactive steps to foster trust.

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Embed trust from the start.

Design your approach to metaverse data, transactions, experiences, and more with trust built in rather than building an application first, then identifying and mitigating risks. To do this, address data security and privacy risks directly. In addition to reducing risks up front, this should help create long-term cost reductions.

Categorize risks

The majority of businesses face many new metaverse risks, but you should develop your own risk taxonomy. Focus on five critical areas when evaluating your metaverse risk-mitigation requirements: user identity and authentication, security and data privacy, commercialization, user experience, community rules and monitoring, governance, controls, and reporting.

Give key players a seat at the table

Tax, security, privacy, risk, and compliance experts should be involved with metaverse projects from the beginning, just like with any digital transformation. Since it may not be evident how current and proposed rules fit into the multi-component metaverse, their early participation is essential. For instance, digital assets, which are widespread on metaverse platforms, also include innovative characterization, indirect tax, transfer pricing, and reporting considerations that your tax experts should address early to reduce risks and possibly uncover new value.

4. Define your metaverse strategy: Get ready for a new digital world

Business executives are leaning into the metaverse. More than half of respondents predict that it will either change businesses or be the next iteration of the internet. As we see it, this revolution will more closely resemble an evolution, occurring over a period of time with various components maturing at different rates. Strategies should therefore include both a long-term vision, including plans for the Web3, and a realistic plan for investing in technologies, talents, and use cases that can immediately provide certain commercial goals. You can learn how to best anticipate your clients’ needs for when a fully immersive metaverse is developed as you get expertise with these building components.

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Be relevant 

Though it is advisable to begin by extending current activities into the metaverse, long-term success is more likely to result from providing novel goods and experiences that can only be found in the metaverse and that genuinely alter how people live their lives.

Act usefully

Think about creating goods and services with long-lasting value that people, communities, or businesses can rely on time and time again for information, services, entertainment, and convenience.

Be deliberate

If you can include a business mission that mirrors their beliefs into your metaverse offers, customers are likely to trust you more. By turning actual activities into virtual ones, the metaverse may, for instance, help you cut down on your carbon impact or display and verify ESG data.

Taking your vision from plan to reality

Think large and put yourself in a position to take advantage of the metaverse’s full potential as your business develops the building blocks that can produce benefits now.

Before disruption spreads and the genuine value emerges, there may be numerous cycles of speculative hype similar to how the internet came to be. It will be crucial to avoid capital misallocation due to excitement.

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