“The metaverse today is like the internet in the late 90s. It’s a new medium, and we’re just learning how to use it,” adds Jared Spataro, vice president of modern work at Microsoft.
There are limitations to the platforms and hardware such as virtual reality headsets that are used to access the metaverse.
Kelly Brough, head of retail at Accenture ANZ, says the metaverse is a useful tool for brand extension, similar to social media, e-commerce and stores or venues.
“When I talk to my clients right now, it’s mostly about what are the experiences that make sense to do, to start understanding that?”
But companies should expect the metaverse to grow rapidly, given the massive amount of money pouring into startups in the industry. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Sony have also made significant investments in the region.
“What this represents are new ways to shop, new ways to engage and, I think, new ways to build communities,” Willersdorf says.
It’s not just consumer-facing industries that need to get on board.
Since last June, more than 2,000 Accenture employees in Australia and New Zealand have been introduced to their colleagues in the corporate metaverse.
All new employees spend a quarter of their orientation training in the Metaverse. They create an avatar and access One Accenture Park, a shared virtual world where they can interact with colleagues and complete training modules.
Last year, Microsoft released a version of its Teams collaboration platform, known as Mesh, that creates a metaverse-like experience where workers can meet and collaborate through avatars.
Willersdorf says some companies are wondering if they might need to create a metaverse manager role, given that expanding into the virtual world will require coordination across technology, marketing, sales, payments, branding and legal. companies.
“The coordination, even to do experiments, is enormous. Also, you usually work with lots of other companies and vendors, and you contract with big platforms and maybe small developers who are going to do the design.
In the shorter term, consumer-facing industries likely have the greatest opportunities. Fashion-forward beauty and fashion retailers can imagine themselves selling products to workers who will create wardrobes for their avatars when they attend virtual meetings.
Jon Holloway, executive director of strategy at marketing and innovation agency R/GA, said every pitch that has come through the agency’s doors since September has included a reference to the Metaverse.
“What we’re seeing are people coming up to us and saying ‘and don’t forget the metaverse.’ That was what social media was like 10 years ago,” says Holloway.
The agency, which works with clients Nike, Samsung and Mecca to design and develop new products and experiences, has formed a new division – led by the bureau’s crypto experts – to help companies take their first steps into the metaverse.