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Digital Marketing Trends 2022 (Part 3 – Metaverse)

This outtake focused on digital marketing trends 2022 is taken from an hour of discussion recorded exclusively with Mike Berry, marketing consultant, MSc in Digital Marketing trainer and published author and MMC’s own Rene Power.

In this third part, 14 minutes long, Mike and Rene talk all about the rise of the Metaverse, Facebook’s move towards to it and the pros and cons for businesses seeking to ride the train.

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Origins of the Metaverse

Mike Berry:

Let’s talk about the M word, shall we? (Meta)

Opinions vary. It’s very early. I have to confess that in the 20th century, I did read this book at the time it came out, shows how old I am, or gives you some idea. I thought it was great. It was actually, as it turns out, prescient.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson was a, whatever you call it, science fiction, science fantasy, but very much looking ahead to something after the internet.

At that time, the internet itself was only just being invented. They were already looking to this thing, which literally Neal Stephenson did call the Metaverse.

To my knowledge, that was the first mention of it.

Rene Power:


Second Life to Third Life?

Mike Berry:

Also in the 20th century, I worked in something called Second Life, which is something to admit, isn’t it? Wasn’t actually in Second Life. Although obviously, had to go on the platform “into the space”, to explain it and to discuss it.

We were a consultancy that helped companies get into Second Life. I will happily admit that that one didn’t work very well, because it was just too early. Bleeding edge and leading edge. I think it was the former. It wasn’t quite good enough. The technology wasn’t quite good enough.

In a different field at that time, there was a company called BOO, and the fantastic book about the experience of BOO, which was a early version of ASOS, I would say.

It was a clothes retailer. It was at the height of the first dotcom boom. It was crazy times. I wasn’t involved in it and I’m not blaming anyone, but money was thrown at ventures, which were never going to work.

Rightly or wrongly, people were just drunk. They were crazy. Business models seemed to go out the window. Okay, it’s the internet, everything’s free. Let’s just get into it now.

Investors did a lot of rash things. Second Life was a bit like that. Second Life was a scramble. It had pains that I remember to point out, that we’re not a game. This is a place, it’s a space.

I’m ready to concede that it was 20 years too early, maybe, or 15, and that now maybe, the technology has advanced to a level that we can actually have a good experience in a place that feels real, but which is effectively virtual reality. I think that’s what Facebook is planning for. It doesn’t have to happen this year or even next.

You could call it Third Life. Maybe I should copyright that, or at least write a blog. Are we ready for Third Life?

The Metaverse is not clearly defined. What Neal Stephenson visualised way back could be how it turns out. Facebook have their own ideas about it, and Facebook have said, we are now called Meta, and we are going to be ready for the Metaverse, as it is created.

It extends computing ability way beyond what’s available today.

“It’s a persistent immersive environment with decentralised collaborative interoperable digital content. It’s the next evolutionary stage of the internet.”

This is according to Gartner, but everyone admits, most people admit that it’s going to be a while.

While the benefits and opportunities are not immediately viable, there are potential use cases, and Metaverse experience will not replace current digital interactions, but they may displace some of them. This is again, according to Gartner’s insights.

We were talking earlier, weren’t we, Rene, about the Metaverse and the fact that some companies are already dipping their toe in this growing field.

Rene Power:

Yeah. I came across something on LinkedIn, again, at the time of recording this.

Real brands like Gymshark are working in the Metaverse

If you look up Gymshark, which is one of the sports retail brands, real success story, the last few years, young entrepreneur tha