Marketing in the Metaverse

When internet and computing technologies first emerged, all interactions were mainly text-based (usernames, messages, email addresses, etc.). Then they became more media-based (livestreams, photos, videos, etc.). The next elevation of user experience and the user interface is 3D. Typically, a 3D version of the Internet and computing is known as the metaverse.

Why should businesses evolve their marketing strategy for a new B2A (business-to-avatar) world?

Avatars exist because customers like having a digital representation of themselves. As a result, they are drawn to customizable content. Therefore, brands have a fantastic opportunity to help customers personalize their avatars through branded content. This type of customizable content has been utilized by brands successfully for several years. Nike and Louis Vuitton are excellent examples of how customers are drawn to personalized products, and this model’s growth is continuing to elevate into the digital age through avatars. 

Furthermore, marketers must try to live where the potential audience is spending more time, and when it comes to generation-Z, that includes gaming and virtual worlds. Therefore, for brands and marketers, hyper-realistic avatars are everything. The future avatars will enable businesses to empower customers to make better purchasing decisions by being able to review their avatars trying on products. This transition will essentially be a ‘try before you buy’ business model – ultimately adopting a less ‘forced sales’ approach.

How should brands prepare to market in the metaverse?

To stay ahead of the competition, it’s crucial to know what your potential audience is doing in the metaverse. This means studying the type of experiences other businesses are offering and how they’re interacting with customers. Would something similar work for you?

There are several ways for brands to utilize the metaverse to interact with customers. A few of the easiest ways to start getting involved includes:

  • Building virtual offices for employees
  • Sponsoring events within the metaverse like music festivals or gaming tournaments 
  • Creating virtual stores for shopping experiences
  • Creating NFTs that represent the brand

Additionally, with the metaverse being the latest evolution in marketing, brands should take an experimental, test and learn approach. Be flexible, nimble, and willing to fail to gain the data you need to succeed.

Top advertising opportunities for brands using metaverse

One excellent place to look is the video gaming industry, where marketers are already exploring different social aspects of virtual realities to enhance brand engagement and build fresh avenues of data collection. Obviously, not all video games fall into the metaverse category; however, some of the most prominent ones showcase core metaverse attributes like multi-player modes, personalized avatars, and the ability to interact with fellow gamers in real-time.

Besides that, opening virtual hubs is becoming a huge business in certain metaverse realms. For instance, platforms like Somnium Space, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, and Decentraland are all virtual worlds, offering users opportunities to rent or buy digital real estate with cryptocurrency. As a result, companies, celebrities, art galleries, media agencies, and numerous others are rushing to snap up parcels of land, and some of the numbers involved are mind-boggling.  Opportunities can also include creating a storefront for your brand, display, sponsorship, and lead generation.

What these pricey endeavors represent is a strong commitment to an enduring virtual presence. It is evidence that some businesses don’t see the metaverse as some passing craze but as something that’s here to stay and worth investing in. Consequently, while it’s early on, consider ways your brand can become a leader in this new metaverse world.


Rolanda Gregory ©2022
All Rights Reserved.

Cookies, Privacy & User Data

Businesses understand the value of the data they collect about customers. Firms can predict sales trends, send out targeted advertising, and improve their products through this data. However, for consumers, data collection is a privacy invasion and a practice that can be abused easily, leading to the suspicion of many businesses. Furthermore, for data collection, web developers now use cookies to offer convenient website visits, but it’s a vulnerability to your privacy.

What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that are sent to your devices to monitor and remember specific information about you, such as your login information, details about your shopping cart, etc.

Why do companies use cookies?
Cookies let a business owner recognize users and recall their individual preferences, such as politics versus sports news. They’re also used to customize advertising to personalize user sessions. Moreover, e-commerce businesses use cookies to track items customers previously viewed to suggest other relevant goods.

How the EU has set the stage with its groundbreaking GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements
GDPR regulates the way businesses manage and process personal data. After 25 May 2018, GDPR constituted the greatest change to the EU’s data protection rules in over two decades. The GDPR rules apply to the companies if they use personal data and are based in the EU. Personal data includes name, numbers, health records, location, banking, income information, cultural preferences, etc. GDPR allows firms to use personal data under certain conditions and forces them to implement additional security measures like strong encryption.

What upcoming changes we can expect in the US
The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) passed on 1 January 2020, and industry experts considered it a landmark piece of user privacy rights legislation, as it needed specific businesses to disclose all personal data they have about a user whenever that user requests. Now, California, Colorado, and Virginia are only the tip of the iceberg. Given that multiple states have some kind of consumer privacy legislation at some stage of proposal or consideration, enterprises can expect several other states to enact new privacy legislation. This will, however, become a nightmare for marketers if we have to deal with a patchwork of laws from state to state; what, in essence, will be needed is a national consumer privacy act to make it easier for marketers to operate.

Marketers should focus on cookieless targeting
As more tech companies start to eliminate 3rd party cookie tracking, advertisers must be prepared to rely more on cookieless tactics to segment and target potential audiences to provide them a personalized experience and leverage data for informed future decision-making.

Is it possible to do cookieless targeting?
The online advertising landscape has been focusing its attention mainly on cookie-based targeting. However, advances in AI and machine learning have opened up numerous opportunities for intelligent targeting, which doesn’t require user-profiling and is privacy-friendly. One way to do this is contextual targeting, which provides marketers the opportunity to view and react in real-time to insights acquired from live content consumption. This dynamic data will help target and scale campaigns just as efficiently as a cookie-based targeting method.

What are Consumer Responsibilities?
Cybercrime is a huge business; therefore, as a consumer, it’s essential to learn about the data organizations collect about you and how they use the data to earn revenue (in many cases, they sell and share your data with 3rd party companies which you may be unaware of the relationship and scope of the data-sharing agreements).

Moreover, to limit tracking – clear your cookies regularly, minimize the use of browser extensions and ad-ons, turn off cross-site tracking in your browser, and use privacy-oriented browsers and search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Brave. And when you navigate to a site and see this type of message, don’t be afraid to click ‘Manage Cookies / Do Not Sell My Personal Information to gain slight control of the amount of data being tracked about your browsing habits.

This website uses cookies

Key Takeaways
• Consumers are wising up to the dangers of data misuse – companies can lose their audience if they fail to protect user data.
• Specific data privacy regulations differ from state to state; however, core principles include transparency, accountability, and confidentiality.
• Consumers are not off the hook and are indeed accountable for their data protection.


Rolanda Gregory ©2022
All Rights Reserved.

Not In My House

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With the Internet of Things quickly taking over, the concerns of privacy advocates are stronger and more relevant than ever.  Many tech companies and startups are developing new products that skirt the gray line between convenience and privacy violations.  With the government slow to catch up on these matters it’ll be left to consumers to dictate how much listening, watching and out-and-out spying they want in their lives – especially at home.  If you haven’t stumbled upon Presence Detection technology, read more here on soon to be innovations.

Yahoo! Account Breach!


It’s just been announced that Yahoo! experienced a data breach that caused more than 1 billion accounts to be compromised.  Hopefully everyone knows not to store or transmit sensitive information on ‘public’ email systems, meaning email providers that give you a ‘free’ account as they’re often the target of hackers.  Also your emails are searched for marketing and sales opportunities.  In any regards, if you have a Yahoo! account, keep a lookout for suspicious activity – and consider moving on to a different platform.

Acquiring a New Testing Platform

Website Optimization

If your Marketing department is not taking advantage of using an optimization testing platform to conduct A/B and multivariate tests, or if you’re using a proprietary system, here are a few reasons to consider utilizing one of the many platforms now available to marketers.

2 Main Reasons for Implementing an Optimization Testing Platform:

  1. Allows you to easily run marketing A/B and multivariate tests so you can optimize your website content thereby increasing conversion rates and engagement at a faster pace.
  2. We’ve all experienced prioritization issues when it comes to competing for technical resources, now there’s a work-around.  If your test is restricted to front-end/graphical user interface changes (such as testing call-to-actions, page layouts, text or imagery), there’s no need to involve IT and wait for development resources until you have a sure winner.

Important Features to Consider:

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface that includes in-page and in-line editing via a WYSIWYG editor.
  • A side-by-side view of what the changes are in a test (current vs proposed view of the page or elements) will become important as you start using the testing platform.  Believe it or not, some major platforms do not have this capability making it cumbersome to understand and see the changes without going through unnecessary steps.
  • Ability to stop a test upon reaching a customizable threshold.  While most platforms will automatically stop a test after a certain date has been realized, not all platforms will allow you to customize a threshold.  For instance, once a test hits 1MM page views, or exceeds a 5% CTR.
  • While permissions should be a standard include, a customizable workflow is a must-have option.  This will allow your organization to route new test changes to different departments and team members (such as to Copy, Graphic Design, and Compliance) as necessary for edits, review and approvals before new tests are published.

When conducting an RFP for a new optimization testing platform, be sure to keep the above points in mind.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Marketing Technology Landscape 2016

Marketing_Technology_Landscape_2016

Chiefmartec.com has updated their annual Marketing Technology Landscape.  The new design makes it easier to find companies.  It’s broken down into the categories of Advertising & Promotion, Content & Experience, Social & Relationships, Commerce & Sales, Data, and Management.  If you plan to implement a new marketing platform, be sure to review the updated landscape for potential vendors to include in your RFP process.

January 1, 1970

iPhone

If you have pranksters for friends, please do not allow them to trick you into manually changing the date on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to 1-1-1970.  For some odd reason, there’s a bug within Apple’s framework that will prevent 64-bit iOS devices from booting up.  This means your device will basically become a paperweight.  Yeah, and trying to restore it from iTunes doesn’t solve the problem either.

Apple is investigating the issue, but in the meanwhile – refrain from setting your iPhone 5s, iPad, or iPod touch to 1-1-1970.  That is unless you’re under federal investigation and think this is easier than fighting to turn over your encryption key.

Learn more about this issue here.

Role of the Business Card in the Digital Age

image

I’ve often wondered about the seldom used box of business cards that sit in one of my desk drawers, as well as the stack that occupies a small place atop my desk.  While they contain useful information, they’re often left behind.

I’ve forgotten to carry them when attending important vendor meetings, or when interviewing a potential new hire.  I realize at those moments that I’ve just made a business faux pas. Although one that’s glanced over by almost everyone as I’m also seldom alone in forgetting to carry them.

Once upon a time, business cards were critical in making first impressions, establishing methods of communication, and demonstrating that you are a professional.

Today, they have been somewhat displaced by smartphones that allow us to enter our contact information directly, and sites such as LinkedIn.

In today’s world, I do believe that business cards can continue to be an effective marketing tool for entrepreneurs and executives as it’s a piece of yourself and your brand that can be left behind as a reminder.  This is amplified when time is of the essence, phone batteries are low, or you want to be sure your email address doesn’t get misspelled.

For me, this serves as a reminder to keep them at the ready.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Invest/Maintain/Kill

Yahoo!

Invest/Maintain/Kill:  These are words to live by for any organization.

Today, we’re starting to learn about the impact of Yahoo’s Invest/Maintain/Kill List.  While it may initially sound threatening, cold or insensitive, it is a strategy that all organizations should utilize.  And use often.

As an organization, it’s important to constantly evaluate, measure and plan for the future as it relates to your core competencies, technological advantages, people, strategic partnerships, and any other competitive advantages.  Having a strong indication of which of these items should be further invested into, maintained as the status quo, or subtly decommissioned or killed is key.  It helps to keep your organization nimble and focused on its most critical objectives and goals, while keeping aboard the talent and people who will best contribute to reaching those objectives.

I applaud Yahoo! for taking these necessary and crucial steps.

Learn more about the changes at Yahoo! on re/code.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Twitter Departures

Twitter

Major changes in leadership at Twitter indicates that the company has major challenges with its business model.  Trying to stay relevant to its target demographic and competitive with other Social Media platforms is a huge undertaking. Let’s just hope for Twitter’s sake that its users don’t depart as quickly as its top brass.

Read more at re/code.

 

No More IE

MS Edge

It feels like only yesterday that we were hard-coding web dev fixes for older Internet Explorer browsers.  You know for the users that simply wouldn’t upgrade from IE 7, 8 or 9.  For some Marketers it was just a tad bit too much traffic to shut off altogether so we continued to Band-Aid fixes.  Well at least now we finally have support from Microsoft.  As of today, Microsoft will only support IE 10 and Edge for its consumer-base.  It’s about time.

Hmm, I wonder if Edge will topple Chrome from the throne.

Learn more about the transition at Microsoft


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.