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Marketing and the Metaverse Roundtable

Watch these marketing leaders discuss the growing popularity of the metaverse in the B2B industry.

Marketers are slowly coming to terms with the metaverse and are beginning to consider incorporating this into their long-term strategies. On the other hand, some aren’t convinced that this is the “next big thing”. The panelists of this roundtable argue that immersive digital experiences in the metaverse deliver risks as well as opportunities.

With media trainer Lea Sellers moderating, the speakers of this marketing roundtable debate include: 

The metaverse strategy 

Lea Sellers kicked off the debate by asking the panelists: “The metaverse is a fundamental shift in how we use the internet. Is it being actively discussed in your strategy meetings?”.  

Wipro’s Director and Head of CIS Marketing, Namita Tiwari, stated that it is a leading topic in her strategy meetings. 

She explained that for B2B, there are a lot of experiences that can be explored. She offers the example of a fan engagement platform. Namita stated that these platforms leverage the metaverse to give audiences an experience that allows greater engagement. “Metaverse has great potential… engagement is the one [perspective] that has the greatest potential”, she said. 

While it is a topic of interest in Namita’s organization, others don’t see it as a topic of importance.

Sumeet Vermani, VP of Marketing at Global Processing Services, said his focus is on “upcoming economic headwinds”. On the other hand, he stated that the metaverse is something he has been discussing personally with his peers. 

Lea asked him whether he has ever had trouble persuading people that the metaverse is the “next big thing”. He explained that despite there being a lot of visibility and noise around the topic in the community, no one in the C-suite has officially brought the subject up and said: “We’ve heard about it; are we doing anything?”.

Defining the metaverse

“The immersiveness of the metaverse has great potential”, Namita remarked. She explained that technology is an ever changing game and that the metaverse has also changed the way we view this. 

When asked what her plans were for roadmapping the metaverse, she explained that all offerings were being explored. “The immersive experiences… the kind of engagement you can offer to your customers may be a completely different ball game”, she said. 

While a new concept to some, others have already begun to leverage the metaverse in their companies and turn it into engaging platforms.

“Fujitsu, as a tech company, naturally we’re always looking for new ways to engage our customers and our employees”, said Emma. She described how the company is currently using an immersive platform called Virbela. Dubbed the “Fujitsu metaverse” by the team, the customizable environment is used for virtual workshops and meetings. She later added that: “There is no universal definition of what we mean by the metaverse”. 

Sumeet agrees with the idea that the metaverse doesn’t have one fixed definition. 

“It’s an intangible thing that’s continuing to evolve and be built. There’s no fixed-end state as to what this is”, he said. 

Sumeet explained that there has been discussion in the marketing industry centered around creating digital experiences in any virtual world. He stated that marketers could be the vanguard for the definition of the metaverse. “Our role is to create experiences. Engage”, he said. 

The B2B space

In addition to providing further opportunities, Lea asked the panelists to consider the risks. “Is the B2B space ready for metaverse-type experiences?”, she asked. 

Namita argued that it is not just an individual’s mind marketers need to excite and engage. “It’s a B2B kind of set up”, she said. Metaverse-type experiences in the B2B space need to be tailored to the target audience. Namita categorizes this as a risk because marketers are under pressure to produce the results the audience is looking for.

The second risk she identified was cost. “Metaverse is a high investment”, she stated. Marketers need to carry out a thorough evaluation and consider whether or not investing in these digital experiences is “worth it”. 

Emma believes that technology is always going to attract a “certain type of conversation”. She also focused on investment in technology. 

“The discussion about whether we build our own or utilize technology that already exists is another aspect from a marketing perspective”, she said. Emma highlights that the metaverse is a complex technology area, and that marketers can benefit utilizing what is already out there. 

She uses Microsoft as an example, discussing how active they are in developing their own platforms in the metaverse. In time, she stated, their platforms will be fully integrated with the metaverse. Digging deeper into the subject of integration, Emma posed the question: “How do you then integrate the metaverse into your overall mix of tactics?”. Her answer was that it’s going to be much harder for marketers to achieve this if they’re working with something “completely bespoke”. 

Watch the roundtable above to discover more insights from these top marketing leaders.

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