What Marketers Need to Know about the Metaverse

Claritas identifies more than 18.8 million households containing “metaverse enthusiasts”[i] – a fast-growing consumer group that is embracing the emerging virtual/augmented reality worlds.

Claritas data clearly shows that the metaverse is not just for young gamers – enthusiasts include millions of older professionals, some with median household incomes as high as $232,777.

Have you heard of the metaverse? If you have, you know it is a virtual, digital universe that allows people to work, play, shop or just hang out with friends. Thanks to the metaverse, you can do everything from taking a virtual tour of Paris and throwing a virtual party with real-life friends to trying on and buying new clothes – without ever leaving your home.

The term “metaverse” began gaining popularity after Facebook changed its name to Meta and announced its intention to “bring the metaverse to life.” And according to a recent KPMG survey, two out of three people now say they are aware of the metaverse.[ii] But even before it became a household name, the metaverse was already transforming the way big brands – from travel, retail and entertainment to manufacturing and financial – engage consumers.

Consider this: Nike created its own virtual world in the metaverse called NIKELAND. In this digital space, consumers can create avatars, play games and try on Nike products in the virtual showroom.[iii] A whopping 6.7 million people from 195 countries visited NIKELAND in the four months after its launch.[iv]

Retailers like IKEA, Wayfair, Amazon, and Houzz are using metaverse technology to allow consumers to virtually “place” a new chair or sofa into a digital version of their family room that they create using their smartphone cameras. After giving consumers this 3D buying preview, Houzz found that consumers were 11 times more likely to make a website purchase.[v]

Many metaverse “worlds” allow users to make purchases using cryptocurrency. You can even buy “original” digital assets such as artwork and tickets in the metaverse using something called non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which provide the digital equivalent of a certificate of authentication.

Big brands are already getting into the NFT game. The NFL turned this year’s digital tickets for the Big Game into collector’s items by issuing NFTs to ticket holders.[vi] And Coca-Cola raised more than a half a million for charity by auctioning off NFT collectables on the digital marketplace OpenSea.[vii]

Big brands are creating their own metaverse worlds, games or virtual events, but marketing in the metaverse can be as simple as advertising on a digital billboard in a video game or sponsoring an ad or a product placement during the next 3D virtual concert on Fortnite. It even includes selling NFT collectables or virtual products – such as clothes, hats or purses – that a consumer’s avatar can buy in the metaverse.

As the number of unique metaverse worlds and events continues to grow, the number of consumers engaging in the metaverse continues to skyrocket as well. In 2021, an average 45.5 million consumers spent time on the popular Roblox metaverse platform each day – an increase of 40% over the prior year.[viii] Overall, consumers spent 41.4 billion hours in the Roblox metaverse in 2021 – an increase of 35% compared to 2020.[ix]

And 57% of U.S. adults believe that the metaverse will soon become as popular as established social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, according to eMarketer.[x]

With both big marketing brands and consumers jumping into the metaverse with both feet, it’s no surprise that Bloomberg estimates the metaverse market will reach $783.3 billion by 2024, up from $478.7 billion in 2020 – which is a 13.1% compound annual growth rate.[xi]

Claritas Data Reveals Which Type of Consumers are Engaging in the Metaverse

It is clear that the metaverse is quickly emerging as the next big marketing platform for companies. That’s not surprising, given that the metaverse enables companies to reach and engage consumers using a highly interactive, totally new marketing approach – one that is already proving it can help increase sales and attract new customers.

But one basic marketing principle never changes. Marketing is all about reaching the right consumers – those who are the most likely to buy your products. And that means companies of all sizes need to understand what type of consumers they can find in the metaverse  – and how best to reach them.

So exactly what type of consumers are engaging in – or planning to engage in – the metaverse? To answer this question, Claritas analyzed its proprietary data on more than 255 million consumers and more than 1 billion devices. The goal? To determine exactly what type of consumers express excitement about engaging in the metaverse world. To identify which consumers have already purchased – or plan to purchase – the virtual reality and other products that allow them to engage in it. And to explore consumers’ personal beliefs related to the metaverse.

Specifically, the Claritas data analysis uncovered more than 18.8 million consumer households that have unique behavioral traits that identify them as “metaverse enthusiasts” – and are twice as likely as the average consumer household to be interested in the metaverse. For instance, these consumer households currently own a virtual reality headset or other virtual reality device – or plan to buy one in the next 12 months. They also report that they are excited about virtual/augmented reality. And they are interested in new 5G wireless technology that will allow them to access the metaverse via their mobile devices.

The data clearly shows that – in contrast to conventional wisdom – those engaging in the metaverse are NOT just a bunch of youthful gamers, YouTubers or 22-year-olds living in their parents’ basements. In fact, metaverse enthusiast households include many affluent, professional individuals with impressive spending power.

In fact, nearly one-third of these 18.8 million consumer households have members age 45 or older. They also represent a wide range of incomes, with nearly half of metaverse enthusiast consumer segments boasting a median household income of about $84,000 or more.[xii] The median household income of one consumer segment within the metaverse enthusiast universe reached $232,777.

The Claritas data analysis also reveals many other insights about metaverse enthusiasts. For instance, around 83% of these households contain sports enthusiasts. Claritas data shows they follow sports on social media sites like Twitter, attend major league sporting events or buy sporting event tickets online. Therefore, it makes sense that big sports-related brands like the NFL and Nike are jumping head-first into the metaverse and related technologies such as NFTs.

These metaverse enthusiasts buy cars brands such as Audi, BMWs and Acura and shop at stores that include Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Finish Line – making them good potential prospects for high-end apparel retailers. They tend to be married and own homes, and many of them have children – making them attractive to home improvement brands, furniture retailers and toy manufacturers. The high net worth of many of these consumer households also makes them attractive to financial companies such as wealth management advisors. Plus, their interest in the newest 5G technology makes them prime targets for mobile providers.

Why Understanding the Metaverse Consumers Can Boost Your Brand – and Your Sales

The bottom line is that companies cannot afford to ignore the fast-growing, hot new metaverse marketing channel. But as a marketer, it is critical to understand whether your “ideal” customers and prospects are interested in and participating in metaverse-related activities. By using data to gain insight into the metaverse consumer, you can determine how best to leverage this new channel to sell more to current customers or to reach new ones.

With more than 50 years of experience helping marketing brands identify their ideal customers and prospects, the Claritas team has the data and the expertise to help companies understand how they can use new marketing channels such as the metaverse to increase sales. With proprietary access to 10,000+ predictive demographic and behavioral indicators, Claritas helps clients in a wide range of industries – from financial, retail and telecom to media agencies – deliver the right marketing messages to the right consumers via their preferred channels.

In fact, 12 of our industry-leading Claritas PRIZM® Premier consumer segments over-index by 200 or more for specific behaviors and insights related to virtual reality and tech usage – key attributes required for engaging in the metaverse.

But Claritas doesn’t stop there. Claritas also uses its proprietary campaign optimization tools to help clients determine which messages and channels are the most effective in engaging customers. This allows companies to adjust their marketing campaigns as they are running to boost return on investment.

No other company in the industry is better suited to help marketers with data-driven strategies identify the right metaverse consumers, deliver campaigns where they engage and accurately measure and optimize the impact those campaigns have on contributing to conversions, and ultimately ROI.

To hear more, check out our newest podcast, Metaverse: Is It The Future of Digital Advertising?

To find out how Claritas can help you develop a smart metaverse marketing strategy that complements your broader multichannel media plan, contact us or visit www.claritas.com.

 


 

[ii] https://advisory.kpmg.us/articles/2022/consumer-pulse-metaverse.html

[iii] https://www.reuters.com/technology/into-metaverse-nike-creates-nikeland-roblox-2021-11-18/

[iv] https://s1.q4cdn.com/806093406/files/doc_financials/2022/q3/NIKE-Inc-Q3FY22-UNOFFICAL-Transcript.pdf, page 11

[v] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/08/houzz-ceo-our-3d-app-makes-users-11-times-more-likely-to-buy-products.html

[vi] https://nflcommunications.com/Pages/The-National-Football-League-to-Offer-Limited-Edition-NFTs-to-Celebrate-Super-Bowl-LVI.aspx

[vii] https://www.coca-colacompany.com/news/coca-cola-nft-auction-fetches-more-than-575000

[viii] https://ir.roblox.com/news/news-details/2022/Roblox-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2021-Financial-Results/default.aspx

[ix] https://ir.roblox.com/news/news-details/2022/Roblox-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2021-Financial-Results/default.aspx

[x] https://www.emarketer.com/content/the-metaverse

[xi] https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/metaverse-may-be-800-billion-market-next-tech-platform/

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