Siddharth Devnani is co-founder and director of SoCheers. With a degree in production engineering and an MBA in operations, he began his career with an internship at Tata Motors and Future Group (Pantaloon Retail), which gave him practical experience in managing the value chain and helped him understand the importance of a flawless back-up. end of operations. In 2012, he joined Naaptol.com where he managed operations for an entire category and, understandably curious, also went the extra mile to learn the finer points of e-commerce. It was at this point in his career that he began to seriously consider the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur, and finally took the plunge in 2013 when he joined forces to create his own social media marketing agency, which has since evolved into a digital first. , a full-service advertising and marketing agency. In his own words, co-founding SoCheers was one of the boldest steps he’s taken, and over the years he’s helped build the company into what it is today. From 2 interns initially to a highly skilled team of over 140 now, from managing small accounts to managing campaigns for global brands, Siddharth has been there for it all, building the team, scaling the process and expanding the agency’s offerings. He also leads the finance team and is responsible for revenue generation for the agency, ensuring the continued profitability of the organization. Gradually, his role expanded to include creating and leading the media planning and buying division. More recently, he was central to the creation of the Digital Intelligence & Analytics (DIA) division, introducing social listening and other data-driven services to the company’s slate of offerings.
Well, the way the 21st century ushered in the evolutions, the metaverse is yet another one that has exercised the imagination of every marketer ever since its inception. Interestingly, the concept was introduced in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash”. Since then, the majority of its applications have been in movies depicting a futuristic world like in ‘Ready Player One’ or in games like ‘Fortnite’. However, recent years have undoubtedly accelerated the world of phygital – an amalgamation of physical and digital ecosystem. Also, the enlargement of the hemisphere of the metaverse.
The best phenomenon I could compare it to would be when the internet was first introduced. We could not have predicted what he would become, becoming the cosmic entity he is today. The world would not have been what it is today without the Internet. From just being an amalgamation of networks and servers in its early days, to how it’s become an integral part of our lives now. It’s quite fair to say that it’s had a rather dynamic run, with its meaning changing every few years, encompassing more and more new things and more. Likewise, I believe the metaverse is going to be something that is going to undergo extreme and rapid evolution with technological improvements.
Seeing and building on this evolution, some programs to monetize the metaverse have already surfaced, namely virtual real estate and NFTs, to such an extent that they have become an important part of this new space. But will they hold up in the near future? Early NFTs lost almost all of their value, which was a significant setback for many investors who thought it would be a long-term thing. Whether or not they resurrect will only be confirmed in due time.
It does prove that marketing and monetization avenues are viable in the metaverse though, we just don’t know what the long-term options will look like yet. So yes, marketing in the metaverse is going to be sustainable and profitable for sure and we can say that with near certainty. That said, I believe it will depend on an ecosystem of variables.
Let’s call it the “metaverse ecosystem” and dig into it a bit.
Technology companies: Cutting-edge companies will be a key player in this ecosystem, as the metaverse relies heavily on technology to support it. All the big players – Google, Meta, Apple, etc. – seem to invest heavily in improving their technologies and hardware capabilities for AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). The overall AR proficiency on display at present is quite promising, with even entry-level smartphones now coming with decent AR apps, especially in Instagram and Snapchat filters and lenses. On the other hand, VR headsets are not yet widely available. The mass adoption of these technologies is essential for the metaverse to become feasible. And that will happen when buying can be done on both the expensive and affordable ends of the spectrum.
Users: User adoption is the key to any new introduction. Let’s draw parallels between this and user adoption of the Internet. A typical Internet user today spends about 7 hours on the Internet per day. That number has only grown over the years, and brands’ digital marketing budgets have grown significantly with it. Additionally, user adoption of new digital verticals has expanded the reach of digital marketing. The increased use of video streaming services paves the way for video subscriptions and advertisements; social media has created opportunities for social commerce. Something similar can be considered for the Metaverse.
Creators Network: Content creators and influencers have become an integral part of digital marketing lately, as they bring an interactive quality. While big tech and media organizations have fueled the acceleration of the internet, it’s likely that the metaverse will be further amplified by content creators. Simply, giving creators the stage to create truly immersive experiences. For example, by watching a travel vlog with Metaverse, the audience can actually “travel” to the destination with it. This kind of connection with the public will make the network of creators much more valuable for brands.
Brands: Finally, with all of the above elements of the ecosystem in place, brands will enter the foray. Where, how and how much they invest will have a significant impact on the system. Moreover, it can be predicted that all brands will have a metaverse sales strategy in the next five years.
I strongly bet on the fact that the metaverse, just like the internet will surely have its time, and certainly sooner vis-à-vis the internet. But whether marketing in the metaverse is sustainable or profitable will totally depend on the devices launching in the next year or two. Many new age technological devices such as VR gears are launched to keep up with technological advancements. Thus, the type of adoption of these devices and their diffusion would give us much more clarity. I still maintain that this is all very niche right now. And, it will be fair to say that mass adoption will come when these devices are available to everyone and purchase occurs at both the expensive and affordable ends of the spectrum.