Table of Contents
- First things first — would you tell more about yourself? What brings you to the world of metaverse?
- Speaking broadly, what fundamental shifts do you foresee in traditional marketing approaches as they adapt to the metaverse?
- The hype surrounding the concept itself has died down in the past year or so. Do you see that coming back?
- As the metaverse redefines consumer engagement, how should businesses adapt their marketing strategies to foster deeper connections within this immersive digital landscape?
- Could you shed light on how brands can effectively leverage storytelling, gamification elements, and innovative experiences to connect with audiences in this immersive and interconnected universe?
- Only the last question for today — where do you see the metaverse in the next decade?
The rapid emergence of the metaverse has unleashed an unprecedented shift in the digital landscape. Defined as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual spaces, the metaverse presents a realm ripe with possibilities. Its impact isn't confined solely to the gaming world but extends across various industries, notably reshaping marketing strategies. In this new era, businesses need to reimagine and adapt their marketing approaches to thrive in the evolving digital sphere.
The metaverse is an immersive, interconnected universe where individuals can interact, work, play, and create. It transcends the confines of the physical world, offering a virtual environment limited only by imagination. With advancements in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality, the metaverse blurs the lines between the digital and physical realms, fostering an entirely new dimension of consumer engagement.
Successful marketing in the metaverse requires a departure from conventional methods. Brands must prioritize creating interactive and participatory experiences to build meaningful connections with their audience. By integrating storytelling and gamification elements, companies can capture users' attention and foster brand loyalty. Interactive branded events, virtual showrooms, or immersive experiences enable consumers to actively participate and engage, thus forming emotional connections with the brand.
Moreover, in the metaverse, personalisation reaches new heights. Data-driven insights allow tailored, individualized experiences, catering to specific consumer preferences. AI algorithms and machine learning can analyze user behaviour within the metaverse, enabling brands to deliver hyper-personalized content and recommendations.
The metaverse also presents opportunities for innovative influencer marketing. Collaborating with virtual influencers, who are entirely digital creations, can introduce a new dimension to brand endorsements and content creation. Virtual personalities within the metaverse can resonate with a vast audience, further expanding a brand's reach and relevance.
To learn more about the role of marketing in the ever-evolving digital landscape, we caught up with Leila Salieva, a seasoned C-level strategist involved in numerous metaverse projects. With her extensive background in digital marketing and business development and a passion for design and content, Leila is at the forefront of combining 3D environments, AI, gaming fintech, and Web3 in the metaverse, and will add to the table her valuable insights on how to optimize the marketing strategy in this new environment.
First things first — would you tell more about yourself? What brings you to the world of metaverse?
My passion for innovation and creativity is certainly what brought me there. Graduating from Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurship and Innovation study track, it was natural that I've always been fascinated by emerging technologies, and the way they can enhance our lives. I started my career in digital marketing and strategy, working with top brands to help them connect with customers.
With over a decade of experience innovating in marketing, I was eager to apply my skills to this new frontier of virtual worlds. I have patronized various projects since 2021, knowing their need for technical expertise would allow creators to build amazing experiences. And the work on products which combine gaming, AI and blockchain, really captured my imagination.
Today, I'm more focused on developing creative solutions for businesses. My goal is to demonstrate how the metaverse can benefit operations in meaningful ways. I strongly believe technologies like these will transform how we work, play and connect in the future. It's incredibly fulfilling to be at the forefront of such an innovative field. My passion is taking ideas from vision to reality, and the metaverse is full of potential for doing just that.
Speaking broadly, what fundamental shifts do you foresee in traditional marketing approaches as they adapt to the metaverse?
One significant shift is the move from passive consumption to active participation. In the metaverse, users have the power to shape their own experiences, and brands must embrace this by actively involving their audience in the creation and co-creation of content. Passive advertising methods will be largely ineffective in the metaverse where users expect to play an active role. Brands must transition to become facilitators of meaningful interactions rather than one-way distributors of content: they can encourage users to generate and share their own virtual experiences, creations, and stories. By providing tools and platforms for user expression, brands can tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of their audience, amplifying their reach and fostering a sense of community and belonging. Data and experimentation will help identify preferred formats among different demographics - for some it may be live entertainment, while others may respond more to uGC or collaborative problem-solving. Authentic engagement over arbitrary promotion will determine the metaverse winners.
Additionally, the metaverse will demand a more personalized and tailored approach to marketing. With access to vast amounts of user data and AI-powered analytics, brands can gather insights into individual preferences, behaviors, and interests within the metaverse. This enables them to deliver highly personalized and relevant experiences, recommendations, and advertisements, ensuring that each user feels seen and valued.
The hype surrounding the concept itself has died down in the past year or so. Do you see that coming back?
The concept of the metaverse has been a subject of considerable hype and speculation, particularly in the realm of technology and digital innovation. There was a significant rush of investments into metaverse-related projects and startups, which may have peaked in the past year. This is a common trend in technology where initial enthusiasm leads to a surge in investment and interest, followed by a stabilization phase. The long-term success of the metaverse depends on sustainable business models and user engagement, which are still being explored and refined.
Companies like Meta and others have invested heavily in building their versions of the metaverse. At some point, there was a misconception that their projects represented the true meaning of the metaverse, and this significantly influenced public perception and the overall hype around it. However, companies have now realized that the metaverse is simply an immersive way to interact with your audience. Hence, we are just at the beginning, and the concept is still evolving. Although the initial wave of hype around the metaverse might have peaked and somewhat declined, its future trajectory will depend on technological breakthroughs, practical applications, sustainable economic models, and broader social trends.
As the metaverse redefines consumer engagement, how should businesses adapt their marketing strategies to foster deeper connections within this immersive digital landscape?
One thing is clear — metaverse truly transforms how people interact and form relationships online. To succeed, companies must move beyond superficial outreach and instead prioritize meaningful engagement. First and foremost, my advice is to establish an authentic presence through nuanced understanding of niche virtual communities. Brands should explore partnering with local creators to develop experiences catering thoughtfully to individual interests and desires. Interactive storytelling, participatory events and gamified learning nurture long-term loyalty by empowering users as valued constituents of virtual worlds. Metrics must also evolve beyond transactions to capture social capital and emotional investment and allow relationships to deepen over time.
As I mentioned before, today’s brands clearly must re-envision their approach to forge deeper understandings rather than superficial exposures. Where traditional methods prize interruption, metaverse prioritize presence—businesses should establish participatory spaces encouraging self-guided discovery. Leveraging contextual data to craft nuanced, empathic journeys tailored to individuals' interests introduces avenues for authentic engagement rather than generic promotions. Partnering with creators opens opportunities to co-design experiences maximizing users' agency while aligning with organizational objectives.
Could you shed light on how brands can effectively leverage storytelling, gamification elements, and innovative experiences to connect with audiences in this immersive and interconnected universe?
Storytelling in the metaverse is so fascinating because it allows for a level of interactivity that traditional linear narratives can't achieve. When users have agency in how the story progresses based on their choices and actions, it creates a whole new dimension of engagement.
I think one of the most exciting things brands can do is craft stories that evolve organically through community participation. By giving audiences tools to shape the world through their interactions, it fosters a real sense of ownership. People will feel invested in protecting and advancing the narrative when they feel like active participants, not just passive observers. That kind of collaborative storytelling builds real emotional connections between brands and their community. It shows that the audience's voice matters and their ideas can directly influence the direction of the world. When done right, that kind of interactive narrative could become a true source of pride and motivation for users.
In terms of gamification, I believe the most successful implementations focus on the fun of the gameplay itself rather than superficial rewards. Things like leaderboards and collectible items are nice incentives, but they won't drive lasting engagement on their own. Brands need to design quests and challenges that tap into people's natural desire for achievement, mastery, and using their unique skills to help the community. Providing a real sense of purpose and fulfillment through gameplay is key. When users feel emotionally satisfied from overcoming obstacles through teamwork and strategy, it builds intrinsic motivation to keep participating. Throw in opportunities for creativity and problem-solving too - that sense of flow will truly get people hooked long-term.
Overall, I think authenticity has to be at the core of any metaverse marketing strategy. Users won't feel connected to brands that don't reflect their honest values and priorities. By centering community experience and self-actualization over sales metrics, organizations have the best chance of gaining true loyal admirers willing to advocate on their behalf. Does this help summarize my perspective? I'm happy to discuss any of these ideas further.
Only the last question for today — where do you see the metaverse in the next decade?
The expansion of the metaverse will depend heavily on the advancements in XR, AR, and AI. These technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, providing more immersive and realistic experiences. As a result, the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds will become blurred, allowing users to seamlessly integrate both realms. As the technology becomes more affordable and user-friendly, the metaverse will move from being a niche interest to a mainstream phenomenon. This shift will follow a similar trajectory to that of the internet's journey, expanding from a specialized tool to an integral part of daily life for billions of people. It seems inevitable that a digital economy will emerge within the metaverse. Transactions involving virtual goods, services, and real estate may be driven by cryptocurrencies and NFTs, creating unique opportunities and challenges, particularly in terms of regulation and value assessment. Overall, the democratization and transformation of the term will lead to everyone having their own metaverse of things around them. Thanks for inviting me here!
To sum up all what had been said, metaverse has firmly established itself as a part of contemporary digital landscape, and businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to thrive in this emerging paradigm. This virtual space offers endless possibilities for immersive and interconnected experiences, challenging traditional marketing approaches. While the initial hype around the metaverse may have subsided, its future trajectory will depend on technological advancements, sustainable business models, and broader social trends. As the metaverse evolves, Leila Salieva emphasises that businesses should embrace its transformative power and forge deeper connections within this immersive digital landscape to thrive in the next decade.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.