What’s the big fuss about the metaverse?

 

Photo by Julien Tromeur on Unsplash

Everybody is talking about the metaverse these days, especially since Mark Zuckerberg made a lot of noise about how he sees this new phenomenon enter and take hold of our lives like nothing we have known hitherto or are likely to know in the future. Experts and specialists, not to speak of laypeople have expounded how it is the new frontier to be explored by humans and spelt out their pet theories about how enabling and useful it is or how much of a dystopian nightmare it is likely to be. 

 What Exactly is the Metaverse? 

The term metaverse is the creation of sci-fi author Neal Stephenson who used it in his 1992 book, Snowcrash in which he created a world where avatars meet and interact with each other in a virtual reality environment.

Well, it so happened as is often the case-life imitated art or in this instance, real science imitated science fiction and many scientific and technological developments later we have a real metaverse- an online virtual universe which leverages the abilities of virtual reality, augmented reality, 3-D holographic avatars as well as video and other ways of communicating to help create an almost as-good- as-real world for one to inhabit alongside the actual real one.

Proponents of the metaverse believe that such a world would allow one to do all the important things that one does in the real world- working, entertaining and communicating with friends as well as attending concerts,  and travelling virtually to wherever one fancies. 

The Metaverse Exists 

The metaverse existed much before Zuckerberg explained its virtues to the world last year. Liden Lab came up with Second Life, an online virtual way of life back in 1992. 2003 saw the launch of Roblox, an online platform that enabled users to create and share games. This was followed by Bitcoin in 2006, the world’s very first successful cryptocurrency. In 2014 came Decentraland’s first edition of an online virtual world.

Then there was the iconic augmented reality-based Pokémon Go that came out in 2015. Fortnite, the multiplayer game cum social hub with its virtual concerts and tours was introduced in 2016. Axie Infinity the well-known virtual reality game about training as well as trading in mythical creatures made its debut in 2018 Microsoft announced Mesh a platform that enables virtual collaboration across many devices in April 2021. For the most part, however, gaming platforms like Mirandus, Sandbox and Decentraland typify the metaverse as it exists today.

How Will it Unfold?

While the jury is out about how the metaverse is going to impact us as it evolves and permeates every aspect of our lives in the years to come, the fact that it will change and grow is something of a foregone conclusion. The very fact that Zuckerberg decided to rename his iconic Facebook to Meta, tells you something about how much importance some very smart people accord to the metaverse and its ability to impact our lives in a seminal manner.

As a precursor of things to come, Facebook launched Workrooms, a platform for employees to attend virtual meetings in the shape of digital cartoon-like avatars by donning VR headsets. The only catch-the avatars haven’t yet been given legs. Gaming platform Roblox on the other hand has enabled virtual concerts performed by artists like Zara Larsson that have been attended by millions across the world-some even in nondescript towns no one has ever heard of. 

It is not just Facebook and Microsoft who are very gung- ho about the tremendous business enabling potential of the metaverse. The times ahead are likely going to see a lot of metaverse companies open shop, just like the advent of the Internet gave rise to a host of internet businesses that earlier went by the name of dot com companies. Just like it is de rigueur for all businesses to have a digital presence, one could see a metaverse strategy becoming an integral part of any company’s marketing plan. Already companies like Nike are looking at showcasing their products in the metaverse. 

The metaverse is essentially the future of the internet and like it, is likely to permeate every aspect of our lives in the foreseeable future. An amalgamation of a host of technologies that range from VR, AR and XR (extended reality) to edge computing, 5G, AI, new age internet satellite networks, GPUs and so on, the metaverse is going to radically alter the paradigm of the digital world as we currently know it.

It will impact every aspect of our lives in ways we probably won’t even begin to comprehend at this time. You can be sure that it will radically alter the way diverse sectors like manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education, retail, entertainment, content creation and much more function and operate right now. 

What’s there to not like about the metaverse? 

 

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos

There is an awful lot of noise about the metaverse that has enveloped the world leaving many to wonder in awe what this new universe is all about and whether they have anything to fear from it. With the endorsement that it has received from the ever-controversial Zuckerberg and the fact that Microsoft plonked a mind-numbing $68.7 billion to acquire the video game Activision Blizzard a lot of people are genuinely worried about what the future holds for them in a world that seems more and more like what they show in the Matrix movie series. 

But do we need to fear the metaverse? There are many who would suggest that we indeed need to worry about what the future would hold for us if the metaverse would indeed become mainstream. They fear that it would eventually assume complete control of every aspect of its users rather than the other way round. The ability of this synthetically created universe to shape and direct daily life is to be deeply feared, according to them. Many believe and indeed dread that whoever controls the metaverse-corporations or governments, would exercise a vice-like grip over how people conduct their lives. 

The question is-are the fears justified? While there is certainly a case for exercising caution and placing safeguards to prevent its misuse, it is at the end of the day one more technology or a group of technologies that promises to bring about unprecedented improvements in the lives of people. Every such pathbreaking technology ranging from trains and telephones to television and aeroplanes was feared when it first made an appearance. But these fears proved largely groundless.  

While every successful technology may have some negatives associated with it, the capacity to infinitely changes mankind’s lot for the better invariably far outweighs any reservations about adopting it. Fearing change or anything new is human nature and there are those who even refuse the vaccine for Covid-19! The metaverse is undoubtedly a fascinating concept that holds tremendous promise in the coming years. We need to understand it, not fear it. 

 

Why is Marketing-Automation Important? December 29, 2020

[pl_row]
[pl_col col=12]
[pl_text]

                                                                                                                                       

 We live in a super digitally charged world, where businesses have to work on so many fronts to stay alive and kicking.

 

So much to do ………. so little time! Take a breather.

 

Marketing automation is here! This technology redefines marketing as we know it.

 

We all know that your marketing strategy holds the key to success.

 

Using marketing automation increases efficiency, boosts productivity, makes you run a tight ship and most of all helps you sell more.

 

Automation equals SIMPLIFYING and SCALING.

A few things you need to know:

 

  • What is marketing automation? 

 

  • Why marketing automation?

 

  • Uses of marketing automation

 

 Let’s dig in right away!

 

What is Marketing Automation?
 

It entails using software that automates and manages our marketing processes.

 

It does so, by automatically sending messages via emails, texts, social posts targeted at customers. It also involves studying customer behaviour, to devise a way to capture leads and close them faster. 

                                   

51% businesses use marketing automation

 

 

A whopping 51% of companies on an average have adopted marketing automation[1]. And the others are following suit by allocating budgets, to start at the earliest. 

 

They are not revamping their marketing just for the heck of it!

Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing segments of the software industry. 

 

But not all companies and marketers have exactly started using this tool.

 

Lack of awareness or fearing technology as some dark art can be possible reasons for keeping them away from using these tools.

 

Whatever the reason, if you’re damn serious about growth, you can’t afford to say no to modernization.

 

Automating the repetitive tasks of your business by giving a set of instructions is no rocket science.

 

It’s a skill that your staff needs to be trained for. I’m sure once they get the hang of it, they’ll thank you, for acquiring a new marketing skill.

 

                                                                               .   .   .  

                                                                                                                                            

Why Marketing Automation?
 

You go where your customers are. They are spending their max time in the internet space which is evolving at a fast pace.

     

via gifer

 

                                                                          

You need to keep up with this pace and get in front of a bigger and a wider audience. 

 

You need to connect to more and more relevant people to scale. This is where marketing automation comes into play: to make your task easier.  

 

Let me give you an example. 

 

Imagine this …….

There’s a fashion designer whose designs are simply WOW! But his/her marketing sucks.

 

All he/she manages to find the time to do is some odd social media posting coupled with spray and pray emailing. 

 

The result. Very few orders.

 

On the other hand, if the designer uses an automation tool to take care of the marketing messages; these would go out consistently, to a targeted audience in an organized fashion.

 

Data-driven marketing campaigns would increase the designer’s fan-base.

 

And, constant engagement from the designer’s end could pique the customer’s interest in knowing MORE about the product. It could be posting the latest trends, tips and discounts etc. 

 

The result: quality traffic and leads resulting in conversions. Likes and shares by your customers would further spread the word.

 

This can turn them into super-fans and loyal customers!

 

The outcome?

A business turned around with the use of marketing technology. Like-wise, create your own growth story.

 

I know you are trying everything possible to push your brand.

 

Shooting emails, trying to post regularly in social media, arranging campaigns, building a client base and catching up on the latest trends in the digital space.

 

Oh, boy! You’re very busy and have no time. 

 

But, at the end of the day, aren’t you getting pulled in a million directions! And, are you satisfied with the results?

 

Time is limited, tasks plentiful. 

 

You’ve got to find a way to get out of this rut and FOCUS on other marketing tasks to be able to jump to the upper tiers.

 

                                                                                .    .    .

 

 Uses of Marketing Automation Tool
 

  • Automating Messages 

 

Identify repetitive tasks. For example: sending emails and alerts on mobile phones as well as scheduling social media posts and so on, can all be part of this.

 

These can be handled by automation tools once the instructions are given.

  •  Pulling in more in Leads

 

Lead generation is one of the most sought-after things in marketing automation. 

 

Tracking website visits, which emails are being opened and studying other such similar behaviour, gives you interesting insights into the customer’s profile.

 

With this slicing and dicing of data, you can expect better leads to flow in, which convert.

 

According to sources, an overwhelming majority of companies benefit with an increase in leads through marketing automation. 

 

  • Better Marketing Campaigns

 

Marketing campaigns become easier and target-oriented with the data analysis in front of you.

 

Know the pain points and improve upon them.

 

  • Meaningful Engagement

 

We are all animals of the digital world. But we don’t want to be treated like assembly-line robots. We’re humans and want to stay that way. 

 

As customers, we like to receive emails and other forms of communication personalized. It’s that emotional connect!

 

With the incredible insights provided by automation tools, you can customize communication according to the needs and interests of your prospects. And thus, strike a chord with them.  

 

Make your content compelling to drive engagement. Use of charts, images, stickers, hacks etc. should be done to make it warm and lively.

 

via gifer

 

                                                   

Refresh it, every now and then to keep your customer’s interest alive in your brand. 

                      

                                                                          .    .    .

 

As you start using automation technology by integrating it into your marketing systems, you will discover a whole lot of  other benefits. Fewer overheads, upselling and lead nurturing are some of them. 

 

Once, you decide to automate, don’t go just by the hype. Select the tool, which is a best-fit for your requirements.

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Data and technology are making waves. They’ve touched almost all the modern businesses. 

 

Old school marketing won’t help you nail it. As they say, convention is for yesterday…

 

Innovators are the movers and shakers of the modern world.

 

Step out of your comfort zone and zoom ahead.

 

Just a quick recap: Leverage marketing automation to:

 

  • Streamline and automate your work

 

  • Maximize productivity and be discovered by the right people

 

  • Attract genuine prospects, increase engagement and sales

 

  • Strategize for your future growth.

 

Join the growing club of marketing automation users!  

   

  [1] https://aritic.com/blog/aritic-pinpoint/b2b-ecommerce-automation-guide/

 

[/pl_text]
[/pl_col]
[/pl_row]