How to Capture Opportunity in the Metaverse

June 24, 2022

Contributors:  David Furlonger, Christophe Uzureau, Rajesh Kandaswamy

Experiment to create new value exchanges.

In short:

  • The metaverse will provide economic opportunities using new kinds of digital business assets and value exchange models.
  • Enterprises can take advantage of the metaverse to enhance human and machine customer experience.
  • The metaverse can help executives expand their digital transformation strategy, but success is contingent upon understanding key elements of the economics and financial/business models.

The metaverse will provide economic opportunities using new kinds of digital business assets (DBAs) and value exchange models. To augment digital transformation strategy, you’ll need to explore product development, brand placement, customer engagement and financial flows in the virtual world.

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Enterprises experimenting with the metaverse can connect, engage with and incentivize human and machine customers to create new value exchanges, revenue streams and markets. Gartner expects that a complete metaverse will be device-independent and not owned by a single vendor. It will have a virtual economy, and using DBAs, enable interaction, play, debate, study and conducting of business. 

Factors executive leaders should consider

While the metaverse offers economic and customer engagement potential, capturing its opportunities requires you to consider how:

  • Markets are created in these programmable economies.
  • Business and financial models are executed.
  • DBAs fit into customer engagement.

The figure below puts these three bullets in perspective by illustrating an example of the metaverse business model. Gaming customers want economic offerings and value propositions that traditional brands may not yet be targeting and cannot currently fulfill. Customer demand is driving Web 2.0 participants toward Web 3.0 capabilities using DBAs enabled by blockchain technologies.

The anticipated environment of the metaverse — in which communication protocols are not yet determined — will not completely replace current digital interactions (websites and applications), but new types of interactions and business models are likely to emerge.

The metaverse is technology that impacts strategic business innovations. To assist in the development of new products and transform the business, it’s imperative to identify, examine and track emerging technologies. The metaverse may be in its early development stage, but the transition to it is expected to be as substantial as the one from analog to digital.

Four actions for executive leaders

  1. Map how value flows through different ecosystems to assess the differences between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 worlds.
  2. Plan for the issuance, use, payment, custody and exchange of DBAs that are portable across ecosystems.
  3. Examine the corporate activity around product placement media buying in terms of its reach and frequency (and cost, by demographic), and how to source and measure it in a programmable economy and metaverse context.
  4. Build competency in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, customer, user and especially 3D experience, avatar creation and behavior — including data capture and analysis.

Machines will increasingly facilitate, augment and transform economic activity through programmable digital technology. Machine customers will commonly populate the metaverse, either to augment existing participants’ consumption or as autonomous machines, which DBAs will use to exchange value and negotiate on behalf of enterprises and humans.

Those organizations that effectively use the metaverse will be able to successfully connect, engage with, and incentivize human and machine customers to create new value exchanges, revenue streams and markets.

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