ABM in the metaverse
The metaverse could fundamentally change account-based marketing tactics. Here's our view of how ABM might look in the virtual world
by Mark Braun
February 18, 2022
The metaverse will fundamentally change the B2B world – and that includes account-based marketing tactics. Discover some of the applications of this new-generation technology.
The metaverse is a hot topic in the B2C world right now. Gucci just launched its own virtual world on digital real estate platform The Sandbox. Balenciaga teamed up with gaming platform Fortnite to design a digital fashion line (and premiered an incredible 3D billboard ad to promote it).
But make no mistake: the metaverse will fundamentally change the B2B world, too. And that includes account-based marketing programmes and tactics.
What is the metaverse
The metaverse marks a shift in how we interact with technology. It refers to a computer-generated space in which we can interact with other people virtually. Key characteristics of the metaverse include:
- continuity: it continues to exist even when we’re not “playing”
- digital economy: users can create, sell, and buy goods by interacting with other people and businesses
- interoperability: users can move between “worlds” and take their identity and “belongings” (e.g. digital currency or digital wardrobe) with them
That doesn’t mean we have to access it through virtual reality (VR) headsets, though that is an option. Virtual worlds can also be accessed through our PCs or game consoles.
If you want to see what the metaverse could look like, check out Facebook’s (or should I say Meta’s) powerful visualisation of it unveiled at Facebook Connect 2021 (skip to 03:50).
ABM in the metaverse
Sure, you’re used to hosting sales calls and roundtables over Zoom. You may even have experienced a virtual conference as sophisticated as the likes of Dell Technologies’ Transformation Tune-In. But the metaverse will open up sales and marketing opportunities beyond anything we’ve seen before.
In contrast to an in-person event, the metaverse eliminates geographic distances, capacity constraints, and even language barriers (through on-screen subtitles or real-time translation). You could, in theory, build entire environments related to your product or service. For instance, you could build a driverless car VR experience to show how your AI technology detects upcoming hazards. But instead of this being an isolated gimmick in a real-life showroom, it could be just one part of a wider virtual conference attended by thousands of prospects and customers.
The possibilities are literally out of this world
B2C companies are capitalising on virtual “event spaces” already. For example, in 2020, Epic Games’ Fortnite, which has 350 million users, “hosted” a Travis Scott gig that was attended by 12 million players.
Today you might conduct stakeholder research and mapping exercises using traditional platforms like LinkedIn. As the metaverse matures and native Gen-Z users become senior leaders and enterprise customers, virtual worlds and the lives we lead in them may well be fair game for profiling exercises.
Similarly, traditionally tech-savvy audiences like software engineers, developers and chief technologists may gravitate towards these types of platforms. You may find yourself scheduling a sales meeting at your virtual offices and adding Meta to your customer engagement plans sooner than you think.
There’s no shortage of collaboration tools designed to aid creative thinking in the virtual world. But as useful as platforms like Miro or Microsoft Whiteboard are, they never fully recreate the magic of an in-person brainstorm. The metaverse can solve that issue. With the power of VR, you can occupy the same virtual room as your colleagues. You can move about freely, interact with others, see them in 3D (although not necessarily in “human” form, depending on what avatar they’ve chosen for the occasion).
You are not limited to a 13-inch laptop screen and shoddy internet connections. Instead, you have peripheral vision, binaural hearing, depth perception, and real-time conversations. The notes you take may be transcribed using artificial intelligence and sent to your PC, ready for you to utilise when you’re back at your desk in the physical world.
Interactivity gone wild
We know that attention spans are dwindling and customers are suffering from information fatigue. So, instead of designing an interactive pdf, imagine designing a “treasure hunt” in a virtual world where customers search for easter eggs that contain information on a new product. Perhaps the incentive to collect them all is a discount, a free trial, or a chat with a subject matter expert. Or you design a printed infographic that, when scanned with a mobile device, is brought to life in augmented reality (AR). Prospects can “touch” and interact with your data, perhaps using their finger to move between a “before” and “after” visualisation. What if, instead of written or video testimonials, your existing clients could “visit” a prospect virtually and host a Q&A in real time? The possibilities are literally out of this world.
If you snooze, you lose
You may have thought the metaverse was fantasy. You may have thought that it would be confined to the B2C world. On both counts, you are wrong. The metaverse is very much “real” (though how long it lasts is up for debate) and it very much affects you.
B2B firms are often on the backfoot when it comes to adopting technology. Act now, and you could be a leader in this world – and any others that come along.
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