Global creator marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy (BDB) has today unveiled a major new study which sheds light on the opportunities offered to brands by creator marketing, as we enter the era of the metaverse.
With Citi predicting that the metaverse economy could be worth $13 trillion by 2030, BDB set out to understand consumer, creator and industry attitudes towards the new iteration of the internet.
Based on surveys and interviews with 4,560 US and UK consumers, brand marketers and creators, ‘Creator marketing in the metaverse era’ offers unprecedented insights into the metaverse, and the potential opportunities it provides, with a core focus on the role of creators.
The report includes perspectives from industry contributors including Heineken, Meta, Sara McCorquodale, Scott Guthrie, The Sandbox, DXSH and CC Studios.
Consumer perceptions of the metaverse
The new study reveals that many UK consumers are already engaging with the metaverse (defined in the study as the collective term for a current and future immersive form of the internet), with younger audiences the most involved, but older age groups also engaging.
Some 40% of UK Gen Z respondents (aged 16 to 24) say they are already active in the metaverse, while 32% of UK millennials (aged 25 to 34) say they are already active.
Despite this, the research shows that many consumers remain confused about the metaverse.
Only 22% of UK respondents believe they could confidently describe the metaverse to someone else (the figure is highest for those aged 16 to 24, at 39%), and 31% describe themselves as feeling ‘ambivalent’ about the metaverse, while 19% say they are ‘confused’.
However, overall, UK consumers remain curious and open to the potential of the metaverse, with 36% keen to know more, and 28% saying they would attend a brand event within the metaverse.
This consumer curiosity also extends to virtual influencers. Over a quarter of UK respondents (26%) state they would buy a product or service promoted by a virtual influencer, with the item they’re most likely to purchase being clothing (30% of UK consumers).
Marketers taking leap into metaverse
BDB’s research shows that UK marketers have high hopes for the potential of the metaverse.
55% of UK marketers state that the brand they’re working for has a dedicated in-house team or agency exploring possibilities within the metaverse, while 55% already have budget set aside for marketing activity within the metaverse that has been taken from other marketing channels, and 46% say they are already executing marketing strategy within the metaverse.
Jonathan O’Lone, Brand Global PR Lead, Heineken, said: “Our marketing strategy towards the metaverse has been proactive, rather than reactive; we are always looking at innovation as a source for creativity.”
In contrast with consumer sentiment, UK brand marketers are feeling both excited and hopeful about this new era of the internet.
When asked to choose the emotion they attribute most to the metaverse, almost a third (30%) chose ‘excited’ and a quarter (25%) selected ‘hopeful’.
When it comes to partnering with creators in the metaverse, UK marketers are generally open-minded, with 60% saying they would consider working with a virtual influencer.
Many brands also recognise the value of creators as experts in the evolving metaverse space, with 32% of UK marketers saying they would choose to work with creators over independent consultants with industry expertise.
Furthermore, 60% of UK marketers say they would be willing to give up creative control for a metaverse campaign to work with a creator who understands the metaverse better than they do.
Creators ready for the metaverse
Creator sentiment about the metaverse sits somewhere between that of consumers and brand marketers, with 32% of UK creators saying they are feeling ‘hopeful’ about the new era of the internet.
Some 91% of UK creators say they are keen to know more about the metaverse and how they can benefit from it, and 29% say they are planning on operating within the metaverse over the next year.
BDB’s research points to the huge potential of the metaverse as a space for brands to explore creative opportunities to immerse people in a new virtual world.
The study shows that consumers are increasingly open minded and curious about the new space; as well as highlighting the key role that creators will play in building the metaverse and leading the way for marketers, by harnessing their knack for creative innovation and their extensive experience of building loyal communities.
Thomas Walters, UK CEO and founder, Billion Dollar Boy, concludes: “As a space that is still yet to be built, the metaverse has huge potential for brands.
“The creative opportunities are infinite, and unknown, and those marketers who are willing to be bold and invest now will reap the rewards.
“Our research shows that consumer interest is there, but brands and creators must do their bit to help educate and guide people into the metaverse in a way that feels beneficial, fulfilling and purposeful.
“Creators are key to brands successfully entering the metaverse. They have unparalleled experience in establishing communities and spearheading innovation, and they will lead the way in this next era of the web.
“Now more than ever, brands must put creators front and centre when it comes to developing their marketing strategies.”
To find out more and download the ‘Creator marketing in the metaverse era’ whitepaper, click here