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The biggest luxury brands are already earning millions in Metaverse

The Dematerialised, a British start-up that co-founder Karinna Nobbs calls “the digital department store of your dreams”, sells nothing but virtual luxuries; it’s a marketplace for clothing and accessories that will only ever exist online. The first piece it brought out, on December 12, 2020, was a silver sweater selling for €121 ($137). Like all of her products since, the whole run — 1,212 digital renderings — sold within three hours. The Dematerialised operates on the stock model popularized by streetwear, releasing a shoe, bag, or other item in a limited edition, usually of no more than 150 units. Only a single brand or computer-designed product is available at any one time. Successful buyers receive an NFT, or non-fungible to­k­en, a virtual certi­f­icate of ownership that runs on bloc­kchain technology. With this proof of authenticity, an owner can showcase a handbag or dress on VRChat, where tens of thousands of users interact daily through avatars — and flaunt their outfits. Nobbs has also worked with the Fabricant, a Dutch virtual couture house where users create exclusive apparel for their digital avatars on social platforms including VRChat, a 3D digital world that soared in popularity during the pandemic. In an October video announcement of its plans, CEO Mark Zuckerberg could be seen using his and his colleagues’ avatars to try on clothes, play cards, pay artists, and even go surfing. It may seem silly, spending top dollar for luxuries you can never touch or hold, but gamers have long used clothes to proudly establish their online identity, just as people do in the real world.

Digital marketing sees a 12% to 34% increase in share of total marketing budget

Digital is the new mainstream for there has been a three time increase in the share of digital marketing spends over the last five years by India Inc. Despite the significant growth of digital marketing spends, the measurement practices have not been able to keep pace. As a result, organizations are leaving significant value on the table. BCG & Meta’s ‘Measure To Grow: Drive double-digit growth by measuring marketing right’ report states a 12 per cent to 34 per cent jump in share of digital in total marketing budget in less than five years. The report said that digital is the fastest growing marketing channel in India and would soon overtake television. Strategic measurement could unlock 60 per cent sales uplift and lead to ten time return on ad spends. Further, it could lead to 25 per cent increase in gross margin. As per the report, the cost of acquisition due to poor measurement was 65 per cent higher. Seventy per cent and more were still underinvesting in measurement capabilities. Only five per cent of organizations possessed quality data that could enable key business decisions. Shaveen Garg, managing director and partner, BCG, said, “While the spends on digital marketing have skyrocketed, the true efficiency of the spend is not measured in most Indian companies. Thus, potentially leaving a lot of money on the table. As the customer journeys have become complex and intertwined between online-offline and across channels, the ability to measure business impact of digital marketing has taken a hit.”

Facebook opens virtual world app to public, inching toward metaverse

Facebook’s parent firm opened its Horizon Worlds virtual reality platform yesterday to the public in North America, in a step toward building its metaverse vision for the future. Horizon Worlds is far from a fully realized metaverse, a future internet where online experiences like chatting to a friend would eventually feel face-to-face thanks to virtual reality (VR) headsets. But headset-wearing users in the United States and Canada can now gather with friends or others, play games and build their own virtual worlds on Horizon as long as they are 18 years old and have the proper equipment. Since last year a testing version of the platform has been available to a limited number of users. Facebook renamed its parent company to Meta in October to emphasize its aim to shift from scandal-prone social media platform to its virtual reality vision for its future. “We want Horizon Worlds to be a safe and respectful environment, so everyone must follow our Conduct in VR Policy,” Meta said in announcing the opening. “You have several safety options… which lets you take a break and then block, mute or report people,” it added. Meta-owned platforms Facebook and Instagram have been fighting to put behind them a crisis unleashed in September by reams of internal studies leaked to journalists and US authorities by whistleblower Frances Haugen. The “Horizon Workrooms” project makes it possible to switch back and forth from virtual reality to web conferencing to adapt to different situations.

Metaverse, social commerce and personalization in a cookie-less world

The digital marketing industry in India not only managed to weather the pandemic’s impact but also flourished gracefully in 2020. It accelerated at an unbelievable speed, exceeding all predictions and expectations. Brands were quick to adapt, pivoting aggressively from traditional mediums to invest in digital. Digital media became one of the most effective mediums to reach out to people locked inside their houses and stuck to their phone and tablet screens. This trend of increased smartphone consumption is only expected to amplify as more people, especially in Tier II and III cities, engage more digitally and make purchase decisions through websites, apps, social media platforms. Apps have undoubtedly become the most popular destination for consumers and marketers are capitalizing on this trend to engage with them. As per GroupM’s TYNY report, global digital advertising should account for 64.4% of total advertising in 2021, up from 60.5% in 2020 and 52.1% in 2019. Zenith also estimates that global adspend will reach $705 billion in 2021, up from $634 billion in 2019, and will rise to $873 billion by 2024. Digital marketing in India is also at the cusp of a massive revolution as brands explore options beyond social media marketing within the digital ecosystem and look to expand their presence across regional markets. It is predicted that India’s digital ad expenditure will grow 10 times over the next decade and will likely account for 70-85% of the total ad market, which currently stands at 33%. It is expected to touch $25-35 billion by 2030 from $3 billion in 2020. So, without a doubt, digital marketing is the future of advertising and the only way brands can grow is by harnessing various digital tools. In 2022, more brands will prepare for the next phase of the internet, include Metaverse in their marketing strategy and experiment with AR and VR. Some trends predicted by experts are: The dominant trend that seems imminent and set to grow is the cross media measurement. More and more brands are using a combination of technology to enrich what they do at last mile conversion, data management, and using the marketing data as signals to business and sales teams more effectively. Expect more martech being deployed. The use of automation will start to affect creativity. Organic search will be prioritized. content will have a bigger role, be it optimizing for voice search or improving user experience via engaging content across all brand touchpoints. It is estimated influencer marketing spends to catapult to $150 to $225 in 2022.  Social Commerce & contextual targeting and also localized content will dominate in 2022. Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 contributed significantly to the new era of online social retail. 2022 is going to be the year of alternate digital realities. Yes, the metaverse! That moment in time where our digital life seamlessly co-exists with our physical life. It is predicted that globally, 82% of consumer web traffic in 2022 would be from videos. With India’s video market set to touch $18 billion by 2026, it will soon play a dominant role in digital marketing.

66% marketers expect marketing budgets to increase in 2022

Marketing budgets are expected to go up in 2022 globally after two difficult years. 66% of marketers across key markets are set to increase their marketing budgets next year, according to a report from DCMN. 71% of Indian marketers are planning to increase their budgets in 2022, the report added. Furthermore, 93% of Indian marketers are likely to increase their spending on agencies in the next 12 months.  Branding efforts remain top of mind for marketers. As per the report, 62% of Indian marketers are more focused on long-term branding efforts, compared to 33% for performance-oriented goals. Globally, 65.5% of marketers are more focused on long-term branding efforts and 31.3% on performance-oriented goals. France and the Netherlands are the most focused on branding efforts, with 73% and 71% respectively. Mobile advertising (47.5%), podcasts (41.8%), and CTV (36.3%) have emerged as the most popular channels for marketers outside of digital advertising. For marketers in India, mobile is the most popular channel as 63% said they plan to invest in this channel. Marketers in India are most concerned about managing and reconciling large amounts of data across channels. The second big challenge for them is keeping up with privacy regulations.

Meta brings live chat support, ability to add third-party app links and more too

Meta has introduced a host of new features to its platforms. The updates announced by the social media giant are aimed at improving the experience for creators and communities. It has started testing a Live Chat support feature for users who have been locked out of their accounts. “Creators can access a dedicated creator support site when logged in through Facebook. There, they can chat live with a support agent for help on various issues ranging from status of a pay-out to questions about a new feature like Reels”, the company wrote in a blog post. As of now, the feature is part of a small test. It will expand to more creators wherein users will receive an invitation on Facebook or Instagram to join the test and explore the new support experience. Facebook has also added additional moderation tools like keyword blocking tools, suspending controls and stronger comment controls. The company has also introduced new tools to the Facebook Live features. These include Featured Links – Creators will now be able to share third-party app links to live broadcasts. From beauty blogs and donations, creators can add a featured link to their live broadcast, and viewers can visit these links without leaving the live video.




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