January 28, 2023

Metaverse and AR: Forces shaping business-to-business marketing

Meta labs are working on tech innovtions aimed at creating realistic virtual worlds in the metaverse.

Meta labs are working on tech innovtions aimed at creating realistic virtual worlds in the metaverse. – Copyright AFP/File Sameer Al-DOUMY

Sprout Social has researched and produced a report – the ‘2022 Index’ report. The report juxtaposes data between marketers and consumers around expectations for emerging platforms and technologies like the metaverse, AR/VR, and TikTok, which social platforms are being used most, the importance of taking stands on social issues, and much more.

The report identifies some important trends for the realm of business marketing. For example, 67 percent of marketers plan to invest at least a quarter of their budget into metaverse tactics over the next 12 months.

As to where this money will end up, the analysis indicates that Facebook remains the top platform. This is where marketers are focused because it is what most consumers plan to use most often through the next twelve months (at 71 percent). This is followed by YouTube (51 percent), Instagram (49 percent), and TikTok (38 percent).

Hence, marketers plans are similar with Facebook (65 percent), Instagram (59 percent), TikTok (39 percent) and YouTube (35 percent) topping the list for campaign activity.  

Interesting, there is a discrepancy in priority between consumers and marketers, especially with YouTube. This variation signals that brands should look more closely at the content and formats consumers prefer to engage with.

Marketers will also be focusing on more work subject matter in their attempts to appeal to consumers, especially those in distinct demographic groups. Here, the survey finds that 71 percent of consumers think it is important for brands to take a stand on sensitive issues. Such patterns are higher among the artificial divisions of consumers placed into Gen Z (73 percent) and Millennials (77% percent), according to their age.

Looking into the key trends from the report for Digital Journal is Sprout’s CMO Jamie Gilpin. The expert considers what really stands out to her from this year’s report.

Gilpin  has identified an important them within the report, noting: “While social trends have ebbed and flowed over the last nine years that Sprout Social has issued its annual Index, something that really stands out from this year’s report is the interest and outsized investment in new technologies like the metaverse and AR/VR.”

This development provides some value to the investment that Meta (Facebook’s parent company) is putting into the metaverse.

This type of activity is shaping the commercial world. Here Gilpin points out: “What I find most exciting about this finding is it shows how marketers are preparing their teams now for the surge in interest we expect to see in the next year or two.”

This is something where Gilpin believes specialist roles can drive change, as she concludes: “We, as marketers, really have an opportunity to lead the way and show consumers what is possible.”