19 April 2024 Share

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Metaverse Marketing Lab: kick-off of the 2nd edition


The kick-off event of the second edition of the Metaverse Marketing Lab, the research lab of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano on the study of applications in markeitng of immersive experiences and the 3D web, was held on March 21.


Following the emergence of the Metaverse, which not only led to Facebook’s rebranding as Meta but also saw significant investment by big tech in promoting the imminent arrival of a new form of virtual reality experience, the past few months have been marked by a general perception of dampened excitement surrounding this significant technological evolution.

As often happens, however, this marks the start of pilot projects, experiments, and the consolidation of new initiatives such as experiences and activations on gaming platforms like Roblox or Fortnite, which are becoming increasingly common. This is also due to the numbers and characteristics of these platforms: there are an estimated 600 million gamers globally, with a significant presence of Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

These two generations, born between 1996 and 2010 and from 2010 onwards, use mainstream media content and social platforms less than their predecessors. They have a completely different approach to stores and the brand distributed there, resulting in quite unique and somehow disorienting levels of awareness and perception of positioning. That’s why numerous brands in fashion, luxury, automotive, but also retailing, charity and the media/entertainment world have begun to systematically use these and other marketing tools that leverage the 3D web. In the most successful cases, they have observed significantly higher user engagement levels and quicker response times compared to marketing initiatives on other channels. However, in less successful cases, the numbers haven’t matched the significant investments made in developing presence and content.

In this ever-evolving and uncertain scenario, some elements such as the launch of new headset models by companies like Apple, Meta, Samsung, and Lenovo, or the experiments and projects undertaken by eyewear industry players like Essilor Luxottica in collaboration with some big tech companies to integrate headset functionalities into prescription or sunglasses, suggest a growth of the phenomenon, promising a wider adoption of access technologies.

The increasing adoption of Artificial Intelligence, especially generative AI, is emerging as a means to improve efficiency in coding development, resulting in reduced costs for experience development. Furthermore, the use of Virtual Reality, already well-established in B2B contexts (in research and development, rendering, process engineering, training, etc.), not only represents an interesting market phenomenon in itself but could also represent the same impactful change that the development of the computer market brought to office computing in the 1980s.

During the event, the Metaverse Marketing Lab of the School of Management engaged with an audience of over 50 industry managers, bridging the perspectives of brands with those of technology and marketing/communication companies. This discussion was informed by an analysis of over 800 international cases of metaverse marketing.

The novelty of this edition also lies in the launch of the cross-enabler project, which involves groups of companies and technicians engaged in extended reality platforms to collaborate in identifying use cases and developing proofs of concept (POCs). It is a practical, hands-on approach that allows them to become familiar with the platforms, their functionalities, distinctive features, and reflect on ways to apply them to their own business. Throughout the year, the working groups will develop solutions and present them to the companies participating in the activities of the Metaverse Marketing Lab, with the aim of building a knowledge base and experiences in approaching the challenge of virtuality applied to business.


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