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How should brands measure ROI in the metaverse?

Metaverse originates from gaming platforms but has evolved beyond games. Metaverse's scalability has brought many brands in contact with users to engage with metaverse users. This, however, does not change its core value from being user-oriented to brands’. Again, the mountain of commercialization seen in the metaverse today attests to its scalability and capacity to attract people across locations. This scalability has equally led to many joining metaverses without knowing what to do there; this is not bad in its entirety – it reiterates why the metaverse is a home for experimentation. Therefore, brands will be in the metaverse to gain loyalty and sell to users – we have seen Coca-Cola, Nike, Meta, and other giant brands pitting their tent in the metaverse.

However, a problem abounds — apart from direct sales in the metaverse, how do brands know that their metaverse campaign is successful? What is the ROI in the metaverse, or is measuring hours of engagement enough? These are questions about metaverse metrics and KPIs that beg for immediate response.

Answering these questions, the first process for brands is understanding their target audience before heading into the metaverse. Why should this be your first step as a brand? Engaging campaigns with the wrong audience will amount to nothing. Understanding if your target audience is part of early adopters of the metaverse is crucial to know if the metaverse is worth banking on. For instance, brands have found a gem, and they can harness the opportunities in the metaverse swiftly if their target audience includes gaming enthusiasts and people interested in emerging technologies and new investment channels. This is because this set of people is likely to explore the metaverse more than anyone else. After understanding the targeted audience and being ready to create immersive and exciting campaigns, what metrics should now be measured to determine the success of a campaign?

ROI in the metaverse –the metrics

Metaverse is relatively new, and more metrics must be used to determine a campaign's success. However, a brand’s ROI in the metaverse depends on the campaign's outcome. For instance, a brand auctioning NFTs release and able to sell all on certain days has had a successful campaign; this is the position of Zoe Chen, strategy director for APAC at Virtue. Therefore, the ROI of a campaign could be the hours of engagement, the number of signups, views, time spent on the website, and the number of sales to round it up.

Now a question that may pop up is how brands like Coca-Cola will measure the ROI of its campaign in Fortnite, which include collecting and discovering treasures, pixels, and mini-games? But this is not difficult as it seems because the brands have the number of QR codes scanned, hours of engagement in the virtual world, and the number of participants that returns – these offer more metrics beyond clicks and views on paid media.

How to measure success in the metaverse

As we mentioned, the goals of a metaverse campaign will determine what to measure as metrics, which will be different across brands and industries. For instance, a beverage industry will be interested in metrics that help translate engagements to more consumers, while a brand offering UGC will measure different metrics. So while a brand is measuring dwell time and memory retention rate, another brand will measure the conversion rate of visitors and revenue generated from virtual items.

Metaverse metrics to measure

Having understood the need to know your targeted audience and when to jump into the metaverse, below are some metrics to measure.

  • The number of visitors: The number of people on your Roblox or Minecraft home can be measured to know how popular your key events or brand is among people. One example is Decentraland, which hosted over one hundred thousand people during the metaverse fashion week. However, this may mean little to a successful campaign.

  • Conversion rate is a better metric than the number of visitors because it shows how people rate your campaign. A person is converted when he enters a virtual world and buys virtual items or the physical twin of that asset. This metric is simple to calculate by knowing the number of visitors and the number of people that purchase on-site. Therefore, the conversion rate is important to highlight what a brand should focus on and what to improve.

  • Time spent on an experience: a customer staying and engaging in the metaverse for hours must have had a positive and immersive experience with a brand campaign. Unlike social media ads that people skip once the option pops up or how swiftly people skim through content, dwell time is a crucial insight into how interesting and engaging an experience is.

  • Engagement: one important metric is engagement, as it helps to know if a gaming experience or campaign is designed with retention in mind. Therefore, this is related to dwell time and conversion rate, as someone who enjoys an immersive and engaging experience will spend more time and be more likely to buy a product. However, creates new ways of measuring engagement, regarded as the seven levels of engagement.

Measuring ROI in the metaverse – the take-home message

Creating a metaverse experience is expensive. However, the success some brands have achieved makes it appealing to try. Taking risks on innovation and building customer engagement and loyalty experiences is worth it. Additionally, it is a process you can keep learning from over time. One of the success stories of brands in the metaverse is Nike; this global brand created Nikeland with 21 million visitors in a year and created a web3 platform – pointing out the success of capturing and engaging new users. However, many others have failed in this quest. So measuring ROI to determine the success of a campaign comes from measuring the campaign's goals. If it involves selling a product, the number of merchandize sales from the campaign is another metric. Finally, by evaluating the cost of creating a campaign and the return, we can calculate the ROI of a campaign.

Therefore, the metaverse quest will be successful after ironing out the goals right from inception, understanding the audience, and creating an experience tailored for the end users.

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