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10 May 2022
How Visa is thinking about the metaverse
Visa, the payments company, is seeking to understand the different types of metaverse as it crafts its strategy in this area, and believes there are four main spaces for brands to potentially explore.
Freddie Covington, Visa's SVP and global chief brand officer, discussed this topic in a LIONS Marketers Series event held by LIONS, which, like WARC, is owned by Ascential.
Asking the right questions
The first question to answer regarding the metaverse, Covington noted, is a deceptively simple one: “What is this thing?”
In helping answer that query, Visa Consulting & Analytics, the firm’s consultancy arm, produced a white paper that aimed to bring greater clarity to this digital environment.
“We first tried to segment the types of Metaverse. There isn't just one,” said Covington.
The different types of metaverse
While noting that the metaverse will continue to evolve, the white paper leveraged a framework from the Acceleration Studies Foundation, a non-profit, to shape its thinking.
Its schematic identified four types of metaverse: augmented reality; “lifelogging” tech that helps people track and share experiences; “mirror worlds” that digitally recreate and extend reality; and virtual worlds.
Underlying these experiences are new content models (two-way and immersive), new platforms (like Roblox and Fortnite gaming services), and new infrastructure (such as virtual-reality headsets and the blockchain).
Having mapped out the landscape, Visa can begin to address a wider range of strategic considerations.
“Then, we're trying to connect: Where do our most precious audiences live in those areas? Where could we find them? What are the topics that would be interesting to bring [them] to engage?” Covington said.
Multiple options are available, be it creating a branded game to entertain consumers or rolling out financial-education resources to help people learn about money management.
It is essential for marketers to consider “what to do” and “what not to do” as they go forward into this new digital universe, Covington noted.
The big idea
“We're realizing that there are different types of Metaverse and different entry points as a result, which then will help us figure out at what level do we want to engage.” – Freddie Covington, SVP and global chief brand officer, Visa.