As technology has shifted, businesses have long struggled to catch up to the latest tech trends, but there’s now a movement afoot to secure metaverse-related hires before the industry even makes a dent with consumers, according to Bloomberg.
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McKinsey data shows that more than $120 billion has already been poured into the metaverse this year, already doubling the amount invested during the entirety of last year.
To prepare for this seemingly bright future in the new virtual reality space, companies like Procter & Gamble, Creative Artists Agency, Telefonica SA and LVMH are already making a string of hires, including for roles like “chief metaverse officer” to delve into the new world of immersive blockchain, web3 and NFT-integrated virtual reality.
“Brands need to get closer to their customers, and the metaverse is a channel to do that,” Hamza Khan, a McKinsey partner co-leading its work in the metaverse, told Bloomberg. “Compared to the early days of e-commerce, this time around brands are a lot more active a lot earlier.”
“What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect, and collaborate,” said McKinsey senior partners Lareina Yee and Eric Hazan.
According to McKinsey, nearly a third of business leaders expect the metaverse to dramatically reshape their industry. Over the next five years, 25% of these leaders are predicting that the metaverse might yield 15% total margin growth in their business.
“Executives often don’t agree on very much, but our research shows they overwhelmingly agree on one thing: 95% of them believe the metaverse will have a positive impact on their industry,” McKinsey’s Yee said.
Brands like Starbucks, Adidas, and Procter & Gamble have already waded into the metaverse, but it's not clear yet if the buzzy word is more than hype and if consumers are actually latching onto the metaverse.
"I’m not impressed with what the 'crypto bros' are doing to the metaverse ― degrading it to nothing more than pixelated NFT galleries with blocky avatars running around on Minecraft-like terrain," Clyde DeSouza, a creative technologist in the UAE, wrote recently.
And for consumers, there's still a major gap in understanding. Not many people who have heard the term 'metaverse' can actually explain it — in fact, only 15% of surveyed people know how to explain it, and 72% of parents fear that it could jeopardize their children’s privacy and 66% are concerned it may imperil their children’s safety.