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The present and future of the Metaverse according to 9 leaders of the Spanish digital sector [Women Forward]

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The power of a reference is immense, it inspires, encourages to follow a path and shows that reaching a goal is possible. However, there can be no referents if they are not known. Yes, they, because today our protagonists are the directors of the digital sector in Spain.

From Marketing4eCommerce we want to contribute our grain of sand. Since giving visibility implies promoting other colleagues with the examples of the incredible women that we have had the honor of hearing today in our fifth edition of the WomenForwardan event that we organize in collaboration with AxiCom Spain.

Metaverse: how much is trend and how much is fashion?

We have managed to entangle nothing more and nothing less than nine leading women in the digital sector with the excuse of exchanging opinions and discussing the topic of the moment: the Metaverse!

The meeting was moderated by our director Ruben Cane and by Monica Gonzalez, Country Manager at AxiCom, who also participated as a speaker. In total, the participants were:

The Social Layer of the Metaverse

To break the ice, our speakers began by updating themselves on the situation of their brands. As expected, the pandemic came to the fore, since its effects are still being felt, but in the case of ManoMano this event did not mark a dark stage in its brand, as it confessed to us Elizabeth Salazar: «The pandemic has brought to Spain a boom in DIY, home and garden care, which was already in our European neighbors, it is here to stay, as well as awareness for a sustainable home«.

In the wake of great events, Paola Gutierrez (Motorola) wanted to highlight the need not to lose sight of what really matters when getting carried away by the digital revolution that we are experiencing. «In all marketing actions today, data is very important, but always without forgetting strategies that seek to achieve an emotional bond with users, consumers, customers and future customers, so that they feel the brand as their own and need to be part of it. her”.

As for this boom that is the Metaverse, which seems unstoppable and ready to impact our lives and change them forever at any moment, Elena Borras (L’Oréal Luxe) considers that “there is still a long way to go” but that eventually there will come a point where “the Metaverse will be somewhat more established. We are seeing big companies pushing it, while advertisers are starting to get interested and experiment. Only people are missing. And the big question is, what are we each going to gain by being there? Although you said that 20 years ago of social networks, when you did not imagine that we would be two hours looking at photos on Instagram«.

Martha Panera (Foreo) wanted to make a distinction between the real Metaverse and the industrial Metaverse. «The industrial really already exists, it is a closed environment and where workers are educated: there are companies that have complete simulators of their factories in Roblox«. He also related the current initiatives of the brands related to the Metaverse with a “marketing activity”, rather than with actions that actually lead the user to a stable activity in the Metaverse.

For its part, Martha Jimenez (Tendam) reflected on how the markings have already begun to peek through the doorway of the Metaverse, albeit quietly for now. «We are beginning to see how e-commerce itself is beginning to visually adapt its catalogs to aspects more associated with the Metaverse, with avatars or 3D product images. There is already a fashion week in the Metaverse, the audiences are already coming, but like everything, it starts as a fashion, which is what I think it is now«.

Once again, social responsibility reappears in the conversation, there is no doubt that this is one of the great topics when talking about the Metaverse or technological evolutions at its level. This is a topic that concerns consumers but, thanks to this event, we have been able to appreciate how it is also on the minds of the people in charge of the brands.

About consumers and users Martha Jimenez he spoke again. «I do not believe in digital users or real users, today we users are one. Even if you have a virtual avatar, you are not going to go naked on the street, you still need to buy real clothes and try them on, so commerce as we know it will continue to be present. But today the interesting thing is to take advantage of the Metaverse to generate new communities and try other trends«.

The Metaverse, a space that will complement reality

When we ask them about how they perceive the boom that is being generated around this concept, and if they think it is a flash in the pan, a passing fad, or if they really consider it a trend that will change the future of the media social, there seems to be a consensus: the Metaverse and what it implies still has a long way to go, but it will end up being part of our lives.

Laura Cuts (Adyen), is of the opinion that we will still have to wait a long time until we see a consolidated Metaverse «we have the feeling that the internet is moving very fast, but the reality is that this is the thousandth attempt. Currently we do not have a sufficiently developed technological structure to implement it in the short term, just as it was sold to us in the movies, I think it is still more than 20 years away. Right now we are at the base«. And to Elizabeth Salazar, “This is not new, neither the software nor the hardware has advanced yet. I do believe that it can play an important role in a sector like mine as a source of information, it can be a differential opportunity to advise and test products in a different way«.

Elena Borras, for his part, wanted to add to the debate the reflection on all the aspects involved in creating something so immense and the physical and legal barriers that must be overcome. «To have a Metaverse, as it has been described to us for years, you need it to be immersive with the technology that allows that experience, but is the user prepared for the investment that this implies?«.

Given this observation, Paula Gutierrez He added a very interesting topic: how after the confinement situation we have experienced, digital disconnection and reconnection with the physical world seem to be the trends we are moving towards right now. “There are many ethical and regulatory aspects that remain to be seen, and public bodies have to get to work. On the other hand, and in relation to whether the metaverse is something real or posturing, many times it is about creating a need, something fictitious that responds to some strategy or that, at best, can be developed in the very long term. Even so, many companies jump on the bandwagon, how can they be left out? Finally, I would like to highlight the emerging trends of disconnection of the new generations which makes me wonder if we will really be so connected in the future.

Nevertheless, Monica Gonzalez (AxiCom) does believe it is possible for the Metaverse to gain strength, not as a substitute for reality, but as part of it. As we have a presence on social networks. It will be one more space within those we already know. «Yes, it can be one more place that can help the community and that will be part of our lives, just as we integrate social networks, that is, that it is part of everyday life just as you consult your social profiles. From the point of view of communication it will be a total change, you will be different in the real world and in the virtual world, which will mean new opportunities at the communication level«.

And precisely, the current existence of these spaces also spoke Alicia Vincent (PcComponentes), relating them to the experience that streaming already provides, but highlighting the lack of the necessary material to build the enveloping sensation that the Metaverse will entail. “We prefer to call it an immersive experience. It’s not just glasses, or helmets or video games, you need equipment that doesn’t exist yet, and there are already certain user profiles that demand it. Let’s not forget that there are already real payments between players, real relationships are emerging between those communities. For the generations that come after, which are the ones that will really be able to see a great Metaverse, today video games and streaming are the new immersive experiences, they generate communities«.

Regarding the use that brands can give to Metaverson, Irene Aguirre (Samsung) contemplates multiple possibilities, but always from a coherent approach that fits with each brand. «It depends on your business model, if your business model can be adapted, the Metaverse will be able to take advantage of it for many things, such as making a product known in a more complete way than with the simple product file of your eCommerce, in the one you only have the description. Any of us like to get an idea of ​​what the product is like, and the Metaverse allows you to mess around with it even without physically having it, as you would in a neighborhood store«. However, the caution about what the impact on our society may be is still present. «What worries me is the social part, I think it is still being built, and yes, it is brutal to be able to bring together people from very distant places united by the same interest, but I am not sure if I want that new dependent society«.

The Potential Impact of the Metaverse on Younger Generations

The last part of the conversation revolved around how the Metaverse can affect generation Z and later, taking into account the way they relate to each other and how they take advantage of digital spaces for this, but at the same time they find themselves saturated and They want to disconnect.

A sensitive issue since as I pointed out Martha Jimenez, we are facing a scenario in which «there are more and more diseases among young people, the fear that this trend gives me is that you in the Metaverse can be someone else and real life is hard. All these people who at certain ages are still malleable, can get wrong ideas since in the Metaverse you can be whoever you want, while in real life it is not like that«.

The speakers agreed on the importance of education in the technological field and reinforcement in the field of mental health, not only to avoid situations of distortion between real and virtual identity, but also to avoid misuse of the Metaverse and other technologies that can lead to cyberbullying, for example.

It has been a most enriching day, for us and for all the participants, who have been able to draw on the knowledge of others and learn new perspectives and opinions. In addition, as in all our events, the key ingredient could not be missing: a lot of networking!

We hope that initiatives like this help voices like yours to be heard even louder and empower other women. who knows if one of our readers could be in our next Women Forward tomorrow 😊.

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