Growing conversations around the metaverse across multiple industries show that organizations are increasingly looking to put their weight behind this nascent immersive world.
This new virtual world offers incredible promise. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people worldwide will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, socializing, and entertainment. It’s no surprise, then, that more than $120 billion has been invested in the metaverse in 2022 alone, eclipsing the $57 billion invested all of last year, according to a McKinsey report. Additionally, the report predicts that the metaverse could reach a value of $5 trillion by 2030.
This huge promise has driven companies to position themselves to reap the benefits of the metaverse. Organizations like Disney, P&G, and LVMH have recently appointed Metaverse directors, while others, like Nike, Balenciaga, and Gucci, are hiring for Metaverse-related jobs. But what is a metaverse manager and why should an organization hire one today?
Typically, a Metaverse Manager (CMTO) is responsible for developing and maintaining a company’s online presence in the Metaverse. However, some industry leaders debate the need and definition of a Metaverse Director.
Scott Keeney (aka DJ Skee), CMTO at TSX Entertainment, told VentureBeat that “a Chief Officer of the Metaverse would be someone with extensive experience in the [metaverse] space with in-depth knowledge of video games and the Web3 ecosystem. In addition to technical knowledge, the typical Metaverse CEO should also be knowledgeable about the creative side of the market and be able to lead an organization’s Metaverse efforts. This includes knowing and recruiting people with experience in development platforms such as Unreal Engine, Unity and CryEngine… or Blender and Maya.
Keeney further noted that the CMTO must have a view of the metaverse environment, in addition to technical expertise in cryptocurrency, cloud computing, blockchain, and game engines.
Ultimately, the Metaverse Director manages the organization’s brand, image, mission and vision across various virtual platforms and props, he said.
Stable leadership and management needed
As the Metaverse is still in its infancy, it’s no surprise that only a small portion of the C suite fully understands the Metaverse – as Apple CEO Tim Cook admits in an article – and how it could shape things across the company in the next few years. However, Marty Resnik, vice president and analyst at Gartner, believes that “now is the best time to learn, explore, and prepare for a metaverse with limited implementation.”
Similarly, Vanessa Mullin, Business Development Manager for Metaverse and Interactive Media at Agora, told VentureBeat that “for a company that intends to experiment with the Metaverse, the use of a CMTO is inevitable.” .
“When you think of C-suite roles, they’re designed to have particular strategy and resources, and management principles that flow from the arrowhead,” she added. “The way a company progresses is largely based on having a team of highly effective leaders who pull their teams in the right direction. According to the predictions of the metaverse, enormous resources and responsibilities are going to require leadership and innovative, but stable management.
For a company exploring how it will fit into the larger landscape and can take advantage of the endless opportunities within the metaverse, it’s the CMTO’s job to figure out the angles and figure out what works. Hiring a CMTO will help a company stay on top of emerging trends in the metaverse and focus on aspects of those trends that will help meet their specific business needs.
But do you need a CMTO at this point?
But while Mullin thinks it’s imperative to hire a metaverse team up front, she suggests a CMTO could come later. “To start, I think a small metaverse ‘strike team’ will suffice. Someone to test, play and research what works best for your business. Once you’ve found your niche and established your ” probable mass, you can hire a metaverse officer to manage and execute your roadmaps,” she said.
On the other hand, if moving some of your activities into the Metaverse is a priority, you may have already named your Metaverse Director.
It’s a CMTO’s job to determine which metaverse use cases are best for their business, Keeney said. “It might not make sense to create a bank in the metaverse on a platform like Roblox, or Fortnite, or Decentraland. The CMTO must find new ways to interact or engage or assist transactions in the metaverse and create tools to get the business there.
As Cathy Hackl, Founder and Director of Metaverse at Journey, put it, “That’s how you can test hypotheses in some of these virtual worlds or test how your brand might be able to do certain things. You can do these things as prototypes and privately.
The world is still a few years away from the mass adoption of metaverse platforms. But if you’re building your own metaverse in anticipation, you need someone who can start moving the pieces in the right direction now. P&G this year launched a digital platform called BeautySPHERE and reimagined a popular 1980s TV ad into a video game. Nike bought a virtual sneaker company and created a world modeled after its real-life headquarters. Starbucks is introducing coffee-themed NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, tied to its customer loyalty program.
Enter the metaverse early
Gartner predicts that “through 2024, direct opportunities for large-scale adoption in the metaverse will be limited,” adding that “the market is beginning to explore and experiment with long-term, high-value applications and use cases. “. The state of the Metaverse today may be far from mainstream – even with all the investment in the space, Gartner estimates that the Metaverse will become mature by 2030. But if your business seeks to be a player in the metaverse when it reaches full maturity, it’s time to put together a metaverse team – and even appoint a CMTO.
Keeney says this first phase of the metaverse is important. “It reminds me a lot of the dot-com era – there was so much hype and people were confused. It can be very intimidating; everyone was getting into it, we all knew it was the future and it accelerated so quickly. Then it had to be built, after which it slowly took over our lives. And that’s what I think is going to happen with the metaverse, like we’re in that phase. We have reached this place where people are now asking questions about it and getting inspiration from it,” he said.
By hiring a CMTO, your business is investing in a long-term strategy that will get you into the metaverse before your customers. An executive who oversees work related to the metaverse will interface with many departments: product, marketing, business development and partnerships, policy, legal, etc. A transversal perspective requires someone with peripheral vision and the ability to unify a strategy. It will offer a glimpse of a future where the metaverse is neither a novelty nor a separate entity, but an established paradigm that touches every element of your business.
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