NCET Biz Tips: Should my business enter the metaverse?

Wes McQuillen

Wes McQuillen

There’s been so much talk about “the metaverse” in the past two years - some saying it’s an unstoppable force that we’ll all be plugged into, others saying it’s a pandemic fad that is losing relevance as many businesses return to the office. Certainly many big bets have been made on it; it’s not too often that a business valued at a trillion dollars rebrands itself for a fad (Facebook Company Is Now Meta). But making the investment to establish all or part of your business in the metaverse is not a decision to jump into without being confident it will pay off. So how do you know if your business is the kind that will benefit from being an early adopter in a new frontier?

Before we get started answering this question, let’s define what the metaverse is: the metaverse is not Meta, it’s not Mark Zuckerberg’s playground, it’s not just one place at all. Essentially, it’s the spatialized internet. Open to all builders, it includes VR environments, both public and private, but it also includes virtual environments that don’t require a headset, and tech with a spatial element like Instagram filters and 3D models. Many platforms make up the metaverse. It’s in its nascent stages, which means it’s full of opportunity. You can read a full explanation in a previous article I wrote here (What is the metaverse?).

Here are some considerations:

Is your geographic location intrinsic to your success, or is it holding you back?
Some businesses are successful specifically because of how they rank against their competitors in a specific region. Like if you’re the lowest priced plumber in town, or if you’re the only mechanic who works on foreign cars. These kinds of businesses will not benefit from the metaverse.
Conversely, if you offer services that can be virtualized, your geographic location might be holding you back because your potential customer base is limited to your region. Businesses like personal trainers, business coaches, designers, or anything that was able to operate fine in the last couple years over Zoom could possibly benefit from being one of the first of their kind to establish a presence in the metaverse. For a few reasons: first-mover advantage to have an outsize audience, and changing your potential customer territory from just your region to the entire world. How much would your business change if you could serve clients who live anywhere with internet access?

Could you serve your customers better by showing them instead of telling them?

Being told about something can convey the basic information, but people don’t really understand it until they’ve experienced it. Zoom, classroom, or office-based consulting, teaching, and coaching can convey the information, but when you add a spatial element, it becomes an experience. A nonprofit who is raising money for a cause can tell you stories about hardship, but experiencing it through VR storytelling where you see the world through the eyes of a person that they serve can create a level of empathy that has never been possible with text or video. A life coach can tell clients how to improve the way they navigate a certain situation, but setting up the scenario in the metaverse can allow their clients to practice skills in a zero-consequences environment as a dry run for trying it in real life.
The metaverse is rapidly evolving and people are developing new use cases every day - so this is not an exhaustive list of reasons, but this is a good place to start thinking about the possibilities.

Wes McQuillen is Principal of ALTER Strategies ( and NCET’s VP of Email Services for Tech Wednesday. ALTER Strategies offers alternative marketing approaches for the hard-to-advertise – age restricted, highly regulated, and stigmatized products and services – sometimes using metaverse tech like VR and AR.

NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that helps people explore business and technology. (


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