7 minute read 24 January 2023

Rising technologies for marketers to watch

Which new technologies most interest marketing leaders this year—and which are likely to sustain their interest over the long term?

Scott Mager

Scott Mager

United States

Bree Matheson

Bree Matheson

United States

Striking the right balance between hype and investment is one part art and one part science for chief marketing officers (CMOs). It’s impossible to ignore trends that everyone is talking about, but unwise to overinvest in unproven technology. Still, marketers should always be prepared for emerging technologies that can suddenly create significant competitive advantage.

The CMO has the potential to determine how these trends become relevant to their customers. They can consider, “How can this transform my business or sector?” This year, our data suggests Web3 technologies are of growing interest for marketers, as they offer significant promise to brands.

Growing interest in the metaverse

The metaverse is a confluence of technologies that allow new forms of experience and engagement across industries through 3D activity and the use of simulations based on artificial intelligence. Interest in the metaverse is growing rapidly, with many brands expecting to use the metaverse to link the physical and virtual worlds over the next one to two years. While more business-to-consumer industries have been getting a jump on developing a metaverse strategy, our survey of 1,015 marketing executives shows that even industries such as energy, resources, and industrials (ER&I) and life sciences and health care (LS&HC) are gravitating toward the metaverse, indicating that it is likely a compelling issue across sectors (figure 1).1 At this early stage, brands may be unsure how quickly to rush to market, so they should assess and define clear objectives for how their organization will create experiences in the metaverse. In particular, brands that wish to be leaders in the virtual space should consider laying the groundwork for joining the sphere of unlimited reality.

The top reason brands gave for not already engaging in the metaverse is that they face difficulty with developing or implementing the technology (45% of respondents), issues that can be caused by limitations in skill sets, talent, or budget. LS&HC respondents reported even higher rates of concern (55%) that technology implementation is a serious barrier.

The data suggests, however, that implementation barriers are not enough to dampen interest in the metaverse. Only 10% of respondents said the metaverse is “not relevant for my industry.” ER&I sector respondents are the most likely to believe it’s not relevant to their industry, with 24% of respondents seeing it as irrelevant. Still, these numbers suggest that broad adoption of these new technologies is likely on the horizon.

Marketing executives that we interviewed also noted that a path toward metaverse adoption is not yet clear cut. There remain questions about which metaverse platform to join based on where customers are most likely to end up. Some brands reported tentatively exploring existing spaces, while others reported considering developing their own. For example, Claire Tellenbach, marketing manager at H. Moser and Cie. (which produces luxury watches), says, “For now, we are developing our own metaverse space, which is the Moser Lounge to welcome customers and press. We are exploring different ideas for launches and press conferences. Postpandemic, instead of doing huge video calls, maybe we can host them in the metaverse.”2

Other brands recognize the value of the metaverse but are taking a slower approach to accommodate other competing priorities. Ömer Barbaros Yis, CEO of LC Waikiki E-Commerce Business, a European fashion retailer, says, “I deeply believe that the metaverse and all the immersive experiences—let's say metaverse or virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and all that stuff—have that tremendous potential in e-commerce as well, making experiences more immersive for customers before they buy, to try them out.” However, he also notes, “[The metaverse] is not my [top] priority, [because] when people have struggled with prices, with economics, when they have even struggled to pay for energy, they care more about affordability [of the metaverse].”3 Instead, he plans to keep working on a longer-term road map for adoption of up-and-coming technologies in years to come.

Brands across industries should start to consider the role the metaverse might play in their marketing strategy in the medium to long term. In the coming year, based on our fieldwork with CMOs, we recommend:

  • Look before you leap. Define your objectives for creating metaverse experiences, and keep an eye on early adopters who will pave the way for broader adoption in 2024 and beyond. Make sure to consider potential challenges including cybersecurity, trust, brand reputation, and digital rights management.
  • Weigh brand priorities in developing your adoption strategies. Our data shows that companies are still prioritizing investment in technology platforms and capabilities to support personalization and achieve customer-centricity as a top priority, but brands that fail to create a strategy for joining the metaverse may lose the opportunity to become a leader in the space.
  • Start laying the groundwork for a metaverse strategy. The metaverse offers CMOs across industries new opportunities to expand engagement and experience, and to grow new revenue channels. Marketers that fail to set a strategy early may find themselves playing catch-up for years to come.

Blockchain technology makes gains in regulatory environments

While blockchain’s use in marketing is still nascent, pressure to address privacy issues may be fueling early adoption. Of the CMOs who say addressing the regulatory environment is their top priority, 35% have already implemented blockchain technology in their advertising strategy, compared with 21% of all other respondents (figure 2). This is because, particularly in regulatory environments, blockchain offers new possibilities for strengthening consumer privacy and allowing consumers to control their own data. For example, blockchain offers innovative possibilities for the health care sector, which can use the technology to store, share, and utilize data to communicate with patients without sharing data with a third party.

Still, 41% of all CMOs plan to support their advertising strategy with blockchain in the next 12 months, and blockchain and other technologies were the fifth-most important technology cited by CMOs. These data points indicate a larger shift toward the nascent technology in the coming year. Tellenbach says that Moser is implementing the use of blockchain because it offers the promise of solving specific needs within the watch market: tracking and authenticating products over their lifespan and ensuring service follow-ups even if they are sold or traded on the secondhand market.4

Different industries will likely need to adopt different, more localized approaches to these technologies that carefully prioritize the needs of their customers with the existing resources the brands have. Our results show that brands working in regulatory environments should probably consider a strategy for blockchain in the coming year for the data privacy reasons mentioned above. Other industries, on the other hand, can keep a close eye on digital currency leaders to start laying the groundwork for broader blockchain adoption in the coming years. Less regulated industries will likewise have the opportunity to build consumer trust, as well as to provide a more customized, direct consumer experience.

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  1. 2023 Deloitte Global Marketing Trends executive survey, conducted in June 2022.

    View in Article
  2. Interviews conducted between July and September 2022 as part of research for 2023 Global Marketing Trends.

    View in Article
  3. Ibid.View in Article
  4. Ibid.

    View in Article

The authors would like to thank Hussein DajaniAdam Deutsch, and Dounia Senawi for their support in developing this trend.

Cover image by: Alexis Werbeck

Deloitte Digital

Digital technology has changed the face of business. Across the globe, Deloitte Digital helps clients see what’s possible, identify what’s valuable, and deliver on it by combining creative and digital capabilities with advertising agency prowess and the technical experience, deep business strategy, and relationships of the world’s largest consultancy. Deloitte Digital empowers businesses with the insights, platforms, and behaviors needed to continuously and rapidly evolve to perform beyond expectations.

Stacy Kemp

Stacy Kemp

Principal | Marketing & Customer Strategy


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