In June 2022, advertising giant Publicis Groupe unveiled the latest member of its C-Suite at a technology conference in Paris. Called Leon that Chief Metaverse Officer is not a human, but a new interface in the form of a avatar to further help its clients understand, navigate and develop Web3 strategies.
Publicis wants Leon to help blue-chip clients like Walmart Inc., UBS Group AG and Nestlé SA understand what blockchain, NFTs and a richer internet experience could mean for their businesses, as in a Bloomberg Report.
And wait. Leon even has a LinkedIn profile, an email address, and a French accent. But no, it doesn’t get a paycheck since it’s a digital avatar.
While Leon isn’t human, companies increasingly are hire real people to help them navigate the so-called “meta-jungle”. Firms as diverse as consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co., talent manager Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica SA, luxury goods maker LVMH, and wedding registry retailer Crate & Barrel have them all decided they needed a Chief Metaverse Officer (CMO), the mentioned report.
Although the recent downturn in the tech sector has killed the Metaverse stars like Meta Platforms Inc. and Roblox Corp. hit particularly hard, it hasn’t stopped companies from entering the market Million Dollar Paydays to new leaders as a down payment to secure their digital future. According to the Bloomberg Report, Gartner analysts say that within a few years, one in four people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse.
“Brands need to get closer to their customers, and the Metaverse is a channel for that,” said Hamza Khan, a partner at McKinsey who is co-leading the company’s Metaverse effort, according to the report. Trade, this time brands are much more active much earlier.”
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Initially, Chief Metaverse Officers first appeared with video game companies, where immersion in a digital universe is central to the products. But the role has emerged in more reputable institutions dipping their toes into web3.
P&G launched a digital platform called BeautySPHERE this year, turning a popular 1980s TV ad into a video game. Nike Inc. bought a virtual sneaker company and created a world modeled after their real-world headquarters. Starbucks Corp. launches coffee-themed NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, associated with its customer loyalty program. Walmart could create its own cryptocurrency. Luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, and Dolce & Gabbana have taken their fashion into virtual domains in hopes of turning ultra-online youth into real-world buyers of expensive handbags, watches, and jewelry, as per Bloomberg.
So putting that talk into action is basically the job of executives like P&G’s Ioana Matei, whose title is Head of Emerging and Immersive Technologies, and LVMH’s Nelly Mensah, Vice President of Digital Innovation and Emerging Solutions at Fendi and Bulgari. Disney’s man in the Metaverse, Mike White, is senior vice president responsible for next-gen storytelling and consumer experiencesaccording to the report.
The world’s first Chief Metaverse Officer
The ideal chief metaverse officer can be as fluent in AR and VR as he is in sales and marketing, according to Cathy Hackl, who helps companies build their meta business units and claims that “world’s first Chief Metaverse Officer‘, a title she gave herself.
“They’re not easy to find, but there are people who straddle those two worlds,” she said.
According to a forbes report, Web3 is an innovative and sometimes confusing space in which many companies are still learning to navigate and maximize. And for some of the biggest brands in the world, Cathy Hackl has been the indispensable guide into the Metaverse.
Hackl is a Web3 strategist and tech futurist. As Founder and Chief Metaverse Officer at Journey (formerly Futures Intelligence Group), she supports brands breaking new ground and expanding their business into the virtual world. Her studio helps clients leverage tools like NFTs, games, virtual fashion, virtual worlds, and metaverse growth strategies. Hackl is widely credited with being the first professional to be awarded the title of Chief Metaverse Officer.
Appropriately the nickname ‘Godmother of the Metaverse‘, Hackl was at the forefront of integrating Web3 into the business strategy. But their success didn’t begin with technology. Hackl was a broadcast journalist before moving into corporate communications and live video, according to Forbes.
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