The Metaverse: Moving Business Into the Future (Cathy Hackl)

Cathy Hackl


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Lisa Rothstein

What Is “The Metaverse”?

The metaverse is so new that there isn’t even an agreed definition of it yet; Hackl herself regularly types the term into an online dictionary to see if a unified definition exists.

Web3 and the metaverse are intrinsically linked⎯but they are not interchangeable. Here’s how Hackl currently defines and makes distinctions between the metaverse and Web3:

  • Web3 is about connecting people, places, things, spaces, and assets.
  • The metaverse is how we will experience the future of the internet.

The metaverse is enabled by many technologies:

  • AR, VR, and mobile devices as entry points
  • Gaming
  • 5G & Wifi 6
  • Blockchain & NFTs
  • AI
  • Cloud & Edge Computing

Gaming is incredibly important; it is the parent of the metaverse. Gaming will provide new opportunities to meet your customers. In Web 3.0, even work is going to be gamified; people will make a living playing games. New jobs will be created, new revenue streams will be generated, and there will be greater connections between the physical and virtual world.

What Do The Metaverse & Web3 Mean For Society?

Web3 will unlock creativity in a way we’ve never seen. It will allow creators to share in the value of their creations, and will make our world machine-readable. Autonomous vehicles and robots will be able to engage with us in new ways.

Community and authenticity are at the heart of the metaverse and Web3. This has deep anthropological implications as even the concept of work evolves; the career paths our children experience will be very different. “The world’s next Coco Chanel is possibly a 10-year-old girl building in Roblox,” said Hackl.

Hackl recently spoke at South by Southwest, where new technologies were shown that will allow us to “feel the virtual” with new sensory technologies.

Holoportation will allow us to explore new environments in real time; you will be able to holoport into your family’s living room, or your CEO can holoport into your office. This also has applications in the historic preservation field; for example, capturing people’s stories in a visceral way that can live beyond them.

What The Metaverse Means For Future Business

There are going to be several new metaverse commerce models:

  • P2P: Physical-to-Physical
  • eCommerce (digital)
  • V2V: Virtual-to-Virtual
  • P2V: Physical-to-Virtual
  • V2P: Virtual-to-Physical

The metaverse will also enable businesses to attract new & younger customers, connect with customers all around the world, create new revenue streams, experiment and innovate, and enable new customer journeys & POP (points of purchase). For example, the metaverse will accommodate virtual ideas paid with virtual currency (V2V), an especially hot concept right now in business communities.

What Does The Metaverse Mean For Your Customers?

The metaverse will allow us to connect with others as we’ve never experienced before. We will be able to explore new identities and experience new environments continuously, as well as trying new brands and products. It will bring us closer to all types of businesses, brands, and products from anywhere: around the globe, virtual worlds, and even outer space!

“People are aligning around a shared goal, a shared idea; it is about community,” Hackl explained. “I’m also excited about how this opportunity aligns experiences.”

The Metaverse Market Opportunity

In 2021, $100 million was spent on virtual goods inside gaming platforms. The metaverse market may be worth $800 billion by 2024, according to Bloomberg; Goldman Sachs has estimated the metaverse as an $8 trillion market opportunity. A study from newzoo predicts that the number of gamers worldwide will exceed 3 billion by 2023.

New jobs are being created. There will be new revenue streams for businesses & new commerce models. Even children are saving up to buy virtual products. "My kids didn’t know Gucci until it came to Roblox,” Hackl said.

The holy grail is in seamlessly connecting the physical & virtual worlds. Ultimately, Web3 is about creating experiences, not ads.

Hackl explained how her son’s first experience of a concert was a virtual one in Roblox. “Just because it happens in a virtual space doesn’t make it less real,” Hackl said.

Hackl was recently invited to be the chairperson of the first Metaverse Fashion Week, happening March 24-27, 2022. It’s a virtual event with lots of big brand participation and is generating a lot of media excitement. Hackl’s own gown, the Nessa dress, was designed in the metaverse by legally blind designer Natalie Trevonne-Gross.


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How Hackl Is Working In The Metaverse

Hackl created the metaverse strategy for Ralph Lauren, including introducing them to the Roblox environment:


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Hackl’s work on Clinique’s first NFT incorporates both community and utility; this, says Hackl, is how NFT projects should be done. She has also worked with Procter & Gamble on a metaverse project with gaming at its core.

Hackl’s personal project has been building People of the Metaverse, which is described as “a community of curious professionals, from all walks of life.” She’s been creating bespoke “Metaverse Salons”: elite meetings in Paris, London, and New York, and is connecting her metaverse community with brands including Louis Vuitton and Vogue. Hackl also wants to do a 500-person cocktail party at The Paris Opera. These groups are all diverse by design; Hackl wants everyone to have a seat at the table.

It’s All About Community

Web3 and the metaverse are about community and utility⎯and that’s the most important takeaway for big brands in this space. Don’t just enter a space to be there; do it with purpose. And remember, its roots are in gaming⎯so it should also be FUN!

“In the metaverse, we are all world builders⎯and now is the time to build.”


Featuring coverage from Andrea TheoJohn and May King Tsang

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I am personally very interested in this entire topic and how is going to transform life as we know it. I also think it’s a very important topic for current social media managers to be aware of and start their education so that they can help their clients navigate this new world. I also recognize there is a large force of resistance for anything that has to do with the metaverse or virtual reality, but I think that is something that happens whenever something new develops. My class of 20 University students all under the age of 25 were not in the least bit interested in virtual reality which was incredibly surprising to me. Thank you for posting these keynotes @christine - much appreciated.

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I had no interest in ANY of this until around December…I recognize now that it’s at the point where it cannot be ignored. At first I only decided to start caring so that I could cover it a little better here in the SMP, but now I’m recognizing that it will have applications to my own work. Hype-free 1-on-1 conversations with Mark Schaefer and Joe Pulizzi at #SMMW22 really helped clarify a lot of this to me.

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