The metaverse is here to stay: How marketers can avoid being left behind

The Australian Metaverse Advisory Council will officially launch at SXSW tomorrow. Angus Stevens, chair and co-founder of the organisation, explains how the metaverse is a massive opportunity, despite the hype, and the naysayers.

Since early 2016, I have dedicated my professional life to creating virtual and augmented reality experiences and establishing the foundational components of the metaverse; against a backdrop of various tech hype-cycles, from Google glasses, to Facebook becoming Meta, to the current wave of AI and Chat GPT.

Throughout this time there has been a recurring pattern of technology announcements and the associated excitement at their commercial applications, sitting alongside questions of its real-world value and impact on society. This is why together with several industry colleagues we have formed and launched the Australian Metaverse Advisory Council which is launching officially tomorrow, at the Metaverse MeetUp at SXSW Sydney.

In June 2022, Deloitte’s The Metaverse in Asia report, estimated that, by 2035, the metaverse’s impact to GDP in Asia Pacific would be between US$0.8 trillion – US$1.4 trillion each year. Further to this, a PWC study showed that 64% of Australian businesses are planning to invest in the metaverse in the next six to 12 months. Conversely, in September 2023, Mumbrella reported that only one in five marketers will raise their budget for metaverse advertising in 2024.

The discrepancy between the growth trajectory outlined in these statements is reflective of the complexity of the metaverse’s current position. I strongly believe if marketers choose to ignore the metaverse they will be completely left behind. Businesses already adopting the metaverse technology are seeing impressive real-world improvements in customer and employee engagement.

At Start Beyond we have worked across a variety of different industries to influence the way training is being delivered to staff to upskill, increase speed to proficiency and build confidence. As an example using VR (virtual reality) as the primary training tool, St John Ambulance Victoria halved their nationally accredited CPR and First Aid training from eight hours down to four, while increasing the number of certified graduates to an internal record of over 100,000 and the NPS rating for the program jumped from 68 to 82 points.

In the AR arena which uses real world settings instead of virtual, PHORIA’s AR work for Meta and the UN for the UN General Assembly received tens of millions of views organically across social channels alongside celebrity endorsement from UN ambassadors like Ashley Judd, Michael Douglas and Natalie Portman.

Faced with the metaverse being both inevitable, and yet clouded with conflicting statements and speculations, the purpose of the newly created Australian Metaverse Advisory Council (AMAC) is to provide enterprises and consumers with clarity. It will advocate, educate and advise Australian businesses, government departments, and the general public on the benefits and challenges of the metaverse.

In its initial form, AMAC is a small group consisting of a diverse cross-section of Australia’s leading practitioners, each with a unique area of expertise within the field, collectively working together to shape the conversation and drive growth for the Australian metaverse industry. AMAC’s founding members include CEOs of several of Australia’s most successful metaverse studios, locally and internationally recognised thought-leaders, and XR experts working within multinational organisations.

Individually, our voice is limited by the confines of our respective organisations, but when filtered through the collective knowledge of AMAC, these insights can provide an industry-wide perspective of best practice, and help guide Australian businesses build for the future and deliver a successful metaverse-centric strategy.

As the local and international impact of the metaverse expands and evolves, AMAC will be responsive to the uniquely Australian needs of the industry, and we invite organisations to get in contact and contribute to the discussion. The more that enterprise, academic and government departments participate in the conversation, the better placed AMAC will be to ensure Australia’s questions relating to the metaverse are addressed.

The metaverse offers an extraordinary opportunity and Australia is well placed to drive growth and leverage its benefits at a commercial and social level, but it also brings with it a range of complexities and challenges. Through the creation of the Australia Metaverse Advisory Council industry-leading practitioners will advocate, educate and advise, and thereby help shape the future direction of the Australian metaverse industry.

Angus Stevens is chair of the Australian Metaverse Advisory Council, and CEO and co-founder of Start Beyond, an AFR Top 10 Most Innovative Tech Company for 2023. He will be co-hosting the Metaverse MeetUp at SXSW Sydney tomorrow.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.