By Alice Simons, Marketing Manager, DLA Piper LLP
As a Gen Xer and non-gamer, I admit that I know pretty much zero about the Metaverse. But perhaps I know just a tiny bit more about how legal marketers can capitalize on Web 3.0 and the Metaverse after I attended a session at the LMA Annual Conference in April.
For this article, I interviewed Julie Gurney, Director of Marketing at Benesch, and Lance Wyllie, CMO & Head of Growth at Lawcity.com, two of the speakers from the LMA session.
Q: What is Web 3.0 & the Metaverse?
Julie: Web 3.0/Metaverse is the next iteration of the WWW. Web 1.0 is the “read-only Web,” Web 2.0 is the “participative social Web,” and Web 3.0 is the “read, write, execute Web.” Web 3 moves users away from centralized platforms like Facebook, Google, or Twitter and towards decentralized, nearly anonymous platforms.
Lance: I am going to steal from Matthew Ball for the definition of the Metaverse. “The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds and environments which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.”
Q: Why would a law firm want to be in the Metaverse?
Julie: Because our clients are going to be there if they are not already. Companies like Nike, Gucci, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, etc. are there already (see here). All these companies will need help navigating the legal risks and challenges. They will need lawyers that understand the technology and the platforms. There are already lawsuits related to NFTs, etc.
Lance: Everything Julia said and…Law firms and businesses in general need to learn and understand what the Metaverse is and what works for marketing purposes. There are approximately 600 million monthly users in these 3D worlds and that will continue to increase. Who are these people and are there opportunities to get my brand in front them effectively and before others? It is very similar to the early days of Web 1 and then Web 2. There are great advantages and rewards to understanding and navigating new technologies early.
Q: What are some of the risks and opportunities for law firms?
Lance: One of the risks is not knowing how anything works. Everything is different. People are anonymous. Payments are on blockchain. Space is unlimited. It is easy to overpay and even get scammed. Another risk is there is little to no regulation. Firms must be careful to stay on the right side of the law. Even so, regulations could come in that undo all the work a firm has put into the space.
Q: How would you suggest law firm marketers get started in making a case for including the Metaverse in our strategic marketing plans?
Julie: I would recommend showing your attorneys the companies and clients who are already there and those likely to be there soon (retail brands, for example). Explain that litigation is already happening but with technology evolving, Web 3 is coming; it is just a matter of when.
Lance: Marketers need to get familiar with Web 3.0 and how other companies and industries are approaching it. They also need to get into it. A marketer can’t sell this to their leadership if they don’t understand the use cases and the details. Again, this reminds me of early internet and early social media. You had to be able to explain the tech and the potential uses cases. Also, a marketer needs to understand and explain the need to pivot quickly as the technology evolves.