Q&A with Elena Klau, Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer, Momentum Worldwide
What role do you think streaming platforms will take as we move into the new year?
Streaming platforms will take a far more active role in ecommerce as the metaverse is further embraced as a retail and shopping experience. We've seen a few brands experimenting over the last year, but 2023 will see a lot more retailers using the space to set up shop. With retail within the metaverse forecasted to surpass $800 billion in 2024, it's safe to say we will see more brands step up their game and explore the metaverse as a legitimate opportunity to expand their clientele, reaching people in far more immersive ways.
This move forward in the retail sector is also expected to encourage more consumers to venture into the metaverse, opening a whole world of opportunities outside of retail.
What trends do you think will continue to grow and/or fizzle out in 2023?
In 2022, we have seen the continued acceleration of hybrid events being offered by brands and the demand from consumers has also remained. There were discussions around screen fatigue, but this year has proven that the adaption of technology throughout the pandemic has led to tech being easily embedded into experiences and elevating consumers’ enjoyment. This will continue, but the nature of how people engage and the type of experiences they want will change.
With many consumers being wearier of data and cookie tracking, what advice would you give to brands on how to strategically use their dollars?
Create authentic experiences that engage consumers naturally. If you create brand loyalty with consumers, there is a high chance consumers will willingly share their data. Be truthful and transparent about the purpose of the data. Present-day consumers are too savvy to fall for anything short of the truth, so don’t try. Make the exchange worth it by understanding your target audience and what wants and needs your offering fulfils.
As consumer behavior has changed tremendously amidst the pandemic, how do you see AI and technology changing going into the new year? Do you believe that the Metaverse and Web3 space will become more prevalent within the industry?
We will see AI becoming further integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives. Consumer confidence is being knocked by inflation's all-time-high levels and research indicates that 96% of global consumers are concerned about the rising cost of food, gas and other necessities.* AI will shift from convenience to reliance. This will be due to applications that can be used to help consumer navigate a cheaper way of life, from finding the best gas prices to optimizing home thermostats. AI will help consumers get the most out of the tools they have available.
The growth of consumer confidence when it comes to the adaption of technology paves the way for the metaverse and Web3. Web3 is now armed to solidify real-world applications moving forward. Web3-developed communities are becoming increasingly valuable to those that frequent these new spaces. As interest shifts to a broader scale, brands are finding their place early, like Starbucks, who is planning to launch an NFT loyalty program called Starbucks Odyssey to help their coffee community unlock exclusive digital and IRL experiences. Similarly, Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda used NFTs to grant access to their exclusive “Club Soda 3.0,” which offered unique experiences, the opportunity to co-create on special projects, and the ability to interact with each other and the brand via an exclusive Discord server.
Encouraging consumers to spend time with your brand can have more lasting effects than a simple transaction. The potential is great for Web3 to catch on at a broader scale. Whether communities flock to a wider-reaching, decentralized social media platform that’s yet to originate or continue to organically develop in more targeted spaces, brands will be there as well to best take advantage of the long game that Web3 offers.
* Momentum’s Proprietary research
Elena Klau is Momentum’s first Global Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer, having helped originate the disciplines for Momentum. Prior to Momentum, she was at Kaleidoscope Sports & Entertainment. In 2017, Klau was named to the SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty under 40” list. She has also been listed in the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual “Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing” list every year since 2012. Klau has published numerous pieces in AdWeek and Admap, and has been an invited speaker at conferences like Social Media Week, EventTech and the Fast Company Innovation Festival.