Businesses of all shapes and sizes are lining up to recruit quickly sought-after positions in media and advertising. Since Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that the future of his company would lie in the Metaverse, the word has slowly become part of mainstream parlance. Most (81%) consumers now believe that brand virtual presences are as important as their brick and mortar stores, with the average consumer willing to spend thousands on digital goods, according to Wunderman Thompson’s September report, Into the Metaverse .

Call on droves of companies that are getting FOMO and not sure if they should be doing the same thing. The rebranding of Facebook to Meta earlier this month added pressure to have an answer. Of course, companies turn to Metaverse experts for help. According to data and analytics company GlobalData, there were over 270 active Metaverse-related jobs in October, up from 250 in September.

“Virtual world building really took off at the start of the pandemic and is picking up pace this year,” said Nick Mountford, managing director of Digital Experience Production Company Active Theory, which has created virtual spaces for brands and intellectual property like Harry Potter “and” Rick and Morty “. “[The Meta rebrand] is just another example of everyone jumping on board, ”said Mountford.

From Nike looking for designers who can create virtual shoes to Roblox looking for marketers to sell the idea of ​​virtual branded spaces to advertisers, understanding the metaverse is a lucrative job – if you can convince hiring managers , you know what you are talking about.

Even ad tech vendors pull out all the stops looking for these people. For example, Admix currently has eight vacancies ranging from product development to commercial partnerships. Not even the prospect of having to pay excessive salaries to get them has not stopped these attitudes. If anything, it is to be expected. After all, with the right employees, Admix could be one of the first companies to monetize the metaverse with ads – at least that is what CEO Sam Huber believes.

“When we look for people who fill these roles, we pay particular attention to whether they have a lot of baggage from the previous phase of the Internet,” said Huber. He used the prospect of visibility in a virtual environment to explain his point of view. “Of course, you could spend time thinking about how you can improve it in the short term to increase CPM, but the real question is whether visibility is the right metric to use here to calculate attention,” said Huber. “We need these creative people who think that way because they can adapt to different environments.”

But for any creative person who has spent years building new types of communities and developing engagement systems for various video games, there is someone who is creative with the truth. The distinction between the two is far from easy. The metaverse is inappropriate enough as a concept to be like everyone knows what they’re doing, whether or not they actually do it. It’s not hard to see that hiring a Metaverse expert can be a really bad idea because while many of them are smart, ethical, and knowledgeable, some make claims that would put a seasoned scammer to shame.

“We found that there was this huge dividing line between the people who understand this world and those who don’t,” said Alanna Roazzi-Laforet, editor and chief revenue officer of Decrypt, a publisher specializing in cryptocurrency deals. “They walked in and inadvertently veiled the area with their own platforms and messages to further advance their own agenda.”

Granted, there are people who understand the metaverse – or at least know enough to conclusively understand such a nebulous concept. However, knowing how to recognize these people is easier said than done. A quick online search reveals dozens of practitioners who appear to be getting the bill. Some are more bona fide and have pedigree in the area. Others not so much. Troubleshooting Metaverse has at least partially gone the way of the snake oil seller. Something like this apparently happens at the beginning of every major trend. The last time it was in 2017 was the General Data Protection Regulation in the entire European Union.

Until recently, anyone who knows what they’re doing probably wouldn’t even call it the metaverse.

Active Theory Interactive Director Michael Anthony

“It reminds me of the early days of the internet,” said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of Roblox-based digital production company Supersocial. “Everything was basically the internet, everyone was an internet company.”

Part of the problem is a vague skill base. There is no such thing as a prestigious Metaverse advertising agency where aspiring executives can earn their success, nor are there any official qualifications. Of course, this all comes over time, but for now marketers will have to forego the filtering options they previously relied on to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In fact, a surprising number of brands were already in the process of translating their products or services into virtual space before the metaverse hit the zeitgeist. Eyewear company Warby Parker, for example, has developed a virtual trying-on process to serve customers who do not have access to brick and mortar stores for reasons of distance or COVID-19 security. While functional virtual experiences like this may not have been designed with the metaverse in mind, they are just as metaversal as digital concerts and VR sports. “Until recently, anyone who knew what they were doing probably wouldn’t even call it the metaverse,” said Michael Anthony, Interactive Director of Active Theory.

However, to identify these companies, marketers should follow some best practices. First of all, they should check the people who offer Metaversal products or services in the background: for example, are there any projects in this area that keep failing? The second potential red flag has to do with whether or not you’ve read the book Snow Crash. This is where the metaverse term was coined and, as a result, readers will have a broader view of what it means. The third point is of a financial nature: If a so-called Metaverse expert demands obvious consulting fees, then that should give food for thought.

Brands looking to increase their exposure to the Metaverse should also seek to partner with companies whose definition of the metaverse matches the future shape, according to Daniel Liebeskind, CEO of the Metaverse platform Topia. The key point in Liebeskind’s perspective is the difference between “open” platforms – that is, those that allow users to transfer their identities and creations from one platform to another – and “closed” platforms that vie to become the metaverse instead of becoming just one of many interconnected rooms. In other words, open platforms are interoperable, and platforms that do not work towards interoperability show a profound misunderstanding of the future of the metaverse.

“I think it’s just inevitable. You can fight it and say: ‘No, we want to keep all the information and data, the profiles and the assets in our closed garden’, “said Liebeskind. “But I think those who have walled gardens just cannot compete with open gardens for the next or next decades because open systems are better for creators and they’re better for consumers who buy.” Things from creators. “

Even if it is new to most, the concept of the Metaverse has been around since 1992. For decades, observers from the tech and gaming industry have been looking forward to this beginning virtual world – first as star-studded future artists, then as niche-obsessed nerds, explore early Metaverse platforms like Second Life.

Now the Metaverse is mainstream, and a legion of well-prepared experts are ready and willing to build it. Metaverse knowledge is abundant and ripe for inclusion – as long as interested companies can dodge the charlatans and partner with Metaverse builders who really know what they’re doing.

As hiring in the metaverse ramps up, experts caution against working with snake oil salesmen