Did you know the VR market is expected to surpass $10 trillion by 2030? Listen in as Leslie Marshall, CMO of Mesmerise tells you why now is the time to activate VR/AR/MR. Leslie shares how marketing professionals and comms experts can think about how tech like AR/VR/MR applies to their work and the kinds of immersive experiences they can create for their employees and customers in the virtual reality metaverse.

Exploring Possibilities: An Interview with Leslie Marshall, CMO of Mesmerise

Since Leslie Marshall and Barbara Rozgonyi first met in the mid-two-thousands, they’ve led a quest for looking for the next best thing in social media, marketing, and tech. Whether it was at TechWeek, Social Media Club Chicago, or an AMA Chicago event, these two marketers share a drive for realizing the future vision.

In her Growing Social Now interview, Leslie explores the importance of staying ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging realities such as AI and AR, as well as strategies for marketing in the metaverse.

In early 2023, after 16 years at Morningstar, Leslie embarked on a new career journey. She joined Mesmerise, a virtual reality and augmented reality business, as CMO. At Morningstar, she worked with the Mesmerise team on VR events. Mesmerise uses cutting-edge technology such as VR to boost productivity with virtual meetings and webinars.

VR can increase co-presence and reduce distractions, with companies like Walmart using it as an aid for their store associates. When marketers embrace realities such as VR, AR, AI, and other technologies, they can make the most of these possibilities.

To stay on top of current trends, marketers can join professional organizations like American Marketing Association. Leslie recommends Bruce Feller’s book, “Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age”, as a useful resource for adjusting to life’s many transitions. Life is richer when we explore new ideas, embrace unexpected opportunities and, of course, celebrate successes collectively.

Listen to Barbara’s previous interview with Leslie: Growing Social Now episode on Exploring Experiential Events and Social Media.



Exploring the Potential of VR with Barbara Rozgonyi and Leslie Marshall

00:00 – 05:36


Exploring Virtual Reality through Experimentation and Learning

05:36 – 11:39


Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences through VR and AR Technologies

11:39 – 16:53


Exploring Opportunities with New Technology: A Path to Smart and Innovative Business Ventures

16:53 – 22:31


Exploring the Benefits of the Metaverse: An Analysis of Social Media Sentiment

22:31 – 28:13


Taking the Leap: Networking and Professional Growth in the Metaverse and Beyond

28:13 – 33:10


Exploring the Journey of Redefining Life: Finding Balance in Transitions and Embracing Change.

33:10 – 38:45

Leslie Marshall, Chief Marketing Officer, Mesmerise

Leslie Marshall is Chief Marketing Officer at Mesmerise, a company that enables immersive, enterprise-level events, meetings and conferences hosted in virtual reality. Prior to joining Mesmerise, Leslie spent sixteen years at Morningstar, most recently serving as the Head of Experiential Marketing. Leslie serves on the board of directors of the American Marketing Association – Chicago chapter as President. She is a frequent guest speaker at events, conferences and universities discussing topics of marketing and technology.

About Mesmerise . . .

Mesmerise provides everything your team needs to succeed in the metaverse as the only VR technology company offering a truly end-to-end service. From onboarding services to headset delivery, event support to custom branding, Mesmerise works with you to demystify the technology and make meeting in the metaverse seamless.

Visit Mesmerise on LinkedIn

Connect with Leslie Marshall on LinkedIn

Visit AMA Chicago

Follow Leslie Marshall on Twitter

Follow Leslie Marshall on Instagram

Virtual Reality and Metaverse Resources for Marketers

Virtual Reality Metaverse Thought Leaders to Follow on LinkedIn

Cathy Hackl | LinkedIn, Chief Metaverse Officer and Founder, Journey

VR/AR Association (VRARA): Overview | LinkedIn


Virtual Reality and Metaverse Book for Marketers

The Metaverse and How it Will Revolutionize Everything” by Matthew Ball – a good overall primer on what the metaverse is, the technologies needed to support it, and its potential.

AMA Chicago Metaverse SIG

SIG on Metaverse Mondays: In May, Leslie will start hosting a special interest group (SIG) with the AMA Chicago, Metaverse Mondays. This SIG will be for marketers looking to explore the metaverse and how to create new experiences for customers. SIGs are a member-only benefit – more details here: Marketing Special Interest Groups – AMA Chicago and information to apply to the Metaverse Mondays SIG coming soon.

AdWeek’s Metaverse Podcast and Column

Podcast: Metaverse Marketing Podcast: Digital News, Interviews & More (adweek.com)

Column: Top 5 metaverse moments you need to know about right now | Ad Age 

A recent column featured a Home Depot project as at top metaverse moment for bringing a virtual twist to its popular Kids Workshop program. A storefront in Roblox, identical in appearance to The Home Depot’s stores in IRL, allows kids to gather materials around the store and assemble projects of varying difficulty, from birdhouses to small cars. The Home Depot’s Kids Workshop program brings together 400,000 U.S. children each month to build projects with wood and paint. “Our Virtual Kids Workshops offer the familiarity of The Home Depot—a weekend trip that many young people already experience with their families—and combines it with the discovery, problem-solving, and fun that Roblox is known for,” said Molly Battin, chief marketing officer at The Home Depot. The activation was built with agencies BBDO and IF7. Source: AdAge via subscription

Other home improvement brands have used the metaverse as a space to take their business digital. Lowe’s launched a platform last summer for creators to use its tools in a virtual environment, and John Deere has utilized digital twinning, or creating a digital model of a physical one, to explore industrial efficiencies.

Vogue Business Metaverse coverage Fashion & the Metaverse: News, Trends & More | Vogue Business | Vogue Business

Focuses on web3, NFTs, phygital fashion. In 2022, Leslie attended a Vogue Business Metaverse Atelier event and loved it. The event featured designers and artists discussing the inspiration behind their work as well as the process of wearing and selling digital fashion. As a souvenir of the event, attendees could buy the Metaverse Atelier digital jacket “inspired by the aesthetics of the Vogue Business island” created by DressX. Here’s a pic of Leslie wearing her Vogue Business digital jacket.

About Barbara Rozgonyi, Host of Growing Social Now

Barbara Rozgonyi leads CoryWest Media, a creative marketing communication consultancy that attracts attention, builds brands, and connects communities. Named after Barbara’s mother and grandmother, CoryWest Media inspires innovation as it fuels growth. Barbara is an international trends speaker with a Hungarian heritage, digital marketing advisor since 2002, and sales leadership guide for all types of teams. With future vision, Barbara began publishing her top-ranked blog, wiredPRworks, in 2006. An early social media advocate, Barbara founded Social Media Club Chicago in 2008. Her podcast, Growing Social Now, launched in 2021. She serves on the National Speaker Association Carolinas Chapter’s board of directors as Vice President of Membership and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina right between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic ocean.

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Barbara Rozgonyi on Twitter


Growing Social Now 



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