The hype of web3 in marketing has entered the chat. More and more businesses from various industries turn towards leveraging web3 opportunities within their marketing campaigns. To put this into reality, so has the L’Oréal Group utilised the variety of web3 in several of their latest marketing campaigns, especially the metaverse, gamification as well as NFT drops. As more companies seek innovative ways to connect with audiences, the marketing department often takes the lead in experimenting with these modern approaches. Let’s dive in and explore what web3 means for the future of marketing.
Traditional vs. Web3 Marketing: Effectiveness
In the dynamic landscape of marketing, two distinct paradigms emerge: web3 marketing and traditional marketing. Web3 marketing harnesses cutting-edge technologies like blockchain to empower users with greater control over their digital presence. In contrast, traditional marketing relies on established channels and centralisation. Web3 marketing is an unchartered field with creative means of disrupting traditional marketing models. The characteristics of web3 marketing are (logically) close to what benefits web3 can offer in general:
Especially decentralisation is the pillar that differentiates web3 marketing from traditional marketing practices. Decentralisation is giving individuals control over their data. This shift creates a cooperative and mutually beneficial environment, strengthening the bond between brands and consumers.
When evaluating the effectiveness of web3 marketing in both the short and long term, one key aspect stands out: customer loyalty. Ultimately, it’s the bedrock of long-term success in web3 marketing. Without a loyal customer base, your marketing endeavors lack purpose. While many aspects of web3 may currently seem like mere buzzwords, the cultivation of a strong community sets apart effective web3 marketing from fleeting traditional campaigns (through e.g., print, radio, TV, or social media), as the latter often yield only short-term results. By embracing the user-centric essence of Web3 technologies, businesses can lay the foundation for long-lasting effectiveness. This approach enables them to cultivate trust and engagement with their consumer base, and forge meaningful connections with their target audience, ultimately leading to sustainable marketing success in the long run. One of many ways to achieve this is through, e.g., the introduction of loyalty programs, to keep customers hooked and committed.
Community-centricity: Reinvented brand-customer power dynamics
“Commonality is a purpose, meets frequency of touch” (Swan Sit – web3 developer). Establishing meaningful connections between a brand and its customers is a fundamental objective in marketing. This involves not only targeting customers who align with the brand’s values but also striving for maximum customer engagement. What sets web3 marketing apart is its participatory nature, where customers are not only part of a group but actively engage within that collective. Furthermore, the notion of tangible value comes into play, as the community can receive incentives or rewards from the brand they support, fostering a sense of pride in being part of that specific community. How these incentives could look like, is touched upon later in the article (see NFTs).
Navigating the integration of web3 into your marketing practices may encounter resistance from existing communities that are resistant to change. To overcome potential backlash, open and transparent communication is essential. Engage with your community, address their concerns, and emphasise how the shift to web3 benefits them. Demonstrating a clear understanding of their needs and a commitment to preserving what they value can help ease the transition. Additionally, gradual implementation and education about the advantages of web3 can mitigate resistance and pave the way for a smoother transition, ultimately ensuring the long-term success of your brand’s evolution.
New power dynamics
In today’s evolving landscape, we can witness a shift in power dynamics, where the consumer takes a central stage and wields a more significant influence on brand decisions. This represents a stark departure from the traditional paradigm where brands held the upper hand, often due to information imbalances. Web3 technology is a game-changer in this context, offering the potential to rebalance these dynamics. What’s particularly noteworthy is the active involvement of brands in these online communities, signifying a fundamental transformation in how businesses approach marketing.
In this new era, understanding your audience and constructing strategies tailored to their preferences and behaviours becomes paramount. It’s a shift towards a more consumer-centric approach, where the community’s voice plays a crucial role in shaping brand decisions and forging stronger, mutually beneficial relationships.
Web3 technology, thanks to its transparent and authentic nature, helps build trust between brands and consumers. Using blockchain, brands can provide proof of where their products come from, their authenticity, and their sustainability, giving consumers the information they need to make informed decisions. In this context, deceptive marketing practices struggle to gain traction, highlighting how important transparency and authenticity are in web3 marketing. This shift represents a significant departure from traditional marketing, fostering a more genuine and accountable connection between brands and their audiences.
The web3 marketing trends
Web3 marketing allows for various new trends, which enrich ways of doing marketing:
- Virtual experiences
- Decentralised (social media) platforms
A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a one-of-a-kind digital asset, which replicates real-life items in the form of e.g., art or music and can be sold or bought online. NFTs have gained popularity as a means for brands to enter the web3 marketing space, and hold the promise of serving as valuable bridges between brands and their communities.
NFTs serve a dual purpose:
- NFTs can expand the current audience of the brand, and reel those in, that show a clear interest in the web3 space.
- Additionally, they can also be harnessed for branding and communication strategies. Businesses can use NFTs as a means to incentivise their fans and followers. Within the NFT ecosystem, the range of possibilities is vast: this includes providing discounts, delivering rewarding products, or crafting unique digital items exclusively available to members of the NFT community.
To put this into reality, Adidas has explored web3 marketing through NFTs. They recently collaborated with Tokengate, where an NFT loyalty program grants access to exclusive Adidas sneakers. Furthermore, Adidas has also teamed up with the Doodles collection and had a partnership with Pharrell & Adidas for an exclusive Samba sneaker drop.
One of the major trends within web3 marketing revolves around creating virtual experiences, primarily through the metaverse or Virtual Reality (VR). The core concept of such, in a marketing sense, is to offer a fluid experience that seamlessly bridges the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. This enables users to engage with both one another and digital elements in real time, soaking up the person into the action. As previously mentioned, consumers are part of a brand experience, giving them a sense of belonging to the particular brand, as well as active participation in the experience. This emotional side of marketing can often be more important than the actual physical product being sold.
In November of 2021, Nike solidified its position in the nascent metaverse with the launch of Nikeland, a branded virtual interactive space, marking a significant step in blending sales, marketing, and gaming.
Decentralised (social media) platforms
Worries regarding privacy and the handling of personal data have surged, and the demand for replacing platforms is growing. Think of web3 as the rebel of the internet world, challenging the status quo. It’s all about giving you, the user, the reins to control your online experience. Unlike those traditional social media giants that hoard your data on their servers, web3 rides on blockchain technology, creating decentralised networks where you are the data owner. Privacy, anonymity, security, and ownership are redefined in web3 (social media) marketing, creating a more trustworthy digital ecosystem.
Conclusion: Embrace the shift
As we navigate the evolving landscape of marketing, it’s crucial for brands to adapt and embrace the shift towards integrating web3 into their practices. This means staying true to your brand’s core values while modifying your existing products or services to align with the futuristic space. In this context, experimentation is not an option; it’s a necessity. Embracing web3 in your marketing strategies is the path forward to ensure your brand remains relevant and competitive in an ever-changing digital world.
Zaisan stands ready to be your partner in success, whether you’re launching a marketing campaign, diving into the world of web3 projects, or innovating in the realm of web3 marketing. Our expertise and resources are at your disposal, empowering you to navigate these dynamic landscapes with confidence and creativity. Don’t hesitate to take the leap and explore the endless possibilities. Let’s collaborate to turn your vision into reality, together.