Currently, in the Web2.0 era, data is being collected and owned by big conglomerates. Conglomerates like Meta (previously Facebook) and Google.
You are a product, a number, a cookie that feeds the data machine, and your data is sold to the highest bidder. Without rewarding you, the user, for providing this data.
Data that are connected to names and identities. Data is linked to your online behavior, daily habits, and even spending patterns.
It’s hard to hide anything these days from the Googles and Meta’s.
Does that mean that, as marketers, we disapprove of using this data?
But when it comes to Web3 and its value-proposition, these sorts of idea’s become more prevalent and frowned upon.
Web3 has a few critical promises for users to become more user-centric, decentralized, transparent, accessibility, customized experiences, incentivization for the provision of data, and more.
Now I understand that those are ubiquitous terms and that there’s a lot to unpack here, especially in terms of how to approach marketing, so let’s start unloading.
Are you interested in practical and easy-to-use blockchain marketing strategies? Then be sure to check out our article on Blockchain Marketing Strategy: Best Practices, Tips, Strategies.
Decentralization and ownership
One of the key tenets of Web3.0 is decentralization. Decentralized governance makes systems more secure and transparent because it removes the capability of one central entity to take control of the system’s governance.
Now, decentralization is a heavily debated topic not only in terms of necessity but also in terms of what makes a decentralized system.
The easiest and most basic way to determine whether a system is decentralized is to determine if it has a single point of failure.
“If I launch a missile at a specific server room or office building and take out the complete complex, will the network still be running?”
If you can confidently say yes, then it’s fair to assume that a system is at least decentralized to a certain extent.
Striving towards decentralized web matters because we shouldn’t want a couple of massive corporate entities to control most of the web.
Monitoring our every move, deciding what information we get access to, and even deciding what we are allowed to say or not.
When control is held in the hands of very few, especially when the government is intertwined with big tech at the rate it currently is, then limiting our freedom is just a proverbial mouse click away.
Decentralized systems put the power back into the hands of the people because the decisions in these systems are made by the stakeholders that contribute to the network.
But decentralizing systems is complex.
When you compare them against the current efficiency and stability of centralized systems, it’s hard for them to keep up.
Programmable blockchains automatically execute smart contracts, and other digital assets allow for new forms of governance within organizations, community-owned networks & services, and countless other innovations.
So how does all this decentralization stuff impact marketing?
It does so in large part by changing the ethos behind the ways organizations are run.
When you become more involved in Web3, you become entrenched in communities where these types of topics are daily talking points.
Talking points like giving power back to the artists with NFTs, having truly transparent & democratically run entities, and owning your digital assets without the meddling of any third parties.
Ownership of data
The dilemma of conglomerates owning our data has been a contentious problem under the microscope for a while.
With blockchain and the often interconnected cryptocurrencies, ownership of data and incentivizing users to provide and own said data as a digitally tradeable asset becomes a possibility.
A big player in the Web3 space that’s re-inventing data collection is Ocean Protocol.
Ocean Protocol is a data exchange protocol that unlocks data for their AI. It is a decentralized blockchain-based marketplace that allows data to be sold, peer-to-peer, in a truly safe, secure, and transparent way.
This enabled users to have complete control over their data and decide by themselves who accesses their data and for what rewards & purposes they share it.
Will this value proposition become the future of how users handle data and how companies acquire said data?
It’s hard to say.
This model may not be a sustainable solution since the costs may outweigh the benefits.
As of now, it seems to be a problem to provide enough incentive for users to provide data and for their counterparts to buy it. A simple supply -and demand issue.
And while companies like Meta and Google aren’t financially incentivizing users to sell their data, they are providing users with incredibly valuable services that have reshaped the way we think about the web and the world as a whole.
Persona Data vs. Wallet Data: Different new data points
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are often associated with privacy & anonymity.
Decentralized wallets are considered “anonymous” because you can’t directly associate a specific wallet address to an identity from a source that is unknown to you.
There is a big but due to the inherent nature of blockchain technology, every transaction ever made is trackable to its very origin.
If I have the specific wallet address a user uses, I have direct insights into his Crypto bank account.
Did you send a transaction directly to me? Thanks, I now know a lot more about the assets you own.
Are you using a specific NFT as a profile picture on Twitter? I can now backtrack the wallet that owns this NFT.
You can imagine that this insight can be precious to us as marketers.
It allows us to segment customers and provides more specific targeted products & services based on their wallets’ activity.
Heck, technically, we could even create an assessment of the user’s current buying appetite based on how the market’s are doing!
NFTs, Access, and Ownership
NFTs have been all the rage recently. As you are reading this article, I assume that you’ve probably heard Gary Vee or another big celebrity rant about them.
In a previous paragraph, I dropped a quick titbit about NFTs enabling us to get more information about a user.
But NFTs don’t only make pretty profile pictures for our social media accounts.
Owning certain NFTs can also grant access to specific communities.
Want to have direct access to Gary Vee? Buy a VeeFriend, verify yourself in the Discord community, and there is a reasonable chance that Gary Vee will notice what you have to say, which could lead to some 1-on-1 time.
But this doesn’t just count for Gary Vee. People like Shaq, Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, and the list goes on, have been spotted in several different NFT Discord communities.
For us as marketers, this matters. Because we now have the opportunity to become part of particular communities and build relationships there that were previously potentially out of our reach.
This also creates more space for companies to build stronger, tight-knit communities through their customer base.
Building a strong community for users to be a part of increases metrics like customer engagement, retention, satisfaction, and brand loyalty, simultaneously reducing churn.
Companies can also grant people access to specific products we sell through NFTs.
This way, we don’t just grant the user access to our services, but we also give them the ability to speculate on the price of this tradeable NFT asset.
When users no longer require our services at a later stage, they can then potentially sell the NFT on a secondary marketplace.
Marketing in the MetaVerse
It’s become almost impossible to talk about Web3.0 without at least mentioning the elusive Metaverse.
The Metaverse is viewed as this parallel virtual world consisting of interoperable online spaces where people interact as digital avatars.
Personally, for simplicity’s sake, for now, I perceive the Metaverse as just another set of digital applications where users spend screen time.
These tools include video games, where the play-to-earn space is taking up more and more ground, providing people in certain parts of the world to generate income through playing video games.
Virtual office spaces where colleagues work together and organize their efforts through virtual reality and augmented reality.
The rules change a bit for Metaverse applications like games when it comes to advertising.
By nature, digital advertising is interruptive. For example, the ad in the middle of a YouTube video completely stops the flow of content to push an advertisement message.
The Metaverse advertising will likely perform better when inserted natively within the platform.
Think of branding specific buildings in a Minecraft world or creating digital collectibles as a brand.
Delivery company Deliveroo recently did a marketing campaign where they deployed virtual riders in a game called Animal Riders, perfectly integrating their brand into a native game environment.
Tomorrow’s marketing and Web3.0
We are currently at the absolute forefront of Web 3.0 and its technological impact. This article has barely scratched the surface, but I hope it has given you some insight into the potential of what a web3-dominated internet could look like.
The earliest days of the web were all about static pages.
Then web2 came around. A more social web. A web where users could share their thoughts and ideas on the web through simple, user-friendly interfaces.
And now, with web3, we have a web that is still in spring training and developing itself in many ways. Still, it’s striving to restructure the fundamentals of the web and create a decentralized, user-centric environment where marketers can find their edge in different, newer ways. There is still a lot of ground left to explore.
Brenton Way is on the frontier of Web3 marketing. Interested in how we can help you? Contact us for a free consultation.