The transition from Web1 to Web2 was a revolutionary milestone. This evolution brought with it an unprecedented wave of interactivity, transforming users from mere spectators to active content creators. Now, we are on the verge of a new transformation: the arrival of Web3. This breakthrough, which promises to redefine the relationship between users, data and technology, has the potential to dramatically alter the field of marketing. But what exactly does Web3 mean and how is it transforming the dynamics of digital marketing?
What is Web3?
Web3, or the Semantic Web, is the next iteration of the Internet as we know it. Unlike Web2, which focused on user interactivity, Web3 focuses on decentralisation, interoperability and artificial intelligence. At its core, Web3 aims to create a cyberspace in which users have full control over their data, rather than handing it over to centralised technology giants. In addition, Web3 also aims to connect data in an intelligent way, thus creating a web of meaningful and easily accessible information.
This evolutionary leap towards Web3 is taking place at a time of growing concern about privacy and data control. Internet users are increasingly aware of how their personal data is being used, which has led to a growing demand for more transparent and secure solutions. In this respect, Web3 offers a revolutionary approach to data control and management, allowing users to retain ownership of their personal information.
How is Web3 influencing the marketing world? Firstly, it is changing the way marketers interact and communicate with their audience. With decentralisation as one of its key pillars, Web3 allows users to control their online experience, which means that companies will have to find new ways to reach their customers without violating their privacy.
In addition, the introduction of technologies such as blockchain and smart contracts into the Web3 ecosystem is opening up a world of possibilities for marketers. From the creation of token-based loyalty programmes to the possibility of transparent and secure transactions, these innovations promise to radically change the way online business is conducted.
Last but not least, Web3 is also driving the emergence of new forms of online communities. Decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and decentralised social networks are providing users with a new way to interact, opening up unique opportunities for marketers to engage with their audiences in a more authentic and personal way.
Although the transition from Web2 to Web3 is still in its early stages, it is clear that this shift will bring with it a number of challenges and opportunities for marketers. As technology continues to advance at a dizzying pace, it is essential that marketers keep up with these emerging trends in order to realise the full potential of Web3.
Key concepts in Web3 Marketing
The shift from Web2 to Web3 brings with it the emergence of several key concepts that are reshaping the way marketing is done. Prominent among these concepts are: Blockchain, Decentralisation, Tokens and Cryptocurrencies and Sovereign Digital Identity.
The blockchain is a technology that enables transparency and security in transactions. In simple terms, it is a public, decentralised ledger that records all transactions made on its network in a verifiable and permanent way. This is crucial on the Web3, where data privacy and transparency are paramount.
From a marketing perspective, blockchain can offer a high level of trust and transparency that consumers are looking for today. For example, a company can use blockchain technology to record every step of its supply chain, thus providing verifiable proof of its claims, whether about the sustainability of its products, the ethics of its production, or any other value claim.
Smart contracts are self-executing codes that are stored on the blockchain and are triggered when certain predefined conditions are met. These contracts automate the process of verifying, executing and enforcing contracts, eliminating the need for intermediaries and reducing the risk of fraud or non-compliance.
In marketing, smart contracts can be used to automate and secure the execution of agreements between parties. For example, in affiliate marketing, a smart contract could automatically release a payment when a referral makes a purchase. This simplifies the management of affiliate relationships, provides greater transparency and reduces the possibility of disputes.
In the Web2 model, companies own and control user data, allowing them to use this data to target their marketing campaigns. In contrast, Web3 is based on the principle of decentralisation, where users have control and ownership of their own data.
In a Web3 world, marketers will have to obtain explicit consent from users to access their data and personalise their advertising. This can dramatically change the way companies collect and use customer data, driving greater transparency and respect for users’ privacy.
Decentralised communities, or DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations), are groups of people uniting around a common cause or interest, managed by smart contracts rather than a central authority. DAOs allow community members to have a vote in decisions and share in the benefits of the community.
From a marketing perspective, DAOs represent a new way to interact and collaborate with customers. Companies can work with DAOs to create products and services, receive feedback and reward community members with tokens or voting rights.
Tokens and cryptocurrencies
Tokens are units of digital value that can be issued and managed on a blockchain. Tokens can represent anything from a physical asset to a service or a voting right. Tokenisation enables the creation of token economies, where users can earn, trade and spend tokens in a digital ecosystem.
In marketing, tokenisation can open up new opportunities for customer loyalty and monetisation. For example, a company could issue tokens as a reward for customer purchases, which can then be spent on services or redeemed for products. In addition, tokenisation can help create a sense of belonging and community, as users who own tokens often feel more engaged and valued.
Use of cryptocurrencies in marketing
Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. In the Web3 world, cryptocurrencies can facilitate transactions between businesses and customers, offering an alternative to traditional payment systems.
From a marketing point of view, accepting cryptocurrencies can attract a segment of customers who prefer to use digital currencies over traditional ones. In addition, cryptocurrencies can facilitate international transactions, which can help businesses expand into new markets.
Sovereign Digital Identity
Sovereign digital identity refers to a system in which users have full control over their own digital identity data. This means that users can decide what personal information to share, who to share it with and for how long.
From a marketing perspective, sovereign digital identity can affect the way companies collect and use user data. On the one hand, it could make it more difficult to collect user data for advertising personalisation. On the other hand, it could lead to greater consumer trust, as companies would have to be transparent and respectful of user data.
Impact on Personalisation and Targeting
Sovereign digital identity may also affect the way companies personalise and segment their marketing campaigns. Instead of relying on third-party data, companies will have to rely on data provided directly by users.
This may lead to greater accuracy and personalisation, as user data is more likely to be up-to-date and accurate. However, it may also require a change in approach, as companies will have to find ways to persuade users to share their data voluntarily.
How does Web3 affect different areas of marketing?
The new capabilities and trends that come with Web3 are reshaping several areas of marketing. Among the most impacted areas are: Content marketing, advertising, relationship marketing, affiliate marketing and social media marketing.
The decentralised philosophy of Web3 is changing the way content is created. With the emergence of DAOs, users can now collaborate in the production of content, democratising the creation process and allowing for a greater diversity of voices. For marketers, this can mean a shift in the way content is generated, encouraging users to participate and contribute.
Tokens as Incentives
Tokenisation also has the potential to change the way content creation is incentivised. Tokens can be used to reward users who contribute valuable content, which can motivate more users to participate and share their knowledge. This can lead to a greater amount of user-generated content, which can be used in content marketing strategies.
With users’ increased control over their data, targeted advertising, which relies heavily on third-party data collection, may face significant challenges. Marketers will need to adopt new targeting techniques that respect users’ privacy, which could include explicit user consent and the use of anonymised or aggregated data.
Blockchain technology can also change the way ads are displayed and tracked. With blockchain, ads can be transparently verified and tracked, which can help prevent ad fraud and ensure advertisers get what they pay for.
Tokenisation can also be a powerful tool for relationship marketing. Tokens can be used as loyalty rewards, incentivising users to stay engaged with the brand. Unlike traditional loyalty programmes, tokens can be easily exchanged and transferred, which can increase their attractiveness to users.
DAOs and Brand Communities
DAOs can also play an important role in relationship marketing. By allowing users to participate in brand decisions and share brand benefits, DAOs can foster a deeper sense of belonging and engagement. For marketers, this may require a shift in the way they interact with customers, focusing more on collaboration and co-creation.
In affiliate marketing, one of the aspects that will undoubtedly have the biggest impact is smart contracts. With smart contracts, affiliate agreements can be automated and transparent, which can simplify affiliate relationship management and increase trust.
Cryptocurrencies can also change the way affiliates are paid. Instead of using fiat currencies, companies can choose to pay affiliates in cryptocurrencies, which can enable faster and less costly international payments.
Social media marketing
Decentralisation is also coming to social networks, with the emergence of decentralised social networks that respect privacy and ownership of user data. For marketers, this may require a shift in the way social media marketing is done, with a focus on user consent and transparency.
Tokens and User Interaction
Tokens can also be used to incentivise user interaction on social networks. For example, users can be rewarded with tokens for sharing content, commenting or participating in discussions. This can help increase user engagement and participation, which are key metrics for successful social media marketing.
Leading examples of Web3 marketing
The rise of Web3 has resulted in several companies exploring and applying these technologies to enhance and revolutionise their marketing strategy. Let’s describe some of these cases:
Starbucks and Bakkt
Starbucks has collaborated with digital asset platform Bakkt to allow customers to convert their loyalty points into Bitcoin. This unique initiative offers a novel way to reward customers and encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
In this case, Starbucks is ahead of the game by adopting tokenisation in its loyalty programme, providing customers with greater flexibility in how they wish to receive and spend their rewards. This approach also highlights how companies can use tokenisation to innovate and stay relevant in the Web3 era.
Brave Browser and Blockchain-Based Advertising
Brave Browser has revolutionised online advertising with its blockchain-based approach. Brave users can choose to view ads and be rewarded with BAT (Basic Attention Token) tokens for their attention.
Instead of allowing advertisers to track and target ads to users, Brave protects users’ privacy and gives them control over the advertising they see. Advertisers, on the other hand, can ensure that their ads are seen by real people willing to interact with them.
Best Strategies for Web3 Marketing
As we move towards an increasingly decentralised world with Web3, marketers will need to learn new tactics and strategies to keep up. Here are some of the best practices and strategies for marketing in the Web3 era to consider:
Learn and adapt to new technologies
To succeed in Web3 marketing, it is essential to understand how underlying technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies work. This includes understanding the concepts of decentralisation, tokenisation, smart contracts, DAOs and more.
In addition to understanding these technologies, marketers must also learn how to use the new platforms and tools being developed in the Web3 space. This may include learning how to use decentralised social networks, how to create and use tokens, how to work with DAOs and how to integrate blockchain into their marketing strategies.
Respecting privacy and ownership of user data
In the age of Web3, users have greater control over their data, which means marketers must respect their privacy and ownership. This includes adopting a privacy by design approach, where user privacy is taken into account from the outset, and seeking explicit user consent to use their data.
Marketers should also be transparent about how they use and share user data. This may include providing users with a clear opt-out option and ensuring that users understand how their data is used.
Creating value and participation through tokenisation
Tokens can be an effective way to incentivise user participation and create value. Rewarding users with tokens for participating in the community, contributing content or referring new users can be an effective way to create value for users.
Unlike traditional loyalty programmes, tokens can be easily exchanged and transferred, which can increase their attractiveness to users. Marketers can consider using tokens to reward users for their loyalty and engagement.
Leveraging DAOs to build communities and foster collaboration
By allowing users to participate in decisions and share in the benefits of the organisation, DAOs can help create a sense of belonging and engagement.
DAOs can also be used to create brand communities, where users can collaborate and contribute to the growth of the brand. By building an active and engaged brand community, brands can increase their reach, enhance their reputation and foster customer loyalty.
Experiencing and learning from success stories
Web3 is new and evolving territory, which means marketers must be willing to experiment and test new tactics and strategies that emerge with the advent of Web3
In addition to experimenting, marketers should also look to learn from success stories in the Web3 space. Studying how successful brands and organisations are using Web3 can provide valuable insights and lessons for implementing their own strategies.