Omnichannel includes Web3
Web3 represents a unique and untapped opportunity for brands to develop trust and transactions with consumers. The value exchange and loyalty rewards programs available in Web3 are a paradigm shift that sets the stage for a new era of engagement between brands and consumers.
“Web3 technology definitely has the potential to help us build some really great new consumer experiences” ~ Suzie Caldwell, General Manager Client Product & Strategy, News Corp.
Evolution of the web and omnichannel marketing
The web is evolving into a more consumer-centric landscape. Consumers are gaining greater control and ownership over their data and digital identities. In a nascent but fast-evolving Web3, blockchain is the technological lynchpin. Some argue that BigTech’s data stronghold coupled with consumer data protection legislation are accelerating development of Web3. As a marketer, you may be wondering – what’s the big deal?
Web3 brand manners: ask first, then engage
Web3 is an opportunity for brands to more directly engage with consumers, regaining and/or establishing new levels of trust. In Web2 typical ad delivery is based on an interruptive model – ads are injected, float over content, or are auto played, creating a subpar user experience for consumers. In contrast, the Web3 advertising model is about asking permission before a brand tells its story or makes an offer. The approach of brands asking consumers for permission to engage is core to the Web3 ethos. It is only a matter of time before the “ask first” advertising tactic becomes standard protocol for digital marketers.
Taking this opt-in experience one step further, consumers are knowingly agreeing to share their data with a given brand in exchange for rewards – such as tokens or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In contrast, where Web2 is criticized for serving Big Tech profits, Web3 is about value exchange and giving consumers their fair share of the action. It begs the question, if marketers side with consumers in this construct, will marketers benefit?
“Marketers can pay or incentivize consumers for their data. While this is a higher upfront cost, the ROI from the campaign run off of this data will likely be higher. This way, marketers have accurate data that comes right from their consumers.” ~ Chad Brooks, Editor, Business.com
Digital Wallets in Web3
Digital wallets are positioned to serve as the identity for consumers in the digital days ahead, paving the way for next-gen personalized ad targeting and campaign analytics. The ability to sign in via a wallet is a massive shift from traditional password and login credentials (including headaches with username and password fatigue).
As digital wallets become the go-to for digital marketing and analytics, innovative brands will see that wallets behave much like email addresses, enabling what cookies do but in a more consumer-friendly way. Instead of sleight of hand data brokering, hashing and clean rooms – on-chain analytics and analysis of digital assets held in wallets will become the norm.
“Crypto wallets will be connected to everything users already do on the internet and in every online activity yet to come.” ~ Michael Calce, CEO of DecentraWeb
Of course, Web3 is a work in progress – the ability for brands to deliver messaging that includes a value exchange (e.g. crypto micropayments and NFTs) with consumers is a massive paradigm shift that will evolve over the next several years. However, as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Brands that lean into Web3 sooner than later have the opportunity to learn the nuances, while earning mindshare with consumers.
Should you wait and see for Web3?
Web3 is built on trust, transparency and ownership. Meanwhile, brands seeking to tap into crypto adopters and crypto curious consumers will have a compelling opportunity to engage and earn trust. Brands that introduce consumers to cryptocurrency or NFTs will maintain a special relationship with those individuals as Web3 becomes mainstream. Sitting on the sidelines is safe, but for how long? As a marketer, being a first-mover can be equally exhilarating and challenging. Brands typically allocate agency partners a “test and learn” budget for new technology vendors or media partners — Web3 could be viewed as either.
“We are still very early, but not learning how to play the game is the biggest risk. Staying on the sideline is the biggest risk.” ~ Hrid Biswas, Analyst, Prudent Group
Building blocks for a more equitable internet
Brands need to advertise, content creators and publishers need to monetize content. Programmatic advertising will power-up as consumers get their fair share of the $600 billion ad industry in 2022. We can anticipate higher engagement rates, lifetime value, and untapped ways of value exchange via blockchain and decentralized platforms. When compounded, micropayments and NFTs earned by consumers today have the potential to make a meaningful difference in the future, not to mention serving as “thank you’s” for participating early in the Web3 movement.