Web3 is emerging as a label for the reinvention of how the internet works. It portrays an evolution of the world wide web and paves a new road for what the internet will look like in the future.
For example, in the past year there has been an explosion in the development of abstract concepts like NFTs, crypto, and more. These concepts are run by blockchain technology, which is classified as a “distributed ledger.” Blockchain allows for data to be stored by a network of servers instead of a single server, which, as Harvard Business Review puts it, “offers users an immutable and transparent way to store information.”
Blockchain technology is being introduced in new ways to help distribute and decentralize stored information. And, while this decentralization of data makes up a large portion of Web3, there are a handful of other elements that also contribute to the definition of Web3. So, before we dig into Web3 marketing, let’s first fully understand Web3.
Additional Elements of Web3
In addition to decentralized data storage via Blockchain, Web3 also includes the semantic web, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and augmented and virtual reality.
According to Growthchain.io, “The semantic web is an umbrella term for implementing and improving online technologies by enabling internet users to create, share, and link material through search and analysis based on the ability to understand the meaning of words rather than keywords, ultimately allowing a search engine and humans to communicate more efficiently.”
Boiled down, the semantic web is built on data that can be easily read, understood, and interpreted by machines, allowing the information to be dispelled across a network versus owned in siloes. So again, we see the theme of a decentralization of information with the goal of the semantic web being a globally-linked database.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
With the availability of data designed to be interpreted by machines, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will continue to improve and be a large part of the next iteration of the internet. AI will be smart enough to design products and contribute to the economy. According to LeewayHertz, “PWC estimates that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, resulting in a 14% increase in global GDP.”
Augmented & Virtual Reality
We’ve all heard of the metaverse at this point. Whole worlds exist in alternate, virtual worlds. (There are even metaverse real estate agents selling virtual properties!) The possibilities are endless in a virtual reality—people from all over the globe can connect in the same “room.” Again, we are seeing the theme of global connection and decentralized information.
These aspects of Web3 can expand into a variety of different areas, one being marketing. Web3 marketing is changing the marketing landscape by requiring new ways for brands to connect with customers.
A lot of the elements of Web3 connect directly to marketing. One of the key connections to marketing is the level of transparency that Web3 brings to all communications. With the decentralization of data, customers will gain more in control of their own data. Which, as ZenMedia put it, “…will require marketers to focus on building relationships with prospects through direct communication.”
Increasing Importance of First- and Zero-Party Data
With decentralization and protection of data through technology like Blockchain, the power is being transferred back to the customer. Think about the deprecation of third-party cookies. Data can no longer be collected and stored without customers’ knowledge, which only increases the value of customer data, for marketers.
The importance of privacy and transparency with customer data extends into the metaverse. Like VentureBeat says, “when forming their metaverse strategy, brand marketers must consider the privacy implications of reaching audiences through ads as we move beyond third-party cookies into Web3”
As a result, brands will need to figure out new ways to collect customer data while maintaining transparency and building trust. First- and zero-party data—data collected implicitly from sites the customer visits (think: “accept cookies) and data collected by asking the customer directly—will continue to gain popularity in the cookieless, transparent world of Web3 marketing.
Artificial Intelligence in Web3 Marketing
With data becoming more secure and the simultaneous need for brands to become more transparent, AI will continue to be beneficial for marketers—if not increasingly so. AI can help in recognizing patterns in user behavior. As customers connect and engage with brands, AI tools can observe these real-time behaviors and predict future behaviors.
This ability to predict future behavior or preferences is crucial, especially when developing a cross-channel marketing strategy. With a variety of channels—SMS, email, push notifications, etc.—it’s difficult to know which channel will be the most effective with each individual customer.
Advanced AI tools can automatically recognize trends like which channels each customer is more receptive to and even at what times to send those messages to improve engagement. Plus, AI automation can then go one step further and actually send messages triggered by those behavioral preferences or send times.
Serving as a marketing automation tool, AI can deliver personalized marketing messages to every individual customer without a manual lift from a brand’s marketing team.
Web3 Marketing is Creating a Customer-Centric Future
There’s a theme emerging from these aspects of Web3 marketing: customer-centricity. Customer needs, wants, and preferences are at the heart of all of these new technologies and capabilities. Data decentralization helps protect customer data and artificial intelligence improves the overall customer experience by analyzing behaviors and delivering content based on those behaviors.
As marketers, we should always aim to think from the customer’s perspective. With each new campaign that’s created, consider how relevant each message is to the individual customer and how you can build a one-to-one relationship with every single one.