By Maira Genovese, Founder, MG Empower
The world’s biggest brands are turning to web3 to supercharge their consumer relationships.
Jack Daniels, for example, recently launched an interactive web3 campaign with a music drop challenge to reach younger demos. Ralph Lauren introduced a new web3 partnership with Poolsuite, unveiling “Leisurist '' avatars and announcing it will accept crypto payments. And YSL Beauty shared its take on a web3 loyalty program with “Golden Block” NFTs.
What’s behind the sudden web3 momentum? It’s Marketing 101: Brands know they need to reach consumers where they’re spending their time and increasingly that’s in web3 experiences.
While web3 has become (accidentally) synonymous with related or adjacent developments like cryptocurrencies or the metaverse, it is actually more like a movement – a movement towards a decentralized online experience where everyone has a say in creating and curating that experience.
This shift has big implications for marketing and advertising. The dominant communications will no longer be traditional product placement and CTA, but rather storytelling, in which connections and products are featured in a more authentic way.
To successfully reach consumers, brands need to understand how to navigate web3, better leverage storytelling and focus on building strong ties to their audience.
Here are 4 plays web3-savvy brands are using:
1. Use data to tell better stories
Data is an incredible tool to support brands in developing and nurturing authentic relationships with the audience, especially in today’s landscape, where consumers have organized themselves as communities navigating across both online and offline universes as if it is one.
This new hybrid ecosystem will change the way we collect, read and analyze data to create stories that resonate beyond the brand's product or service. Brands that use data to create relevance, instead of to sell things, will be one step ahead of the game.
2. Experiment with technology to deliver innovative experiences
Of course, there will be challenges adapting to this new era of the internet, but there are exciting opportunities ahead. The new formats will encourage us to discover different and more creative ways to navigate and maybe even create better interactive touch points than we have today.
With web3, the cultural context will become more complex, but technology can help to amplify the possibilities of accessing audiences by using new capabilities, such as AI.
3. Look at your audience through the lens of communities
As the world transitions from the centralized web2 to web3, communities will redefine themselves and change the way they relate to brands. Communities will be active in the conception of ideas and products from early stages, and from the ground up, engaging through interactive points with no intermediaries.
Marketeers should be using data to uncover the multiple identities within these communities, open space for participation and become relevant players in their lives. Speak through audiences, not to them.
4. Leverage on storytelling experts like influencers
In the new decentralized web3, influencers will become even more important as the central connectors between brands and communities. They are often the most effective storytellers for brands who want to create genuine connections without overtly selling.
Influencer marketing will also be a key tool when it comes to co-creating with these audiences, bringing them to the conversation and opening space for 360 participation that positions communities as part of the process from the beginning. An imperative piece of this are co-creative processes with influencers to help brands access communities develop strategies that are more connected to what they want. Influencers can make the bridge between brands and communities and ultimately co-creative processes are the next stage of the influencer marketing industry.
The bottom line
The shift to web3 will reshape relationships among brands and consumers. Brands that can figure out how to use data to create strong connections with consumers, and tell authentic stories, will be positioned for success in the internet of the not-so-distant future.