The world of Marketing today is dynamic and Marketers have to quickly adapt to new technologies, trends, and phenomena to keep up with their target audience, and grasp and fully hold their interest.
Take, for example, Web 3.0. This new phenomenon is poised to be the next and most relevant phase of the Internet. A lot of people are still struggling to understand what exactly Web 3.0 is and how we, as marketers and brand owners, can make our voice heard as this new technological era comes into being.
That’s why we wrote this article. Let’s break down the Web 3.0 era and see how we can each cement our place in the ever-changing world of Technology.
Web 3.0 is popularly considered the third generation or phase of the World Wide Web. It is also referred to as the spatial web or the semantic web. When you sit and critically analyze the evolution of the internet, you realize that it has 2 different phases, with a third phase gradually emerging.
The first phase was Web 1.0, which in simple terms consisted of a few content creators and a very large audience. Only a few people had the opportunity to create web pages and the purpose of the web in this phase was mostly for information finding. Web pages here were mostly static, unlike the visual and highly interactive version we enjoy today, hence its alternative name “the Read-only web.”
Web 2.0 is what we are currently used to. It isn’t solely information-centric, like Web 1.0, but incorporates visual elements and interactive controls, allowing an immersive experience for all Internet users. While Web 1.0 limited content creation to a few people, Web 2.0 opened up the opportunity for everyone to create, allowing an upsurge of online communities, collaborations, and social media. Where Web 1.0 is referred to as the “Read-only Web”, Web 2.0 takes on the name, “the read-write web” or more befittingly, “the Participative Web.”
Finally, we come to Web 3.0, the imminent future of the web. This phase is built on the ideas of decentralization, and user ownership, seeking to give users a more private and secure Internet experience. Web 3.0 will allow users to own their content without permission from a centralized authority, allowing more content ownership as opposed to content usage.
There will also be an incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, with a possible combination with Natural Language Processing (NLP) to produce smart technology that is responsive to human needs with minimal effort.
Although Web 3.0 isn’t fully formed yet, we can already see some elements of it start to creep into our lives today, in the form of NFTs, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain technology, the Augmented Reality (AR) Cloud, and others.
So, the important thing is, how can marketers and brand owners tweak their marketing strategies to fit into the Web 3.0 age? No, a total overhaul may not be necessary, but to grow your brand and keep it relevant, you must factor in technological changes and how they may benefit your end-user.
Let’s take a look at what Marketing might look like in Web 3.0 to guide your future strategy
In Web 3.0, there is likely to be a rise in the effectiveness of experiential and immersive marketing. Focus in this era is on making users happy, and brands should be prepared to invest heavily in immersive customer experiences to strategically reach this goal, while simultaneously marketing their products and reaching their sales targets. Let’s take a look at a few ways this can be done.
If you’re a fan of science fiction, you’re most likely familiar with the term Metaverse. Simply explained, it is a virtual universe crafted to give users an immersive web experience facilitated by the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality.
In the Metaverse, people represent themselves with custom avatars while building a virtual community, and digital currency is used to make purchases.
Although it isn’t fully in existence yet, some platforms like video games give a small idea of what the Metaverse sets out to be.
This is a ripe playing field for brands in terms of advertising, marketing, and even influencer partnerships. There will most likely be the option of virtual billboards for advertising and virtual shops that can be used to increase visibility and generate sales.
In most communities, especially virtual ones, there are bound to be influencers. Partnering with influencers in the Metaverse is also a great tactic that brands can employ to increase eye traffic and engagement in there. Lastly, brands can build their own unique virtual worlds in the Metaverse.
Let’s take Ralph Lauren, for instance. The fashion brand has already started this type of immersive marketing by partnering with Zepeto, a popular social networking virtual world app. How? They created an exclusive clothing range in the app which allowed users’ 3D avatars to try them on and purchase them if they wanted to. They also created their custom digital world within the platform that had iconic landmarks like Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue Flagship, Ralph’s Coffee Shop, and Central Park, where users of the app could freely explore with their avatars.
Engaging In Virtual Communities
Since Web 3.0 seeks to give users more power and ownership, we are likely to see a lot of community-driven effort from not only users but brands as well. Marketers and brands need to enter and participate in these communities to remain relevant and connect with their customers on a more intimate level. Strategic collaborations with influential users in this domain could also give brands the ROI they are seeking with their Marketing and Advertising efforts.
Using Decentralized Apps
Decentralized apps (DApps), are a growing type of digital application that exist and run on a blockchain or peer-to-peer (P2P) network of computers, instead of a single computer. These apps help to safeguard users’ privacy and ensure data transparency as well as open access. Brands should consider adapting to this technology to protect the privacy of their consumers and may consequently enhance their brand image by doing so.
With the ever-rising popularity of NFTs, brands can leverage this popular trend to accomplish several goals- whether it is increasing brand awareness, enhancing their brand image, or raising customer loyalty levels. Brand NFTs can be auctioned with proceeds given to charity, used as a gateway to exclusive content for consumers, or given as rewards to customers in high-end, online sweepstakes.
Many brands have already begun feeding into the NFT craze. Let’s look at Budweiser for example. Earlier in 2022, they created the Budweiser Heritage Can NFT and Royal Collection NFT. Buyers of these NFTs were rewarded with passes to the exclusive NFT Beer Fest, held by the parent company of the brand, Anheuser-Busch, at its flagship brewery. These consumers were reportedly given free beer, giveaway items, tours of the brewery, and entertaining performances at this event.
To conclude, times are changing and so are your consumers’ expectations. When Web 3.0 hits, will you be ready?