Web3 or not Web3 – that is the question!
Published: May 22, 2023
The feverish frenzy that once gripped everyone like a wave has perhaps died down. But that does not mean that brands have abandoned Web3 as was seen at Ad Age’s Web3 Marketing Summit held recently. The event saw many executives of many large brands that still continue to leverage Web3—including PepsiCo, Puma, iHeartMedia and Chipotle—talk with the pioneers of Web3 about what it can offer brands.
Based on the discussions that happened at this event, it is quite apparent that brands continue to invest in marketing opportunities tied to NFTs, the metaverse and other Web3 technologies. The difference is that several of these instances take on different forms and go by different names.
Incidentally, the event itself took place in the metaverse!
Here are the some key takeaways –
Web3 has the potential to revolutionize E-commerce
Consumers are increasingly shopping online and brands are trying various ways to engage them. Moving from what was only a grid of product listings, brands are now moving towards offering more immersive experiences to customers as they shop online. Brands even have virtual stores that simulate the conventional experience of walking around in a physical store – like Disney, Johnson & Johnsons, Wrangler, Crocs, etc.
What we think – this is a great way for brands to create unique experiences for themselves to differentiate themselves from other ecommerce sites. It entices customers to hang out there longer, which is great for the brand. Gen Z is all about buying digital stuff for their Avatars to wear in the metaverse. A blend of the digital and the physical worlds (phygital) is ideal where some virtual item comes with a physical tag and vice versa.
AI can power a brand’s Web3 marketing – it does not have to be one or the other!
Looking around, one can tell that AI has completely overshadowed the metaverse and web3. Coca-Cola for instance, has embraced AI and it’s AI-generated art and text preferring it over the metaverse.
The fact is that brands do not need to choose – and that AI can support and enhance Web3.
What we think – marketers need not choose either Web3 or AI or pit one against the other. They each have different characteristics and benefits that they offer to marketers. It is like expecting apples to behave like oranges. We have all seen how AI has improved whatever it touches. The Metaverse is no different – integrating use cases for the combination of AI and Web3 will hasten innovation and experimenting and it would be exciting to see what the two can pull off together.
Brands need to do what it takes to help customers overcome the bad press that Web3 has got
Web3 has had a lot of bad press. There is crypto. And NFTs. And with all that has happened, customers are put off by anything Web3 or blockchain.
What we think – brands need to aggressively work to present their forays into the metaverse in a better light. If it helps, they should just change the syntax used to refer to various aspects of the metaverse. Use friendlier and more relatable terms – avatars, collectibles, etc. Things are already changing from the time when the metaverse was perceived to be something that was only for the wealthy and tech-oriented people. Now with several brands embracing it and using it to enrich their offering, people are taking to it. It is about offering immersive experiences to customers in a cool environment!
In conclusion, it must be said that when it comes to offering really immersive and engaging experiences that Gen Z is accustomed to, with all their online gaming and time spent in the digital universe, metaverse and web3 can really swing it. It has the potential to engage the audience in immersive experiences and increase the time a customer would spend on a website. And it can completely transform the way a brand presents its offerings to its customers.
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