- Although forecasts for Web3 domains are eye-watering, skepticism is denting the progression of Web3 platforms and capabilities
- Early adopters can realize huge benefits. But they must also understand their responsibility to build standardization, privacy, and security into the infrastructure of Web3
- dSphere Chief Digital Officer and Tech for Good advocate Donnovan Andrews discusses the need for brands to overcome Web3 skepticism in this exclusive Q&A
2022 has seen a growing number of brands embrace Web3. From Duolingo and Heineken in the metaverse to Reddit’s NFT loyalty scheme, these brands are not afraid to allocate significant capital and become early Web3 adopters. The global metaverse market is worth $47.48B in 2022 and is set to soar to $678.7 billion by 2030 – so who can blame them?
But as tough economic times loom and skepticism creeps into Web3 discourse, the conversation is skewing. Crypto-market crashes, the FBI seizing $3.36 billion in stolen bitcoin, and Meta’s billion-dollar losses in metaverse technology leave many executives reeling at the prospect of Web3 when they are still coping with Web2. Many others are caught like a deer in headlights, unsure of which direction to go. Sitting on the fence is a risky move at the best of times.
In a Q&A with Donnovan Andrews, Chief Digital Officer at dSphere.io, we examine how skepticism may impact Web3 progress, and what benefits (and responsibilities) await those brands who are brave enough to take up the mantle of an early adopter.
Q1: Why is skepticism (such as around crypto-currency volatility) a threat to the emergence of Web3?
Donnovan Andrews: The reason skepticism is such a threat to the emergence of Web3 is because it creates an environment of mistrust and fear.
This can prevent people from investing in or using new technologies. When people are afraid to take risks, they are less likely to try new things, and this can stall the growth of new industries. If we want to see the full potential of Web3 realized, we need to create an atmosphere of trust and openness so that people feel comfortable taking risks and exploring new ideas. We must bring security into Web3 infrastructure. That starts with entrepreneurs experimenting with new ideas and turning them into products and features that make customers feel comfortable.
Skepticism can often lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. And we don’t want that. It can slow uptake and prevent it from ever gaining traction.
Skepticism is healthy, no doubt about that. But when it comes to new technologies that have the potential to change the world, we need to be careful not to let them get in the way of progress.
Q2: As excitement for Web3 concepts plateaus, why should marketers continue to plan and build for this future?
Donnovan Andrews: There are a few reasons why marketers should continue to plan and build for the future of Web3.
First, it’s important to remember that new technologies always take time to catch on. It can take years for a new technology to reach its full potential, and it would be foolish to write off Web3 simply because it isn’t growing as fast as some people expected. Second, even if the growth of Web3 slows down, it will still have a major impact on the way we use the internet. Third, the principles of Web3 are still very relevant and important, even if the actual implementation might not be happening as quickly as some people hoped.
Fourth, we shouldn’t forget the new opportunities for loyalty and community building. With blockchain technology, we can create systems where people are rewarded for their contributions and loyalty to a community. This creates a more equitable system where everyone can participate and reap the rewards. In addition, it encourages people to be active members of the community and helps build stronger relationships between members.
And last, accurate attribution data. This will allow marketers to target their ads more effectively and create a more personalized user experience. By understanding how people are interacting with their brand, marketers can fine-tune their marketing campaigns and make sure they are reaching the right people with the right message. Attribution capabilities are essential for effective marketing, and they will become even more important in the future of Web3.
Q3: How can the following emerging Web3 channels help create communities and build brand loyalty?
Donnovan Andrews: NFTs allow people to interact with each other and with brands in new and interesting ways. For example, NFTs can be used to create digital scarcity. This provides a sense of exclusivity and make people more likely to invest in them.
They can also be used to create unique experiences that people can’t get anywhere else. This can help brands build a more loyal following and create a more engaged community around their products or services.
NFTs are more than just digital collectibles. They can store utilities, like tickets or loyalty points, which can make them even more valuable to brands and their customers. They can offer gated access to exclusive content or experiences or be used as currency in online games or marketplaces. Moreover, they can also become the basis for multilevel loyalty schemes, where people are rewarded for their continued involvement with a brand.
The possibilities are endless, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what NFTs can do.
Donnovan Andrews: Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain can help provide a secure and transparent way to track transactions. This can help brands build trust with their customers and create a more loyal following.
The blockchain can also be used to create unique experiences that people can’t get anywhere else. This can help brands stand out from the competition and attract new customers.
We must remember that the blockchain is the underlying foundation of everything we do on the Web3.
Donnovan Andrews: The metaverse is all about virtual spaces where people can interact with each other and with brands. Brands can use the metaverse to create unique experiences that people can’t get anywhere else. This can help brands stand out from the competition and attract new customers.
Brands can also use metaverse worlds to create a sense of exclusivity and make people more likely to invest in them. There is something about virtual spaces that transcends what we already knew about online interactions. They have the potential to create a whole new level of engagement between people and brands.
The new generation is not just another group of customers; they are digital natives who have grown up in a world where the internet is an integral part of their lives. They are comfortable with technology and expect brands to understand and cater to their needs.
To reach this group of people, marketers need to be prepared to meet them where they are: in the digital world.
Q4: How can marketers embrace new channels, such as the metaverse, without proper standardization in place?
Donnovan Andrews: The best thing to do is to keep an open mind and be willing to experiment. It’s still early, and we must acknowledge that. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to emerging technologies, so it’s important to be flexible and agile in your approach. And finally, always keep the customer in mind. What do they want? What do they need? How can you provide them with the best possible experience? These are the questions that will guide you as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of Web3.
In all new technologies, standardization typically follows early adopters who were agile and open to experimentation and have capitalized on the new technology. For example, in the early days of the internet, there was no standardization in place. This allowed for a lot of experimentation and innovation, which led to some of the first major successes on the web.
However, as the internet grew more popular, standardization eventually followed to create a more unified and consistent experience for users. The same is true for new technologies like the metaverse. There is still a lot of experimentation happening at this early stage. But as it grows more popular, standardization will eventually follow to create a more consistent and reliable experience for users.
Q5: What are the benefits to brands that take up the role of early adopters?
Donnovan Andrews: There are a few benefits to being an early adopter. First, you get to be at the forefront of innovation and get a first-mover advantage. Besides the bragging rights when Web3 becomes the standard (and it will), it can also give you a significant competitive edge over your rivals.
Second, there is much room for testing the waters. Web3 and the metaverse are still in their early stages, so there is a lot of room for experimentation. This is a great opportunity for brands to try out new things and see what works best.
Thirdly, you can also use this as an opportunity to learn more about your customers and what they want. Be flexible and agile in your approach and be prepared to adjust as needed. And on top of the valuable knowledge, you also get to build a loyal following among the early adopters and digital natives who are always on the lookout for new and innovative brands. These people are likely to be more engaged with your brand and more likely to recommend it to others.
Q6: What responsibility do brands that take up the role of early adopters have for privacy and security?
Donnovan Andrews: We must keep in mind that we are living in an era where ‘surveillance capitalism’ is a term. Brands need to take privacy seriously. Brands must protect their customer’s data. This includes ensuring that personal information is safe from hackers, financial information is safe from fraudsters, and online activity is not being tracked or monitored without their consent. In the digital world, privacy and security are of the utmost importance. Early adopters have a responsibility to set the standards for the rest of the industry.
Q7: What factors other than skepticism may affect Web3 marketing in 2023 and beyond?
Donnovan Andrews: There are a few factors that could affect Web3 marketing in the future. First, we need to keep in mind that Web3 is still in its early stages. A lot can change in the next few years.
Second, we need to remind ourselves that even though we love tinkering with the terminology and the theoretical side of things, one of the most important aspects of Web3 and the metaverse is the hardware that it relies on. To make use of proper metaverse experiences, you need to offer devices that are compatible with the technology. VR goggles, AR glasses, and proper infrastructure to support the tech. And we need to make this tech enticing for everyone.
The third and final factor has to do with mass adoption. A lot of people are still not familiar with the term “Web3”, and even fewer know what it entails. For Web3 to truly take off, we need to do a better job of explaining it to laymen and showing them how it can benefit their lives. Once people understand what Web3 is and how it can make their lives better, they’ll be more likely to use it.
These are just a few of the factors that may affect Web3 marketing in 2023 and beyond. We’ve got to stay flexible and adaptable as technology continues to evolve.
Donnovan Andrews has long been an influencer at the forefront of the digital movement. He most recently joined dSphere as Chief Digital Officer. dSphere is an end-to-end web3 SaaS platform that empowers brands and game publishers to thrive in the on-chain world – from NFT drops and marketplaces. In this new role, Donnovan is leveraging his years of experience in onboarding clients, strategic development, and business development to lead growth and partnerships with agencies and brands globally.
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