Web3: What Are You Waiting For?
By Rob Stone, Head of Z3
We’re really excited to be launching our new Web3 consultancy. For Zeno, it has been a two-year journey of education, exploration, client discussions and launching our first campaigns. We will now go further and offer Z3, a dedicated global think tank to help our clients understand, navigate and benefit from Web3.
For me personally, it’s been more than a decade of deep involvement in the space, from buying my first Bitcoin more than 10 years ago, to helping build NFT communities and developing land on metaverse platforms.
The Web3 space has so much untapped potential, especially for brands. The next year will see huge growth in mainstream adoption, with brands continuing to lead the way on early and innovative activations. We are already seeing brands using blockchain technology, launching NFT projects and jumping into the metaverse – but this is only scratching the surface of the potential this new technology offers.
Native Web3 brands are blazing a trail too. The brands born out of Web3 are smaller, nimbler and less risk-averse, and a lot of the innovation we’ll see will come from them. We’re also starting to see mainstream crossover, with music leading the way. Doodles, an NFT project that is less than a year old recently appointed Pharrell Williams as Chief Brand Officer. Eminem and Snoop Dog’s recent VMA performance saw them enter the metaverse as their Bored Apes. Web3 companies are starting to take on significant venture capital investments, giving them the support and resources to continue building out the iteration of the internet.
With the fast pace of the new era, our goal is to help clients find their place in this new frontier.
We also understand the skepticism around the space and know it can feel complex and overwhelming at times. Yet new eras always see friction and mainstream adoption can take time. Additionally, what may seem obvious to those of us doing this every day can be a mystery to everyone else. In 1995 Bill Gates went on Letterman to try to explain the internet. Letterman was confused about the use cases of the internet and came back with comments like “does radio ring a bell?” and “do tape recorders ring a bell?” I get surprisingly similar questions about use cases for the metaverse today. Part of our job is to close that gap in understanding and make this technology and the opportunities that come with it easy for everyone to understand and leverage.
In many ways, Web3 feels like the early internet. Small groups of likeminded people have rallied around things like decentralization, the tokenization of digital art and blockchain technology and now those things are starting to find mainstream adoption. Many of the things we see today probably won’t last, much in the same way that early internet companies that grew quickly are no longer around. But what we are seeing now is laying the groundwork for what is to come. Not all companies will succeed, but the next Apple, Netflix or Amazon will certainly come from Web3.
Web3 is going to reach far and wide and marketing and comms professionals will have a huge role to play: from reaching new customers and engaging current and prospective employees in the metaverse and managing corporate reputation, to mitigating environmental impact and engaging new communities with different expectations on decentralized platforms. Understanding this space as marketers, communicators and employers will be essential. This isn’t just a new channel or social platform to get your head around; it’s a whole new internet.
For our part, the mission of Z3 is to help onboard people and brands into the Web3 space. To help them understand not just the opportunities of a pop-up shop on Decentraland, a Discord channel or a limited edition NFT launch, but so much more. We have the chance to build active communities, to engage customers on a deeper level using immersive technology, and to develop strategic and creative approaches to building a sustainable brand presence in this emerging world.
And just like with the early internet, we can test and experiment and evolve along the way, collaborating with best-in-class creators and applying best practices as we go. I hope you’ll join us on the journey.