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What Marketers Need to Know About Web 3.0

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What Marketers Need to Know About Web 3.0

Whether you realize it or not, you’re familiar with Web 2.0 already.

You navigated to our website, clicked on this article, and you’re now reading it. Consider yourself a Web 2.0 aficionado. 

Web 2.0 is the web you’ve grown to know over the past 15-ish years. It’s the web that marketers have learned to use to help customers in need, social media exists…and the reason data privacy is a regular conversation in Congress these days.

Web 3.0 is the next version of the web. 

It seems overwhelming because it involves a lot of new worlds that you’re not familiar with, like cryptocurrency and blockchains. But, you don’t need to understand every detail of crypto or blockchains to know what Web 3.0 is.

You don’t understand exactly how the current web (Web 2.0) works, do you? Nope. Yet you’re navigating it with ease, marketing, buying products, and connecting with your network daily.

Let’s go over what you need to know about Web 3.0 to understand where you fit into it with your digital marketing expertise. 

What is Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 is an updated version of the current web. Just like you create a beta product, turn it into an official product, and optimize and improve that product as time goes on—the web follows the same process.

We’ve used 3 versions of the web, Web 1.0, Web 2.0 (your current web experience), and Web 3.0. 

Web 1.0 (1991-2004)

Web 1.0 was a simple time. There was no such thing as a login button, commenting, or sharing. Every page was static, which means it was the digital version of a newspaper. You could read it all you wanted, but there wasn’t anything else to do on that page.

For almost a decade, you didn’t have anything to distract you from the content you were reading. This will go down in history as the “quietest” time on the internet. People using the Internet weren’t looked at as consumers of ad campaigns the way they are now.

They were simply consumers of the information on the websites they visited. And those websites were complicated, hard to navigate, and slightly overwhelming to our Web 2.0 adjusted eyes. Here’s what CNN’s website looked like in 2000:

Then Google ads launched (that same year). This would mark the Internet’s shift from people using the Internet as an informational product to becoming the product themselves.

Web 2.0 (2004-Present)

Web 2.0 is almost old enough to drink in the U.S., where the legal age is 21. It’s been with us for some time now and has become the web experience we’re used to. We’ve forgotten about the Web 1.0 days, including the plethora of blue hyperlinks and lack of ads and data collection.

In Web 1.0, people used the web to get information from its pages. Today, the web uses its pages to get information from people.

  • What product are you shopping for, and how likely are you to buy in the next few days?
  • Did you forget something in your cart?
  • Here’s a discount code to help you finally click the buy button.

This data collection has become the backbone of digital marketing. We use Google and social media ad platforms to target our ideal customers—down to the detail. Before data regulations and privacy concerns started catching momentum, marketers had a seemingly endless stream of information about their customers thanks to these ad platforms. 

This is the defining factor of Web 2.0: Companies collect user data and sell it to advertisers. 

And it’s led to a lack of privacy for users. Even as laws are enacted to attempt to salvage consumer data, navigating which cookies you want enabled, GDPR, and how to stop the spam emails bombarding your inbox isn’t entirely clear.

We don’t even know what web experience other people are having. Every newsfeed is personalized to that user’s interests, showing differing content even if we follow the exact same people. 

As Web 2.0 has matured, so have web users. More people realize they don’t want to be the product, especially if they’re not getting paid for their contribution to mega-companies profits.

And that’s led to the rise of Web 3.0, a web where we’re the owners of our content.


Web 3.0 (Present)

Web 3.0 is considered the next evolution of the Internet. It’s built on blockchain technology because the major sticking point of Web 3.0 is that it’s decentralized.

Blockchain technology is a well-kept record of public transactions. This differs from the transactions you’re used to (that aren’t on the blockchain). These transactions are maintained across several computers in a network and are accessible by anybody interested. People like blockchain technology because it’s less susceptible to hacking and public transactions create transparency that hasn’t been available before.

They also love it because it’s decentralized. Instead of having one company or person in charge (centralized), blockchains create a decentralized web experience. For example, Mark Zuckerberg has control over what Facebook does (and, of course, has lots of help and insight from his team). As users of Facebook, we didn’t get to vote on the company’s recent name change to Meta because we don’t own the company. 

We’re users of Facebook and we ride the wave wherever the platform chooses to go…and take our content.

In Web 3.0, the idea is to give the web back to the user. There are two main ways this is done:

  1. Instead of having a centralized leader, Web 3.0 is run by decentralized autonomous organizations, DAOs, where the people with the most tokens in that organization get to vote on how the company changes. Without a controlling authority, it can’t be shut down, and content essentially can’t be censored (which is also an argument against Web 3.0).
  2. Our digital identities don’t become tied to our real identities, which is how Web 2.0 is set up. When you look at a product on a Shopify ecommerce store, that product pops up in your Facebook newsfeed and YouTube ads. In Web 3.0, you can view pages, products, and make purchases without it becoming a part of your feeds and online experience.

Just like Web 2.0 started once Google Ads got momentum, Web 3.0 got its momentum as blockchains and cryptocurrency become popular with more people. And as marketers, we have a golden rule: advertise where the attention is.

How to Market in Web 3.0

How to Market in Web 3.0

We have some relieving news: marketing in Web 3.0 is the same as marketing in Web 2.0. The marketing foundations can’t change because the platform changed. You use the same copy strategies in newspapers as you use on Facebook ads. The only difference is the platform (and some updated imagery).

Take a look at this 1978 gin ad with the cheeky copy, “You’ll enjoy this Christmas tree even more after you take it down.”

Image from Marketing Brew

It’s not much different than Bombay Sapphire’s Instagram post with the caption, “Guaranteed not to be re-gifted.” The only two differences are the updated, clearer photograph and the platform (in-person versus Instagram).

See how the same rules of marketing applied BEFORE Web 1.0 and in Web 2.0? Marketing in Web 3.0 will follow the same marketing foundations, with one additional step. 

Step #1: Who’s Your Customer Avatar

The first step in marketing any product on every version of the web is knowing who your customer avatar is. Without this step, you can’t write copy, create the right messaging that sells your product, or know WHO to market it to.

The Customer Avatar Worksheet shows you who your customer is, on a deeper level than where they live and how old they are. Using the Customer Avatar Worksheet, you’ll figure out:

  • What your customer avatar’s goals are related to (and not related to) your products: Do they want to spend more time with their family, and your productivity platform helps them get back 1 hour per day?)
  • The values your customer avatar has for their career and life: Do they value the environment and reducing their fossil fuel emissions and your e-bike helps them stay aligned with that value?
  • The challenges they have creating friction and pain: Is finding a dropshipping company to sell their merch through costing them hundreds of dollars in samples and your product connects them with vetted merchandise dropshipping factories?

You’ll also figure out what books and blogs they’re reading, who they look up to in their industry, and where they spend their offline time networking with like-minded people. This makes your content (and brand) relate to them in a way that a company that hasn’t done this work can’t possibly.

Step #2: What After State Does Your Product Create For Them?

The After State your product creates for your customer avatar is their end goal. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel they’ve been yearning for, and your product gets them. We break this up into the Before State (what are they experiencing now?) and the After State (what do they want to experience from relieving their pain points and challenges?).

The Before and After Grid asks 5 questions per “state”:

  • What does your customer avatar HAVE in the “Before” state? What does your customer avatar HAVE in the “After” state?
  • How does your customer avatar FEEL in the “Before” state? How does your customer avatar FEEL in the “After” state?
  • What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your customer avatar in the “Before” state? What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your customer avatar in the “After” state?
  • What is your customer avatar’s STATUS in the “Before” state? What is your customer avatar’s STATUS in the “After” state?
  • What is an EVIL plaguing your customer avatar in the “Before” state? How does your customer avatar conquer it and bring more GOOD to the world in the “After” state?

Between your Customer Avatar Worksheet and your Before and After Grid—you have the exact messaging you need to market your products and services to your customer avatars. Your copy is practically written for you already, and now it’s all about overcoming their hesitations and making sure they’re 100% clear about the product/service.

Step #3: What Do They Need to Know About the Product in Web 3.0?

If you’re not marketing on Web 3, you’re still answering a similar question. If you’re selling a coaching program, your prospects need to know what to expect inside the program. The same applies to Web 3.0. Your customers need to know what to expect from the product, and in terms of Web 3.0—what benefits they get from choosing this web experience. 

This is why filling out the Customer Avatar Worksheet and Before and After Grid is so important. If your customer avatar is tired of Facebook selling their data and stalking their every move across the Internet, you have your selling point as to why this customer wants to buy your product/service and experience it on Web 3.0 versus Web 2.0

Before State: Has anger towards their newsfeed showing them products they searched on another platform and feels like their every move is tracked by massive corporations. 

After State: Has the freedom to navigate the web without centralized corporations collecting and selling their information and feels free in their Internet experience.

Or, if your customer avatar wants to move off of platforms that have centralized authority (like Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc.) and towards platforms that are decentralized and give their users ownership over their content—that’s the messaging in your marketing.

Before State: Has a negative bias towards centralized authority on platforms deleting content for violating terms and conditions without being clear about why and feels like their platform isn’t a reliable place to grow an audience anymore.

After State: Has removed the worry of a platform accidentally deleting their content or profile despite not posting content that violates terms and feels safe growing their audience on a platform they can take with them throughout Web 3.0.

Welcome to Web 3.0

Welcome to Web 3.0

Web 3.0 isn’t as overwhelming as it may have seemed. If you’re ever feeling like it’s going above your head—remember that you don’t need to understand every detail of cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and decentralization to use these platforms. You need to know the idea, not every detail of the complex systems that manifest them into reality.

You’ve used the same mindset in Web 2.0. You don’t need to know how the Internet cables connected around the world are transmitting the world wide web from New York City to Tokyo. You just need to know the basics to understand what the web is and how to use it.

As Web 3.0 becomes a bigger part of the Internet experience, marketers need one reminder: marketing on Web 3.0 follows the same rules of marketing in newspapers to billboards to websites:

  • Know your customer avatar.
  • Figure out the After State to write compelling messaging.
  • Remove their hesitations by explaining exactly what the product is (ex. what Web 3.0 benefits they’re getting from it).

Isn’t it nice to have a skill set that transfers through the different variations of the web?





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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



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