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The shifting digital landscape

A new dawn of the internet is upon us

6th July 2022

sam, Managing Director

Ignite Managing Director, Samuel, contemplates the rapidly shifting digital landscape. For more on Web3 watch our Run Your Mouth video.

In 20 years of Ignite we’ve experienced a lot of change. In Web1 we built our first websites and quickly mastered search marketing. The Web2 era transformed how we developed brands, connected with people and built online communities.

But trust us when we say, Web3 is going to be the most significant evolution in the online space since the advent of the internet.

A revolution in creativity is taking place, loyalty is being completely rethought and the introduction of new technologies is completely changing the way we reach and interact with people.

A new dawn of the internet is upon us and we’re gearing up for it. This evolution promises decentralisation, digital ownership and greater connection.

But what does it mean for brands?

A creative revolution

Any idea, any concept or a simple flash of inspiration; at Ignite we can make it a reality. Web3 opens up a whole new dimension to your brand, a new space to play and connect.

Want your brand to rain down across London? For a river of chocolate to erupt from the middle of your consumers’ living rooms? The tech is here, and it’s just getting started.

3D design, the growth in AR and VR and the pending arrival of the Metaverse completely change the way we think about creativity. It’s theatre, a breaking of the ‘4th wall’, where experiential meets tech.

It opens the potential for complete immersion in the creative potential of your brand. All of this; integrated into your consumers’ lives.

Fashion? The catwalk is your customer’s home. Experiential leisure? The game starts before you arrive and never ends. Bridging the online and offline worlds in this way will realise the true potential of cross-platform storytelling and will transform the way we creatively realise brands.

The Metaverse

Hype bubble? Dreamed up by tech wizards? Maybe. But make no mistake it’s coming and offers huge opportunities for brands, wider society and our own creative communities.

We’re currently working with Meta on the future of education, so taking this as an example:

Rather than reading about the Roman Empire, young children will walk through the streets and experience what it felt like. Scientific models will be brought to life and co-created in the classroom using blended reality. Medical students will practice complex surgery using Virtual Reality.

A pipe dream?  It’s already happening.

“For thousands of years we learned by doing. Since the printing press we have learned by reading. The Metaverse will allow us to combine the two.”
Sean Evins, Head Of Policy & Gov Outreach EMEA, Meta. Captured in a recent workshop. 

It’s easy to think of the Metaverse as an advanced version of Sims, plugged into a mainframe where we no longer speak with each other. Whilst there are valid concerns about the invasive impact of technology on our brains – the Sims view is reductive.

The yet to be defined Metaverse is a stitching together of a wide range of exciting technologies that will open up immense opportunities for brands.

It would be a mistake to think of the Metaverse as something that will arrive in 5 years time; the potential lies in the here and now. Just look at what it’s about to do for fashion.

Ownership and the explosive potential of loyalty

The psychology behind loyalty is a constant; spend $$, engage with and give time to brands you love and get something in return. This isn’t going to change.

But what will change is marketers’ ability to connect and offer more exciting value with the advance of technology.

AMEX, Nectar, British Airways are all successful loyalty programmes. Spend with us, gain points in return.

NFTs are set to blow this game wide open.

Rather than just using points one way, for example to redeem flights, they will sit in a digital wallet alongside your crypto. A smart contract which gives you access to anything from early product drops, to event access and voting rights.

The ‘tokens’ you earn will then be redeemable in secondary markets, increasing demand for your service. This excellent Twitter feed explains the benefits of this in more detail.

Ultimately, the blockchain will completely transform what we can offer as marketers. Anything you can put in a contract can become an NFT – your future ultra-loyal fanbase.

Evolution of digital marketing

Digital marketing continues to evolve at a rapid rate.

Proper use of consent-driven data will underpin much of it, with new technologies giving access to intelligent personalised marketing initiatives. In hospitality, advancements in order and pay e-commerce technology allows us to close the data loop, taking loyalty and omni-channel marketing to a new level.

The explosive power of TikTok continues to astound, and the growth we’re seeing in existing campaigns at Ignite is quite staggering. It’s an interesting look into the future – a creator-led space where communities dictate the trends.

And is a sign of what’s to come:

Independent creators running their own communities, built up around NFTs and the blockchain – where creators own the space. Authenticity, meaningful connection and tangible value will underpin these communities – seeing the continued rise of the super fan.

This deeper level of ownership and focus on community building will take brand advocacy into new territory, transforming the ‘influencer –> follower’ or ‘brand –> follower’ relationship into something much more egalitarian.

There are lots of examples of how brands are starting to play in this space, but it’s still in its infancy. The true value for brands and the impact on digital marketing is yet to come – it will be fascinating to see how it evolves.

Good news… the old rules still apply

With so much change, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little lost.

The good news is – the fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed – what has changed is the way we’re able to deliver them.

Take NFT marketing for example, with mint releases, discord channels and pricey jpegs. Say what? But it’s based on the same basic principles of marketing that have existed for decades – create scarcity, build hype and nurture a community.

As marketers this is where the world of Web3 is most exciting. The fundamentals remain, but we can use new technology to tackle enduring marketing challenges and goals.

At Ignite we’re working with some very exciting players in education, music, experiential leisure and tech to integrate Web3 technology into their business models. This work is opening up new revenue streams in existing and new markets, it’s creating new ways to interact with their fans whilst pushing them into new spaces in their customers minds.

The potential is quite staggering and the opportunity is in the here and now. Not gonna lie – it’s got us feeling very excited about the future.

For more on the direction of digital travel, watch our video:

Own The Internet: How to navigate the new digital landscape of Web3


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