Metaverse, Crypto, and NFTs

Episode 4 June 07, 2022 01:01:10
Metaverse, Crypto, and NFTs
The Loop Marketing Podcast
Metaverse, Crypto, and NFTs

Jun 07 2022 | 01:01:10


Hosted By

Elise Stieferman

Show Notes

Confused as to why The Metaverse, Crypto, and NFTs are dominating the marketing conversation?

You are not alone - many marketers are struggling to define these topics and understand their impact on their brands and overarching marketing strategy.

In this webinar, Coegi and our guests from Wachsman and Pop Marketer explored the impact of these changes and ways brands can be on the forefront of these emerging trends.

Additional Resources:

The Metaverse Key Takeaways & Resources Downloadable:

Metaverse & Crypto Terms Guide:

Blog Post: Navigating the World of Marketing for Crypto Brands:


Coegi is a performance-driven marketing partner for brands and agencies enabled by a best-in-class technology stack to deliver specialized services across digital strategy, programmatic media buying and integrated social media and influencer campaigns.

Learn how Coegi can work with your brand or agency:

Read more on our blog:

Follow @CoegiPartners:




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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:04 Welcome to the Loop Marketing Podcast. I'm your host, Elise, Director of Marketing at Coegi. Today you'll be hearing an excerpt from one of our recent webinars covering the metaverse, NFTs, and crypto and how marketers can prepare. Let's get started Speaker 2 00:00:21 By way of introduction. My name is Ryan Green. I'm the VP of Marketing at Coegi. Thank you everybody for attending our webinar on everything with the metaverse, NFTs, and crypto. I'm really excited to have a great panel here with us. I'm coming here to you today from Orlando at the ANA conference. The metaverse was a big topic of discussion, even with the Mark Pritchards and the P&Gs and Verizons and Visas of the world. So, you're not the only ones that don't know, and are trying to figure this out. And as brands and marketers and agency folks, we're gonna figure this out together with the help of the illustrious panel that we have. We have Stephanie Lynch with us today, who's the Head of Marketing and CMO at Wachsman. They’re an agency that focuses specifically on cryptocurrency, blockchain and decentralized finance. She has worked in the industry for 15 years at Fleishman Hillard, Build-a-Bear and at Brighton before joining Wachsman. So, thank you for joining us today. We also have Hugh Naylor, who also works at Wachsman. He is a former journalist for the Washington Post and The National. He speaks three languages fluently, and now he leads the Wachsman agency’s thought leadership on everything with Web 3.0, so Hugh, thank you for joining us today. We have Joe Cox. He is the founder and Creator of The Pop Marketer Podcast and creative veteran. He worked for Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and was a VP at Barclay in Kansas City before launching his own consultancy. And, obviously the host of The Pop Marketer Podcast. Thanks for joining us, Joe. Thank you. And last but not least, Matt Prosperi from Coegi. He is one of our Account Strategy Directors. He has eight years of industry experience, most recently at Go Local Interactive, before becoming one of our very first account strategy directors at Coegi and he's our in-house expert for all things crypto and Web 3.0. Thanks for joining us, Matt. You know, this is such a broad topic and so much that we want to cover today. So let's get right into it to set the stage. Could each of you kind of give a thirty second synopsis of what you think the metaverse is and NFTs and the connection with blockchain and just some definitions to ground everybody in this discussion? I'll start with you, Matt. Speaker 3 00:03:01 Sure. I think that from a practical application as marketers, they all are connected because it is emerging technology. And with that, to get into space may take a little more effort than in other worlds that we may operate in. But it also just takes a little more research, but with that comes a lot of potential. So I see it as an initial high wall, but after that, there's lots of potential to really engage with a new audience who's looking for new information. So from a practical standpoint, that's kinda how I see the potential in the space that we operate within both in the metaverse world and also on the cryptocurrency side, really being connected by blockchain. Speaker 2 00:03:46 Yeah, blockchain's definitely a centralized point of this. Stephanie, how do you look at defining things like the metaverse and NFTs and decentralized finance? What language do you use? Speaker 4 00:04:00 Well, I'm gonna try to break it down simply because I don't know how much the audience knows. Right? And there's a lot of terminology in the blockchain space, but I think that there are some basic things and Hugh, if you wanna riff on what I'm talking about, please chime in, that you have to think about the blockchain first. I think before we dig into NFTs and the metaverse and the blockchain technology gives people the power to drive economies with no middle layer. And that is conceptually sometimes very difficult to hold onto, but fundamentally the blockchain is just a ledger transaction that can't be changed. Anyone can invest in a project, AKA, a company, or assets like NFTs, cryptocurrency, all of the tokens that you've heard of like Soge coin through this ledger system. And the excitement around the assets is that it doesn't take a lot of expertise to invest and you don't need to go through a centralized exchange to participate. And so basically you don't need a broker. And however you think when you think of broker, the metaverse is largely built on this blockchain infrastructure, you can kind of think about the metaverse like a railroad. And so if the metaverse is the railroad, then the NFT is the train car. And so the NFTs are useful within this metaverse environment as stores of value. So the NFT can be a ticket to a concert held in the metaverse, and I use that in air quotes because I think we're gonna dig into that a little bit later, and then the NFT can also be an agreement between you and another user that buys the NFT so that every time the NFT is sold you get receiver royalty, or even maybe a dividend from that NFT, if it's part of a larger collection of NFTs. And so I think that it's good for people to understand when you think conceptually of this blockchain ledger system, that there is some additional functionality that can come into play with blockchain, and that you can think about it as if, if this transaction happens on the blockchain, then another transaction can occur through what's called a smart contract. And so again, there's a lot of terminology around this, but really just think about it as it's a lot of transactions happening automatically with some additional security features. And since we, as marketers and communicators, work with brands that are transacting all the time, it's interesting to think about how to add some additional value to those transactions. So long story short, that's how I think about it. Speaker 2 00:06:46 Yeah. It's an interesting metaphor, I think, with the railroads and the train itself. Joe, is that how you think about these terms as well? Is that a good analogy for kind of conceptualizing what we're gonna be talking about today? Speaker 5 00:07:01 I'll use trains for any metaphor, that sounds fantastic. I'm just a fan , in general. I mean, when I talk to people in an audiences about the metaverse, I too try to break it down because to me it's really not, it's a word. Okay. It's caught up steam, right. And we're trying to wrap our arms around a lot of different things when we put this word into existence, right? And it came from a sci-fi book, of course. But the metaverse is only our way of trying to wrap our arms around this idea of a further integration of our real lives, of our physical lives, and our digital lives. And especially over the pandemic. But trust me, this is not a pandemic, like because of the pandemic, this is all happening, not true. Speaker 2 00:07:57 I've heard a lot of that today. So thank you for sparing us. Speaker 5 00:08:00 It's a fast forward button. Sure. But it is not, this is all progressing the way it has been progressing. It's pretty easy for me to understand this idea of when, as I spend more time in my digital world, meaning, hi, everybody, we're on screens right now in front of an audience, I'm spending more and more time in that digital world. Of course, I want to bring more cool things from my physical life into that digital space. I want it to feel more like my physical world, because there's some cool, nifty things that help me communicate as a human being. It helps me connect and then vice versa, there's some really cool things about my digital life that I just wish I had inside of my physical world. Just go out in the real world. Now all the things of not getting exactly the products you want or not, or having to wait or not getting the kind of experience that you're used to in your digital world. Don't you wish you could have those?So it's really just this intersection and integration of those two lives. And, it is an interface, right? Think of it as it is just the internet, we're not talking about something completely new, it sits on top of the internet. And it's a new interface to look at everything at, to experience the internet with. and It's not TikTok, you know, it's not the next TikTok, it's a much larger concept than that, but I'm geeked about it. Can't wait to talk more about it. Speaker 2 00:09:35 Hugh, do you think that it should be defined as the metaverse as that intersection between your digital and physical world, the way that Joe described as well? Or do you think about it in different terms? Coming from more of the blockchain and crypto side - what are your thoughts? Speaker 6 00:09:55 Yeah, it's really hard to define, right? Because I think we know that as everyone said on this call, more of our interactions and transactions in daily life are getting digitized. And as that gets digitized, we immerse ourselves into this digital world or worlds. There could be more than one metaverse, right? To the point where the vast majority of those interactions and transactions occur within this digital world in which our lives and ourselves become so absorbed into it. I mean, almost living through VR, you know, kind of not to go to Elon Musk, but he made the point, I think on Joe Rogan's podcast that we're already kind of on the path to going cyborg, right? We have our phones on us and we're constantly in this digital world now, but this is the next step I think, to immerse ourselves almost fully. And I think Joe mentioned a reference to Snow Crash, it's this idea of, I mean, it's a dystopian novel from the nineties where we all enter a metaverse, but in this case it's like a metaverse in which there's like government control it's in a surveillance, state. The next question is okay, so the metaverse is this digital universe that we are effectively transplanting ourselves into, but how is that world going to operate? Will that world be controlled by Facebook and Microsoft in which they set the rules of the game, they can change the rules of the game whimsically? Or will it run on this Web 3, whatever you wanna call it, blockchain, crypto rails. And you know, I think there's tension between the Web 2.0 space like Facebook, Microsoft, et cetera and the crypto people. Because the crypto people fear a metaverse run by Microsoft, Facebook, et cetera. I don't want to single them out, but I'm just using them as an example. Speaker 2 00:12:05 Those are the easiest ones to point out. Speaker 6 00:12:07 They control the system, whereas, and I'll be short here, crypto and blockchains are essentially just communities of people who use computers to coordinate a rules based order across vast geographic distances in real time so that all decisions are made according to consensus. And so in that sense, it's more democratic and so the crypto people want a world in which no single company or government can control this metaverse. They want these blockchain protocols to run them instead. Speaker 2 00:12:49 That's certainly the friction. I think you hit it right on the head. The Web 2.0 people, maybe the ones that are writing articles in the Wall Street Journal saying that NFTs are a Ponzi scheme, for instance, have an investment into still being able to keep control, whereas the Web 3.0 and the decentralization and democratization of transactions and of currency have quite a bit of a different viewpoint. I feel like that's where the central tension is. Would you agree with that, Joe? Is that something that's still gonna be coming into play? Is there gonna be a Web 2.0 metaverse that Meta may control? Will there be other versions that are gonna be on blockchain and will there be more decentralized? And also to follow up with that too, it's gonna be where the users go. So if it's challenging for users to understand blockchain, will that be an impediment to a more decentralized metaverse Speaker 5 00:14:04 Totally, I do agree with you, especially on the fact that there will be many different planets inside the metaverse, many different solar systems and connections. But the really cool part is right now we live in that space too. We do live in that space where we go to different websites or we use different apps to get different things done. If you're a gamer, you're one hundred percent sitting here going, like I've been doing this stuff for 10 years gang, why aren't we calling it? You know, just kind of the more gamification of digital life, but the cool point is having these doorways and these roads between those spaces. So yeah, there are really cool central places that we can visit. The same thing is where opportunity is, is creating those highways in those places to where I can take my stuff from here and use it in this space and then take it over here and use it in another space. Right now, I have to have different passwords, and different things. I can't take the cool things I earned by playing a hundred hours of World of Warcraft over to another game and say, cool, I'm gonna put on my armor here or do my things here. The idea is, the hope and the vision is, to be able to kind of traverse those spaces with my stuff. Speaker 2 00:15:34 The Web 2.0 version is closed and the web 3.0 version will be open. Right? That's at least the dream it seems like. Would you agree with that, Stephanie? Speaker 4 00:15:47 I think so. I mean, I don't wanna get too far down the rabbit hole right now on decentralization versus centralization. But I do think that going back to that original question of where consumers are, and then what Joe was talking about is how do we harness it? I think consumers are in three camps based on the research and the volume of clients that we work on at Wachsman. These consumers are either excited and investe, they're totally in the dark, or they're scared because of what you were saying earlier that cryptocurrency and NFTs are being characterized as risky. I think that that is a very simplified way of looking at the technology and that the technology really offers so many advantages to put organizations very close to the end user through these transactional exchanges. And so I think that what's important for marketers to consider is how typical transactional relationships happen with their customers. And then how can we automate that and give the transactions greater utility, foster community, or deliver greater entertainment value. Largely, that goes back to what Joe was talking about within gaming. That, for example, if we all understand how subscription services work and loyalty programs, this is block and tackle for brand marketers. Those programs can be amplified with blockchain. So, for example, what if a customer bought a book online and that book was embedded with an NFT and so through a partnership with whatever streaming service that they're connected to Netflix or Disney plus, for example, then all of a sudden you would be able to unlock additional shows, interviews, content automatically - it's seamless. And then that creates so much more value to the purchase. We could do this today without blockchain, probably. But blockchain offers security and asset collection that really helps me move this from the conversations that we're having to actual reality. And so I think for those reasons, it's really important to understand where the technology is going in the space. Speaker 3 00:18:08 I think you nailed a big point there, Stephanie, about being entertaining, right? That's such a huge part about this, of wanting to excite people and also being accessible and easy to use seems like a huge part of this. You know, I was completely unaware of the NFT space, for example, a couple years ago, and now I own a Travis Kelcey touchdown moment. So I know that's a very high level part of it, but it's fun for me. There's so many different applications, whether it's collecting things like art. There's so many ways to make it easy to use or entertaining for certain niche audiences. People make observations about how impatient we are as a society, how having quick access to things has made us so impatient, because we don't really have to be patient. I think that making things easy to use, making it accessible and enjoyable and how it can tie back into what we do every day and that's the biggest part I think that people need to understand is making it enjoyable. Using things like the metaverse and the blockchain, which makes it easy to use, simple to use, and secure, opens up those doors. Speaker 2 00:19:24 I think from the consumer's side, removing friction points is more important today than ever. And I think marketers who are starting to look at the implications of the metaverse, NFTs and crypto, need to think about that. I’m interested to hear, Matt, if you want to continue on that, what are the things that brands really need to think about as they’re considering moving into Web 3.0? Is it only the P&Gs, that have experimental budgets and a hundred million dollars of advertising spend? What do mid-market brands need to think about? There's ample opportunities and risks as well to getting it right. What are some of the things you're advising your clients to be thinking about Speaker 3 00:20:20 Listening to your existing customer base is really important and hearing what is really valuable. We were talking offline and I'd love for Joe to talk a little bit more about this. Even if you are a company that does lots of art, for example, if you have a part of your brand that people are excited by, really leaning into that and leveraging it. I think that forcing things is why people are burned out already. They see headlines of what we're talking about here, about the metaverse and NFTs, and they think “that's not relevant to me”. I don't care because big brands are jumping at it and its things that may not be relevant. But I think there's absolutely some areas of finding the things that resonate with your current customer base and leaning into and really building loyalty that way. Joe, what was the specific example like the whiskey art? I think that was just an interesting example of that. Speaker 5 00:21:22 It's a blockchain example for sure, but it's under an NFT example. It's just the idea that there has been such a huge secondary market for aged whiskeys, and there have been collectors forever. But whenever you collect, there's a big problem of understanding is the brown liquid inside my bottle actually the whiskey that I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars for? And securing that in your home, I don't want that bottle anywhere near me, right? On that idea and blockchain, crypto and NFTs open up this ability for people to broker, safely collect and push these things back and forth. For the whiskey company, it allows them to actually make another revenue model on a secondary market of collecting that they've never had before.We can get into that maybe a bit. That's part of the smart contract, but it's just a way to think about it. Art might be the easiest way in, but it is surely connected to everything just like social media became and digital anything became a layer on top of how our businesses work and how we communicate to the consumer. Speaker 2 00:22:43 That's a really interesting point. There's so many comparisons to how digital and social have come in from the past too. Certainly Hugh, you have a pretty good understanding of this. What comparison points have we seen from the past that we could apply to the thinking around NFTs and crypto in particular? Speaker 6 00:23:17 Well hearing that question in mind and just with what Joe and everyone else said, when it comes to identifying your users and your customers and how they will find utility in a metaverse or metaverses, I think it goes again, back to whether or not whichever metaverse you're operating in is run in a decentralized manner or if it's run by a centralized company. Because if we're gonna be incorporating NFTs, maybe doing decentralized finance, which is basically banking without banks and these networks that are run by code. Are you going to put your NFT in a metaverse that is not controlled by a blockchain, but is controlled by a CEO? The importance of that is, if I take my NFT from one metaverse, that's controlled by blockchains and somehow connect it with one that's run by a company. And I put my NFT there and say, we want to brand the utility of whatever utility is available in that centralized metaverse that I'm shifting my NFT to, I don't have control over that NFT anymore because it's controlled in the centralized system, which means that I am at risk of losing my assets and the value behind those assets. So going back earlier in the discussion about whether or not consumers need to know about how blockchains work, what's the difference between centralization and decentralization? As these meta risk worlds get built out, that's going to be a critical question for companies, consumers, marketers to understand, because I think it will lead to where people will be comfortable using their crypto assets, whether it's in NFTs, tokens, etc. I would probably argue that people who are somewhat savvy in using those assets would stay away from the centralized systems. So that probably has implications for branding and marketing, all that stuff along with ethical and political implications. Speaker 2 00:25:33 Well, maybe that's a good time to talk about Kyle's question, and anybody in the audience that wants to use the Q&A function, please ask us any questions there. If they were in this decentralized area, how can we keep companies accountable? How do we prevent valuable NFT art being copy and pasted, being sold, again on a different metaverse or a different blockchain? That's an argument, the centralized people are going to say money laundering, et cetera. What are the mechanisms of accountability on the blockchain side? Speaker 5 00:26:21 Why would people trust blocks? I think that's where Kyle's getting to. And Kevin has this too, it sounds like a huge opportunity for fraud and debt. It absolutely can seem that way, but it really clicked for me to understand why the blockchain is trust, why it equals trust. I think we could back up to that and, Hugh, I'll let you roll on that one. Speaker 2 00:26:47 Why should we trust the blockchain? There's a much better way of what I was trying to say. Speaker 5 00:26:52 It's what I was thinking here. That's an awesome question, central to this learning. I really believe that. Speaker 6 00:26:58 It's a great point. The crypto industry at-large, Web3 or whatever you want to call it, is still so early. I think its potential hasn't been fulfilled yet. And so I think there's still an issue of how people understand it. There's still a problem of fraud in some cases. But that said, if you look at Bitcoin, Bitcoin is sort of the test case for how a Web3, when it's fully built out, is trustless in that you don't have to trust it because you trust it, if that makes sense? Because Bitcoin, no company controls it, no government controls it. Anyone can mine Bitcoin anywhere in the world, it's never been hacked. No transactions really have fraudulently been made. In addition to that, because it is a public blockchain, every transaction in the history of Bitcoin, since the Genesis block, which I think was in 2009, when some bank in England went down, since the Genesis block, anyone can download all those transactions on their computer and verify the veracity of those transactions. Now, Bitcoin was the first aspect of that technology, right? And it is being developed on by other blockchains that are building more utility onto them. But at the end of the day, ideally, and it is hoped for, that in the future, there are all these transactions combined with the fact that these blockchains are run by communities of people behind computers, that there is an element of credibility. There is an element of confidence in the transactions and there's an element of transparency, right? And when you combine those three, that yields greater trust in these systems. Now we're not there yet. I would say we're years away from it, but we're heading there. And those facets of blockchains are exactly the reasons why the crypto people want to at least shift part of the economy away from these traditional centralized structures. I'm not gonna bore everyone. I always talk about this within the company. I do background seminars on crypto and Bitcoin. I won't go too deep into everything on that, but the ethos behind all of this stuff, even though we associate it with fraud and illicit transactions, is actually the opposite, right? Open ledger. And we know what and who we are dealing with, I don't know if that makes sense, but that's kind of how I see it. Speaker 4 00:30:08 Well, I agree with Hugh on the technology side, but I did want to directly address Kyle's question. This isn't to be antagonistic, but is to say that every day we get on airplanes and we trust those airplane brands like Southwest Airlines to get us from one destination to the next, even though if something faulty happens, we plummet to our deaths. And the reason why we do, is dare I say it, is we believe in those brands because we have history and there's legacy there. And I think that where we are in blockchain is that we are in the early adoption phase. Laggards to technology are very concerned about all of the use cases where bad actors could come into play. But what he was saying is that technology was created to prevent bad actors. It doesn't mean that bad actors are not involved in the system. I would say though, that if we focus on what is the future and how can we get there? It's really to think more about who these early adopters are. And the early adopters in crypto and in tech now are typically male or higher income. They're 18 to 34 year old male. They are over indexing for a hundred thousand plus in income, over indexing for urban geographies. And the interesting part about that is that that's why quick service restaurants like KFC are getting involved or Pizza Hut. That's why beverages, wine and spirits are getting involved because it makes sense for their target audience. And I think that's really important that it may not be a fit for your target audience right now. However, for example, if your target audience is head of household female 30 plus, probably not the right target, however, like Reese Witherspoon, world of women, these NFT projects that are very specific to women there are some other power, female influencers are really doing a lot of work right now to try to capture different segments. Speaker 2 00:32:03 Doing the branding work for the whole experience right. In a lot of ways with your Southwest example, they're the ones that are going to move that innovation curve from those earlier adopters to eventually to the laggards. But that's a lot of work. Speaker 4 00:32:23 It is a lot of work and think about social media. Back in 2009, people were totally lost. I started teaching Facebook classes in about 2009, 2010. People just didn't understand the technology. It was very foreign. They didn't understand what a newsfeed was. They didn't understand what a feed or endless scroll was at all. That was very new technology. So I think that it isn't to say that there are, like I said, that there aren't aren't bad actors. It is to say that new technology can really be helpful and that we wanna harness it for good, whenever possible. I think that there are some ways that we can consider how centralized organizations and decentralization can partner and that maybe it doesn't have to be one or the other, and that there are pluses and minuses to both of those systems. I think that's what we're seeing, and I just sent some information to Matt this morning about crypto adoption worldwide. The US is not the number one country for crypto adoption. Other countries like India, Pakistan, the Ukraine, these countries have greater crypto adoption than we do in large part because of market volatility, and inflation. Speaker 2 00:33:45 They also have a lot less trust of the centralized government. Speaker 4 00:33:48 Exactly. That goes back to what I was saying about centralization and decentralization. And so I would say that just to put a data point in mind, because I just sent this to Matt this morning is that we have grown worldwide 8881% in 2021 for crypto adoption. So, and it's growing and investment in, in venture capital funds and blockchain is through the roof. So it's less about being scared about your wallet and being more open to thinking, how can I harness the power of transactions to give my customers greater utility, to give my customers greater sense of community, greater entertainment value, feel closer to the ability to do something and be involved in a transactional relationship? Speaker 2 00:34:42 I wanna go in a slightly different direction and answer one of the questions that was posted. Just today at the ANA conference, the CMO of Verizon came up and said, I don't want Verizon's introduction into the metaverse to just be a sign on a wall in a Oculus VR headset. They want to have something that's a lot more interactive, that has value exchange, etc. So what current methods of marketing exist in the metaverse that actually do provide that value? Is there something there that advertisers should be looking at almost from like a placement level? The same way that we look at print and billboard. What's there today, from a media perspective, that you could, quote unquote buy? Does anybody have examples? Where advertisers can place ads in the metaverse or should they even be thinking about it in that campaign lens? Maybe that's a Web 1.0 way of thinking about it in some ways. Should they be thinking about commercials? Should they be thinking about campaigns when you're looking at interacting in Web 3.0, or should they be thinking about it fundamentally differently, Speaker 5 00:36:04 What they should be thinking about is probably not the tactics. If I were anyone out there, I would not be thinking about my necessarily metaverse plan or my crypto plan. It's hey, how about we take the lines and separation out of our digital marketing group, our digital groups and our physical groups? You should be trying to connect as much as possible, understanding that humans don't live this binary way of existence between their digital and their physical lives. If I were exploring it, it wouldn't be as much about exploring the different kinds of tactics or advertisements we could use there. And we can talk about that, but really I would love to really push that you should be working beyond marketing. It should be really about thinking about your experience in general and how that experience flows from somebody's digital life, to their physical life and back and forth in that area. It's easy to chase the sparkly stuff. There's AR ads on every large social network with hundreds of millions of users. And we can go through that, but really what you need to do is the plumbing. I know it's not the fun stuff, but it is going to be core and central to being able to be metaverse ready or Web 3 ready. Speaker 4 00:37:37 I also fundamentally believe in traditional advertising? I believe in it. I haven't seen anything to suggest that we shouldn't believe in it. However, in reference to what Joe was saying, in terms of experimentation and looking into the inner workings of this, let's think deeper. Are ads offering more value? Are they offering more relationship value and entertainment value to the customers? If they're not, segmenting out an innovation budget, if you've got the right target audience for blockchain, for metaverse or NFTs, think about how to turn your ad into an NFT, how to give it more value to the end user. Because I think in large part that to me goes back to the transaction issue, really consider how transactions work for your organization, whether it's in advertising or it's an actual purchase, and then continue to drive greater value in whatever that value means to your user. But I don't think that traditional advertising is going away. I just think that there's a really big opportunity to rethink how advertising works. And then there's also some interesting things that are going on with just professional services that I've seen in articles. I've seen some different companies that are trying to get into decentralized exchanges for advertising. I think that's interesting. I don't think we're there yet, if that makes sense, but just be open to the opportunities, Speaker 3 00:39:07 Right. I mean, be where your audience is, right. So if, if your audience is still using print ads, then stay in print. Right. We have seen, and, and I know Stephanie we've worked together in doing audience research and using our audience insights tools with various partners that we have. More and more, there's interest in these spaces and these emerging spaces. So it's just being ready for that rather than being one step behind. Right. So, here it's a great suggestion about the innovation budget. Doesn't have to be all of it. That's not what we're saying. But by diversifying and just following where your customers are. Speaker 6 00:39:49 Yeah. Just a quick thought on that. I think the question also might be whether you are able to advertise in these metaverses, because it depends on the revenue and incentive structures of how they're built. Again, if you're maybe Spotify has one, right. And the level of engagement and utility a user wants maybe if there's a subscription for engaging in the metaverse and if you go, if you opt for the free version, then you are exposed to the ads in that metaverse. But if you pay a subscription for participating in it, then maybe you get fewer ads. Who knows? So that's one model, but maybe the incentive structure of a metaverse again and say like run a blockchain, the revenue would come from the transactions made, processing the data on that metaverse through blockchain transactions. I would imagine in such a decentralized metaverse an advertising model would be harder to implement because there's already a blockchain based financing system. So these are kind of interesting questions to think about, like can you actually advertise in the metaverse, maybe not. Speaker 2 And if you are able to advertise, is it addressable, right? Is there gonna be connection with CTV and what you've purchased from retail and measurement, et cetera. I'm going go on a limb and say I think we're not going to be able to answer specifically that question, but I do think as you know, marketers are looking at different ways to have addressable content that does give a value proposition that this would be an opportunity for, as you're building a new ecosystem, to be able to be both respectful of an individual's privacy while still being able to give a value proposition to a user that maybe we haven't seen with web 2.0, right. And maybe that's where some of the mistrust comes from a little bit as well. Web 2.0 did mine a lot of data. It definitely wasn't decentralized. That was really caught in a couple of walled gardens there. I think from the marketer's perspective Kyle's question is an interesting one. How do we go about measuring success and how do we think about addressability and scale? Does anybody want to take that one? Speaker 5 00:42:38 I mean, and I think this is great. It's really, like we said before, it's a wide conversation, right. And to me what it is going to be is fascinating for sure. But if you're a marketer and you're tuning into this and you want to know right now, just understand how important identity is in a digital life versus a physical life. Of course, people want identity inside of the time they spend inside digital realms. Take gaming right now. Fortnite makes over a billion dollars on just goods that can only be worn in Fortnite, like outfits for their avatar, as well as dances that identify them. And they spend tons of cash on it and it gives them no bonuses inside the game. It only gives them a meritocracy. It gives them something like some kind of, Hey, I've been here, I've done this. It gives me identity, just like a luxury bag does, or just like a car does inside that. So if you're a marketer and you're thinking about how do I go at this? It's more about “where I can add value? Where can I tap into that person and support their identity? Where can I be part of that experience or create value inside that experience?” Not so much “how can I put my logo all over that experience?” That's going to happen, we love putting our logos all over places, but how can I tap into that? Speaker 2 00:44:18 We only feel like we're doing our job when the logo is placed in places. Speaker 5 00:44:21 Yeah. It's going to always be part of it and that's totally fine. And yes, 100%, if there is 3D space, you're gonna have billboards inside of that. Metaverse and Meta Oculus already are experimenting with that right now. But I would say really those places you should be looking are what kind of marketing right now are things like NFT communities and projects doing, and then look inside of what gaming has been doing for the last 20 years that marketers haven't been as close to. Even though there's been a ton of attention there, we haven't been as close to. Speaker 2 00:44:57 Yeah. The gaming playbook is certainly something I think broader marketers may want to start looking into because, like you said, they've been doing that for a long time and that isn't just marketing within video games themselves certainly. You know, is on the LA Laker stadium at this point, right? So there is a blend of the physical world and digital, I think that brands are going to have to look at. I'll go to Amy's question nex., What are some of your favorite trusted resources (besides everybody on this panel and following them on social media, who have written a lot of great content and are thought leaders in the space)? What other things are you guys following to keep abreast of everything that's going on in a very quickly changing universe here? Speaker 4 00:45:54 Hugh, you've gotta take this one. Speaker 6 00:45:57 No, no, no, please. I defer to the rest of the panel, go ahead. Speaker 4 00:46:00 Because I know that, I mean, it's part of Hughs' job is to stay up to date on trends and resources. Speaker 6 00:46:17 For my work, I read the crypto trades, like Coin Desk and Coin Telegraph, but the most valuable information that I get and the easiest way for me to absorb it is after work, I go on walks and I listen to podcasts. I listen to basically crypto podcasts, but not necessarily crypto investing, but just where the intersection of the technology and the politics and the societal aspects of it are sort of converging. Right? So podcasts like “Bankless,” “What Bitcoin Did.” There's a guy named Pomp that people listen to, “The Wolf of All Streets,” not to be confused with the Wolf of Wall Street, but “The Wolf of All Streets,” “Hidden Forces,” Lex Friedman, Laura Shin's podcast “Unchained” is wonderful. But what I like about these crypto podcasts is that they're not trying to sell you something. It's more like, “Hey, you know, Facebook wants to integrate Oculus and can they do that on Ethereum?” Right. What does this mean for fraud? Right? What does this mean for democracy and governance? Through listening to that, just because I'm sort of obsessed with it, been doing that for like five years. You just build a body of knowledge, but it's the best way to do it without getting too bored. Because in my opinion, reading books on this stuff, I’ll just pass out. Speaker 4 00:47:50 The technology changes so quickly that then the books become obsolete. I really rely on Hugh and other colleagues at Wachsman who share links, who are sharing articles, podcast episodes every day. But I also like to really look at the traditional trades because, you know, reading the New York times or even Ad Age, which a colleague at Wachsman said it's a rolling list of brands that are experimenting in NFTs and they're updating it on a regular basis. I checked that list, but I like to see what people outside of the industry are talking about and how they're thinking because that's a bigger audience and I like to see sort of what's on the horizon and also to consider what the detractors are. Personally, I've worked in technology that is very, very political, like GMOs, which I'm sure a lot of people in this audience, if they're from St.Louis, have worked in GMO tech. There was a very negative reputation around that, which has in large part absorbed some of that and is still continuing. There's not as much negativity anymore in large part because it's not as new of a technology. But I think that, you know, in terms of Amy's question about resources that you should be looking at, I think that they are just traditional, like just looking at traditional sources is great. And then also research think tanks, like Morning Consult and Chain Analysis, they do regular research on cryptocurrency. The University of Chicago has some great research that they're putting out around demographics and the audience. I think that that data is really important because it's very easy, especially when you're inside crypto, to make assumptions about who is investing and why. I also am participating with our marketing team and doing just one-on-one qualitative interviews of people who are invested in different areas and that has been absolutely enlightening. And so I think that there's traditional ways of getting research and those traditional ways are still valid. The places that I mentioned, there's great research there. If you're interested. Speaker 2 00:50:05 Matt, you're sitting on a ton of data from our research stack at Coegi, what things are you looking at besides the tools that are available to you at a subscription cost? What other things could we suggest to the audience? Speaker 3 00:50:23 I think Hugh nailed a few ones just from an everyday standpoint. Keeping on top of CoinTelegraph is my day to day to understand, I also have the benefit of working with people like Stephanie and her team at Wachsman. So that's been very educational for me. I find a lot of information (you have to have a filter ready) just via Reddit, I find that's a lot of really great information and discourse there. You have to be able to weigh what's true and what's not sometimes there but that's where a lot of my information comes from. So just outside of our research stack that's typically where I go from a day to day basis. Speaker 2 00:51:08 And Joe, I know you as a consultant get asked a lot to weigh in on opinions. Is there anything that you want to add to the long list of potential places for people to start really looking at understanding this? Speaker 5 00:51:22 I was taking notes and I will have a Meta themed podcast coming out soon and I should have had it in before now. Would've been kind of the perfect spot for it. Here's a few places: You learn by doing, you learn by doing. I had a very different mindset about all of what's going on right now until I got in and I started learning by doing and connecting and got a wallet up and running and then made my first transactions, followed my first NFT project from the very first of the white list and watching the community build and watching the marketing take place within that. There is zero better place to go than just getting your hands in yourself, even the smallest. It's always been that way with social media too. It's very hard to talk about how to do really great work inside of TikTok when you've never utilized it before. So you really have to find and carve out that time, which I know is tough, but to be able to find that part of all of this that’s really captivating to you, that really is fun for you. And start there finding out communities to follow inside of Discord and understanding the idea of Discord is very helpful. Reddit has been mentioned. If you want to start reading metaverse stuff, Matthew Ball is a technologist who's incredible and has a lot of writing about what the metaverse is built of, and what's the plumbing behind that as well. There's a ton of different places to go. YouTube, it can be rough, but there is, there is definitely, you can… Speaker 2 00:53:19 Find the gold nugget side.. Speaker 5 00:53:20 You start finding those people. Twitter has become reemerged and really these places that are very Social 2.0, are these places to really start and dig into to get started. But just do, just get started yourself, find a place that you like. Speaker 3 00:53:37 Yeah. And, like me, you may feel behind or slow initially. You mentioned Discord - the first time I started joining that, I immediately said, I have no idea what these people are talking about, but as it starts growing and you start to get more familiar, it's shocking how quickly you pick up on the verbiage of the community and what matters. And if you're interested in it, it's a lot easier, right. So I think that's an important part of it. Find the things you're interested in. And Discord, I wanted to call that out again, Joe, that was a huge one for me. Speaker 2 00:54:11 Lisa Richardson has said Real Vision that she suggested in the chat. Thank you for that. We have about five minutes , and I'll go to Kevin's question here. I noticed that there was this company called Facebook that changed their name to Meta around the metaverse - I don't know if you've heard of them - why is that company obsessed with the metaverse? I thought it was, you know, kind of at the moment that they decided to do that, they had so much negative press, that it was almost a PR play just to distract from everything that was happening with Congress and negative news, but they didn't do that just as a distraction technique They obviously are going to see advertising dollars potential in the future, even if they don't have it completely figured out. Why has Facebook, a 2.0 company, decided to put a stake directly at changing their name to a 3.0 version? Speaker 3 00:55:11 Their product offering and brand is so rooted in community engagement and interaction and that's probably the answer that they're going to give you, and I think it's really true. That's how they built it into the advertising empire that it is, right? Started as something that was meant to build community. And if I'd answer that question, I think that's, that's likely where that motivation comes from. Absolutely it's ad revenue tied, right? That's the goal, but they're going where they think people eventually will be and they want to create the infrastructure to speed that process up. It's obviously rooted in that ad revenue that you mentioned, but I think there is an interesting community there. Speaker 4 00:55:54 And Facebook has historically doubled down and invested in, you know, infrastructure, internet infrastructure, largely mobile adoption and internet service in the far corners of the world. Facebook definitely played a role in that. Tthey have such a large user base that, you know, Matt was describing. I mean, I don't work for Facebook guys, but if it was me they have an email address or a user ID for practically everybody on the planet. They could be giving everyone a wallet. Boom. Now you have a place to collect your digital assets. Now it wouldn't function like a traditional wallet in terms of being connected to currency and banking, but you would automatically be able to have a storage or a holder for things. I think there's a lot of ways that they can utilize the community aspect that Matt was talking about to give, you know, greater value to the user base. I think that largely the problem for Facebook though, is that people are again afraid for all the obvious reasons and all of the reasons that we know that we've read about. I think that it should be interesting to see where they go with that because they have so much knowledge of their user base and they also have access to so many email addresses. Speaker 2 00:57:12 They have more reach than any other company in the world besides maybe Google - it’d be pretty close. Joe or Hugh, do you have any last comments here? We got two minutes left, anything on the wrap a bow on this ongoing discussion that I'm sure will continue to have in, in future webinars as well? Speaker 6 00:57:33 Jus real quick, from a logistical level, I think Facebook's user base kind of stopped growing from its traditional model and in terms of Metcalf's Law and increased demand, it sort of hit a wall. But when you step back and look, I think Zuckerberg, barring all the political issues around Facebook, Zuckerberg is a very smart and savvy man. And the metaverse is the next frontier, right? The last place in the world to be physically settled was basically like the American west, you know, with all the horrible things that happened with that. But that was the last frontier. So this is like the digital frontier, right? And to be able to build that and then populate it in a way to your liking and in a way that benefits your company is just a huge opportunity. Speaker 2 00:58:24 It may feel a little like Westworld, maybe more than the last frontier, potentially with the digital. Joe, any final thoughts? Speaker 5 00:58:33 I'm just so pumped to be able to talk to everybody here today on this. I think this: if you think of it as the internet, there's lots of good and lots of bad, and I'm not a proponent of waving my flag and saying that, “Hey, we should be spending all of our time inside virtual places' at all. Let's go towards the places that really are going to benefit the user and really going to hit the customer and look at where they're paying attention to. The only way you're going to be able to have anything to say about it and do about it is by getting in and learning about it and taking part in it. So I see a lot of the same conversations happening that were, “Hey, it was just for kids” whenever it was social media and, “Eh, we're, we're cool with this digital, with having a mobile app. We're good with having all these things.” It's just the same thing. And I see it now again, it's like, my it's not gonna happen. Oh, it's happening. And the thing you can do is - it is always uncomfortable at first. And Matt said this too, it's uncomfortable. Any human is that way, but we adapt quickly. So find your way in and really start learning about learning about it so you won't be that person 10 years later that's like, oh, golly, now I'm spending hundreds of millions of dollars to catch up to everybody just like I did in web 2.0 and web 1.0, so hang on. Speaker 2 01:00:15 Well, everybody's going to have a wallet and an Oculus headset the next time that we meet on this topic. Thank you guys so much.We'll send some follow up afterwards on some of the content that we talked about. I know each of our companies will have a lot more to say in our marketing about this over the rest of the year. So thank you guys so much. Thanks to everybody for attending. And , we'll talk to you soon. Speaker 7 01:00:41 Thank you for listening. Coegi is an industry leading performance marketing agency based in the Midwest. We've learned a lot since our founding in 2014, and started The Loop Marketing Podcast to share some of our hot takes on marketing trends we're following, best practices we've discovered, and actionable tips for improving your digital strategy. We'll see you next time.

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