The World Wide Web unites about 5 billion users all over the world. It’s a lot of people, and the vast majority of them connect with each other and express themselves using social media platforms, search for information via search engines, and buy things from online marketplaces. Of course, they can’t pay attention to everything on the internet which makes brands’ competition for their interest so intense.
In the last 10 years technology has given marketing departments a lot of innovations intended to help in the quest for consumers’ attention ― cookies, targeted ads, geolocation, programmatic advertising, big data, etc. Even many influencers are a result of technological development.
However, with the rise of consumers’ awareness about these tools and the upcoming shift from Web2 to Web3, the attention economy won’t be the same, and marketing specialists will have to look for new tactics to draw the audience’s attention to their product.
Flaws of the Attention Economy in Web2
Today’s attention economy belongs to Web2, the iteration of the internet that has brought interactivity and taken the place of a still and almost advertising-free Web1. In Web2 power belongs to huge tech corporations, like Meta (Facebook, Instagram), Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Amazon, TikTok, Apple and Twitter, that create walled gardens, or closed-off ecosystems that keep user data and are run without any external interference and regulation. This makes it impossible to say how exactly they operate and utilize the information they gather.
At first most of the internet users didn’t see a problem with that, but recently they are becoming more aware of how things work, and they don’t like what they have discovered. Scandals, such as the case with Facebook selling data to the consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica that created Donald Trump's election campaign, are uncovering dark patterns and abuse of power among tech monopolists.
Besides, it seems unfair that such corporations make billions off users' content ― they do not create it, but without that content those platforms lose any sense. Enthusiasts behind Web3 promise that this new iteration of the World Wide Web will change the situation by giving consumers ultimate control over their data and making the internet a more transparent place.
Related Article: 4 Lessons for Marketers From the Web3 Craze
The Revolution of Web3
Let’s have a look at the features of Web3 that make it a gamechanger:
1. Decentralization. Web3 will end the monopoly of tech corporations that keep our data at their private data centers. Instead, information will be stored at a variety of independent servers simultaneously. Thus, the power won’t be centralized in the hands of a few companies.
2. Users’ control over personal data. In Web3 users’ personal data will be owned by users themselves, not by social media platforms or search engines. It’ll give people the opportunity to monetize their data the way it’s now done by tech giants. So, it won’t be Facebook making revenue with your posts, but it will be you yourself.
3. Semantic web. Because of the fast developments in natural language processing, computers will be able to understand humans more precisely by figuring out the context and the true intent of a search request. Thus, they will provide higher quality data analytics and more personalized search results.
4. Immersive internet. People will be able to gather together in metaverses no matter what their geographical location is. These immersive digital spaces will provide humans with new experiences in terms of interaction with others, including brands and entertainment.
5. Transparency. Web3 utilizes blockchain, the technology that records and stores information about all the transactions happening within it in the form of blocks of data that can be read by anyone. For instance, consumers will be able see the whole supply chain behind a product and base their decision to buy or not to buy on that information.
Related Article: Stop Looking at Web3 With Web2 Eyes
What Awaits Marketing Experts
The most exciting change will definitely be the possibility of direct interaction between consumers and brands because tech corporations won’t be middlemen in that communication anymore. It’s a curse and a blessing as marketing departments will have to find ways to convince people to share their data.
To achieve this, brands will have to elevate their loyalty programs and exchange data for customers’ benefits or pay for data directly to users. Consequently, there will be a recorded blockchain agreement between the two parties about the way that data is allowed to be exploited by business. However, blockchain works for the advantage of both sides as it will help marketers to verify users and their data and be sure there is no fraud which means more accurate data analytics.
With high quality data and the need to arrange better loyalty programs, there will be more personalization. It will be necessary to take into account the needs, preferences and circumstances of each individual customer in order to build the connection between them and a brand. Interactive advertising experiences within metaverses will be another important part of building customer loyalty strategies.
Also, remembering about semantic search, marketing departments will have to create content of the highest quality possible in order to make it look interesting for those smarter machines; simply using a certain set of words will no longer work.
It may seem that it’s too early to talk about Web3, but technological progress is fast, and it’s time to start thinking about these prospects. Even though it’s impossible to predict how it will work exactly, these concepts reflect the recent social trends and should be food for thought for any marketing specialist.