TMW #036 | Are we ready for Web3? Martech and manual work and do companies need a CDO?

Apr 18, 2021

Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of the most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I try to look to where the industry is going and make sense of it all.

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Do you remember what it was like to use the internet for the first time? I sure do, I was in primary school and didn’t realize it then, but my experience was what people call Web1.

This week I do a deep dive into Web3, the apparent next iteration of the internet, which looks alot like the early versions of the Web1. I look at what it will mean for marketers and digital folk.

I also touch on why marketers are taking longer to get campaigns out, and are doing more manual tasks than ever, and if companies actually need CDOs (chief digital officers).

Plus there are the usual 15+ links of everything that mattered, including one of the most unique websites I’ve ever seen, enjoy!  ✨✨✨

✍ Commentary

🌍 Are we ready for Web3?  Web3 is the third iteration of the internet, which is founded on Web1 (early state) and Web2 (commercial) and could completely change how the next generation of marketers will find and connect with their customers. You’ve probably heard about it along with all the acronyms like DAO’s, DeFI, Social Tokens, NFTs, and DApps. Web3 builds upon how we're using the internet today. Starting with the Web1 foundation - rudimentary, content-led websites that were run by small companies and then onto Web2 which brought with it mobile computing and aggregated social, search and commerce companies, like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.  At the core of Web3 is a rejection of Web2 centralized control and ownership of internet applications, through using blockchain tech and smart contracts powered mostly by Etherium. DApps (Decentralised Applications) which are managed by DAOs (Decentralised Organisations) effectively try to replicate many of the ways in which Web2 companies make money, but by using the blockchain, value is dispersed throughout a network, ownership lies with no single entity, and trust is a bug, not a feature.

While Web3 is still a nascent concept and completely unknown to the average internet user, with the rise of NFTs and increasing value of cryptocurrencies, Web3 could significantly augment the strategies of marketing and digital departments in companies for years to come - and here’s why. Because Web3 decentralizes commercial control, this will fracture the media environment opening up far more selection for targeted advertising. Emerging concepts that are based on Web3 technology, like the Brave Browser and the Basic Attention Token, reward users with monetary/crypto incentives for viewing ads or certain types of content. Because Web3 networks are based on blockchain technology, there's no need for an intermediary like Facebook or Google. Instead, Web3 fundamentally changes consumer ownership of data by rewarding customers for their time and attention instead of harvesting it for advertising purposes.

In this way, Web3 could open up more options for brands to interact with their customers, but marketers will work much harder for it. These days, It’s relatively easy to learn how to use Google and Facebook to target people with ads and as Web3 will make advertising and general marketing harder to do, there can be some real opportunities in commerce and payments. Crypto is the currency of the internet, and with it, frictionless and instant payments will augment how fast-moving e-commerce and general transacting is done. Martech is firmly in the realm of Web2, but soon we’ll see marketing technologies embrace Web3 features as more consumers pick it up. Just like PayPal’s announcement allowing merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in the US, the rise of the open-source CDP, Nike’s NFT strategy, or Tencent’s big investment into blockchain technology, there will be many more companies that will start to offer alternative ways to connect with audiences and customers in the world of Web3. There’s still plenty of questions here; content moderation, privacy, preventing bad actors, and more importantly, the mainstream adoption curve of some of these technologies, but it’s happening and marketers would do well to start understanding what’s in store for Web3, and get ready for it. Links: Collaboration and Web3. Why Web3 matters. Moving away from centralised corporations on the web. NFT Cannon.

🔨 Why isn't Martech reducing manual work? Airtable recently shared a report on how marketers use technology day to day. One finding was quite telling - the absence of data integration is leading to a severe lack of timely data insights, more time spent doing manual tasks, and slower campaigns shipped to market. About one-third of the average marker’s workweek is now taken up by doing manual, operational tasks. About 13 hours. But wait there’s more - about 75% of people surveyed said that they are frustrated by the amount of time it takes to ship campaigns. So, not only are marketers spending more time on repetitive tasks, their experience with marketing tech results in slower overall campaigns. Set this in the context of significant marketing technology investments, up to $121 Billion in 2020, which is increasing the number of technologies marketers are buying to create value for their business. On average 60% of marketers use about 20+ technology tools to do their job. I’ve been here too - most of the battle of a data analytics project is just accessing clean data, and the ability to tie it back to marketing activities. The solution to what ails marketing teams is not to buy less technology, nor to integrate them better together, but rather to build coherent strategies for using technology with a unified method. If marketers can’t use data in a timely way, it’s because it was too late when someone thought of it. Creating use cases, and proper frameworks for how each piece of technology contributes to marketing activities can help bring clarity and more productive planning for using these tools. AirTable Report. Analysis.

📈Chart Of The Week  

Marketers and agile. The majority of marketing departments now use agile processes according to new research from Agile Sherpas. Sign up here to get a link to the full version and the chart. You won't be disappointed.

📰 Latest Developments

Google faces litigation (again). In what seems like the never-ending process of regulation and litigation spanning multiple countries, two significant things happened this week. The first is Google’s “Project Bernanke” which was a secret, but now a revealed program that uses historical data to augment the ad auction win rate, tipping the odds in Google's favor. The second is a first-of-its-kind ruling against Google on misleading consumers about the collection and use of location data in Android devices. Bernanke. ACCC ruling.

Oracle loses court battle for API licensing. Back in TMW #014 I highlighted this case and its potential ramifications on how APIs can be used in the industry. Oracle’s stake was that the Java code used for APIs was their IP and that Google’s use of API infrastructure could violate this. The courts have decided and APIs will remain open source and unlicenced for the good of all the internet. Link

📚 Reading

The rise of retail media sellers. With the demise of the third-party cookies on the way, where can you find advertising real estate that has high traffic throughput, rich first-party data, and targeting on what customers buy? That’s right - eCommerce websites. Link

What is special about PayPal. There’s been no other organization like PayPal in minting new internet entrepreneurs while building a core pillar of transactional commerce. A few things that PayPal focused on were giving each team member only one core focus, decentralizing invention by allowing people with new ideas to form their own teams, and asking employees to “come to work every day willing to be fired.” Link

🔢 Data & Insights

A massive report on media innovation. A really great and long read on what is happening in the media from a technology perspective. Looking at gaming, video, music, audio, social, creator economy, and new forms of media. There’s a lot of category blurring happening right now and it’s a good thing.  Link

Apple’s tracking transparency and opt-ins. Maybe the introduction of Apple’s tracking opt-in tool was overhyped? Appsflyer indicates there’s about a 40% opt-in rate as an early pointer of how consumers are voting on what is tracked about them in-app. Link

💡 Ideas

Email marketing, one sentence at a time. Quite the strategy - one company takes a very different path to send promotional emails to customers. The emails usually contain a sparse subject line with one sentence of copy. That’s it. And it’s been highly effective in differentiating their brand, driving demand, and building a loyal customer base. Link

Am I FLoCed? As Google ramps up the Federated Learning of Cohorts tool to replace third-party tracking and centralize targeting options for marketers, other products are coming out too. One tells you if a FLoC segment has been created for you and even gives you your unique ID! Link

✨ Weird and Wonderful

99% of websites are boring. How did we end up here, where most websites are just bland copies of each other? It must have something to do with “best practice”. Well, this website from Yamauchi No.10 Family Office is something….. Else. The company is a venture fund with a mission to preserve the creative spirit of technology as inspired by the founder of Nintendo. Link

A guide for talking about AI ethics. The guide’s goal is to give you 50 words to show you care without incriminating yourself. A very tongue-in-cheek perspective on how big tech companies are talking about the ethics of AI. Link

Stay Curious,

Make sense of marketing technology.

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Juan Mendoza

Juan Mendoza is an expert in researching global media, marketing, data, and technology trends. He is the CEO of The Martech Weekly, a media and research brand with subscribers in over 65 countries.

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