“That might work for B2C, but we’re a B2B company.”
We hear this all the time from executives at large enterprise-facing organizations curious about web3 and the so-called metaverse.
And while it’s true that many of the much talked about use cases for virtual world experiences and NFTs lend themselves to B2C marketing and community development campaigns, there are a number of B2B applications that marketers at such companies should consider as part of their strategies as the world slowly but surely transitions into web3.
We recently published an ebook on the web3 value chain (download here). It takes Porter’s famous value chain and overlays 50 web3 use cases, some of which are relevant to B2B marketing, below.
B2B Marketing Use Cases in Web3 and the Metaverse
1. Brand Collaborations
Influencer marketing and collaborations became big business in the world of web 2.0 - especially on Instagram. But when it comes to the world of web 3.0 and B2B marketing, the scope to partner has widened.
For example, non-competitive brands that target the same audience could run co-branded experiences in the metaverse to leverage each other’s audiences.
These experiences could include but would not be limited to:
- Product announcements
- Product showrooms
- Educational sessions and conferences
- Networking events
- Company updates
Brands might introduce a POAP, basically a proof-of-attendance NFT, that users collect while at, say, a product announcement in the metaverse. This NFT might give holders discounts off products, 100 free seats of a software suite, 100 free hours of consulting, or whatever other utility you can think of offering your target audience.
2. Partner Relationship Development
Brands can use web3 to build bridges and stronger bonds with their clients and partners.
For example, brands could showcase their clients and their client’s products in their own metaverse experiences and events.
You might lend your increasingly expensive metaverse lands to clients and partners free of charge so that they can host their own experiences (kind of like letting your friend crash on your couch).
These are indeed early days but the scope to collaborate or give clients and partners a leg up in the metaverse is significant, and the above use cases are simply scratching the surface.
Also, in case you haven’t noticed, any whisper of a large brand getting into the metaverse tends to get tons of media attention, and as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.
3. Incentivize Sharing and Evangelizing
It’s one thing to request a testimonial from a client and ask them to refer your company’s services to their associates, and it’s an entirely different thing to incentivize them with your company’s native token.
Tokens are the lifeblood of web3, and whether they be fungible tokens, such as ETH or SAND, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), they can effectively be used to incentivize people like never before. In fact, many web3 projects have allocated about 20% of their token pool towards sales and marketing - effectively incentivizing people to use and share their product.
Let’s say The Heavy Machinery Company launched a token called $HMC, and it was valued by the market as being worth 50 cents. HMC might have 500 million tokens in its pool, 100 million of which could be airdropped to folks for taking certain actions. In a time where interest in crypto is at all-time highs, people from all walks of life are getting into the game, and that includes corporate executives at large B2B organizations aka your partners and clients.
4. Advertise in the Metaverse
Traffic always gets monetized - whether it’s a busy highway, your Instagram feed, or now, in the numerous metaverses that are enjoying tailwinds.
Budding advertisers can leverage lands in The Sandbox, Decentraland (below), Crypto Voxels, and others, to get their brand in front of their target audience.
It’s important to note that advertising in the metaverse is not yet as sophisticated or programmatic as it is in web2, however it can still be used strategically, with billboards and the like placed in key lands and events where your target audience might hang out.
5. Showcase Products
Creso Pharma, an ASX-listed cannabis manufacturer, is using its metaverse experience in The Sandbox to showcase its Mernova cannabis cultivation facility in Nova Scotia, Canada.
It will use this in part to educate its target audience and partners about its facilities, and its products.
It will also use its experience to promote its different strains of cannabis (which can also be purchased as digital NFTs with future utility).
6. Incentivize Engagement and Use of Your Brand’s Products & Services
LooksRare, an NFT marketplace, offers users a compelling differentiator from rival and leading marketplace, OpenSea. The latter takes 2.5% commission on all trades on its platform - effectively operating like a centralized organization.
LooksRare however redistributes 2% back to the traders themselves - effectively distributing trading rewards for using the platform.
Such ‘token economics’ can be incorporated into your brand’s web3 strategy. For example, you might pay your clients your native tokens for using your services - real tokens that they can exchange for ETH or fiat currencies on exchanges.
7. Reward Shareholders, Clients, and Partners
Aside from sending Christmas cards, and bottles of champagne that most people find way too sweet to drink and run the risk of being insensitive to non-drinkers, brands can reward loyalty by creating their own NFT collections and airdropping them into the wallets of shareholders, clients, and partners.
8. Data-Driven Marketing
One of the key features of blockchains is that they are transparent. You can see how much crypto a wallet address has, and what it has been transacting on on platforms such as Etherscan. With some sophisticated analytics, you could paint a relatively clear picture of what your audience is spending crypto on online, and target them accordingly.
This ties into Step 7 which will give you access to your target audience’s wallet addresses.
LooksRare, mentioned earlier, targeted the wallet addresses of its OpenSea rival, and airdropped them with 125 of its native $LOOKS token (worth US$600 at the time) to list an NFT on their platform. This resulted in significant overnight growth (below).
9. Gated Content and Community
You might introduce a social token or an NFT to give your target audience access to gated content, such as a Discord community, support channels, videos, articles, AMAs, webinars, and so on, to cultivate a stronger community.
10. Token Staking Rewards
Similar to minting Bitcoin on proof-of-work mechanisms, staking refers to the process of validating transactions on proof-of-stake mechanisms.
You can think of staking as adding liquidity to a protocol’s smart contract so that transitions can be validated. It’s kind of but not really like investing money in a traditional term deposit, where the bank uses the funds to support its own investment and capital allocation strategy and pays you an interest rate.
In the case of staking, customers or token holders can stake your brand’s native token, and effectively earn interest, or an annual percentage yield (APY). Staking varies wildly but some tokens, such as Polkadot’s DOT pays 12.5% APY, which is far better than what your bank will pay you.
This is an added incentive for people to engage with your token, and the ecosystem it taps them into.
This just scratches the surface of the kinds of web3 tools and tactics available to the B2B marketer. If you’d like to discuss your brand’s foray into web3, get in touch with our team.