We have come a long way since the introduction of the internet – or what is known as ‘Web 1.0.’ With the progression of the digital age, we are now entering what is being dubbed Web 3.0, the newest version of the World Wide Web, which sees a major shift in how we experience and interact with the internet.
This third generation of the internet is a sharp shift towards a more fully interactive version, one that is also decentralized and places power firmly into the hands of users and away from the large tech companies that once dominated the online space, such as Google, Amazon and Netflix. With a focus on accessibility, privacy, and security, this version of the web is built on blockchains using existing infrastructure. This has created an online revolution towards an internet that is more efficient and transparent, and one that is certainly set to change the marketing landscape.
How did we get here? The Journey from 1.0 to 3.0
In order to fully understand how Web 3.0 will impact digital marketers, we need to first look at the evolution of the web from 1.0 to 3.0.
Web 1.0, or the ‘read-only’ web, was the first to be created in the early 1990s and was characterized by static websites that could only be viewed in a browser. The aim of this stage of development was to publish information and make it available to as many people as possible.
When Web 2.0 – known as the ‘read-write’ web – came along in the late 1990s/early 2000s, it also ushered in the start of social media networks, blogs, and wikis. Interaction and collaboration were the buzzwords of the time, and during this phase, web users were no longer passive content consumers. Rather, they could now interact with one another, create content, and share it online.
Though still in its infancy, Web 3.0 is shaping up to be the ‘read-write-interact’ web. This third, ongoing phase can be considered an upgrade of version Web 2.0, building upon the latter’s interactive and socially connected websites to create even more of an interaction and collaboration between humans and machines. As the web becomes increasingly more intelligent and adaptable, especially with the introduction of new technologies such as the semantic web, natural language processing and machine learning, we are seeing the creation of a virtual world within the internet. Web 3.0 is therefore considered to be the future of the internet.
So let’s break down what we can expect to see from Web 3.0, and what its impact will be on marketers.
What can we expect from Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is the next step in an era defined by evolving methods of human interaction, with a goal of making the web more efficient and effective by leveraging the massive amount of user data available on it. As with each new step forward, this too will be accompanied by updated marketing methods. With this new iteration of the internet, marketers will be able to access information quickly and easily, as well as keep up with the latest B2B marketing trends and stay ahead of the curve.
While there are several important features to Web 3.0, these are some of the most impactful:
So what does all this mean for digital marketing?
Web 3.0 is set to bring a new wave of behaviors and new economies, and digital marketers would do well to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. Here are some of the main ways Web 3.0 could impact the digital marketing community:
1. Limited access to personal data and more privacy controls
Currently, companies make money based on data they collect from users, either by using it for their own marketing purposes or by selling it to third parties. With Web 3.0, data will be more centralized and secure, and this will change how marketers collect and store this data. As consumers play a more active role in how their data is shared and used, this this could also affect how marketing is personalized and targeted. Marketers will need to find new and creative ways to connect with their target audience and collect and use their data, while still remaining transparent and respectful of consumer privacy.
2. A new type of user experience
The improved user experience of Web 3.0 is set to change how users interact and engage with the internet. With the introduction of blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, and a more community-focused approach, consumers are now in the driver’s seat, deciding on and promoting the content they’re most interested in. With this shift, marketers will need to rethink their strategies for engagement, and begin leaning towards building a strong community, being authentic and transparent, and ensuring users can have a say in the buying and selling of products.
3. Marketing strategies will require an overhaul
As the internet enters its new era, so does marketing. Businesses need to think of new ways of connecting with customers and communities, and update their strategies to meet a whole new host of challenges and opportunities. Some of the older methods used to leverage data sources – such as third-party cookies, will no longer be available, so content needs to become more personalized, targeted, and secure. Of course, as Web 3.0 continues to grow, so do opportunities, and at the moment, the possibilities are practically limitless. This is therefore a chance for marketers to really put on their thinking caps and come up with new, creative and inventive ideas. After all, it’s the creative thinkers that will reap the most upside.
Technology has a significant effect on the way people do business, and with Web 3.0, the future of marketing has only just begun. We predict that this will be a fascinating journey, with many trials and errors along the way. This new internet era will bring with it a wave of new opportunities for marketers, and open the door for new ways for people to interact with each other, wherever they may be in the world. From immersive new experiences to building meaningful relationships with customers, the world of human interaction is evolving. It is therefore time for businesses to stop thinking of customers as simple numbers in a database, and instead, as people like you and me, looking for the same thing we all are.
We do hope our insights have been useful today, and we welcome any questions to help you get started on your journey with Web 3.0!