In order to understand the impact of web 3.0 on the marketing ecosystem, we must first understand a bit about its predecessors – web 1.0 and web 2.0 and how web 3.0 is different and more future-ready compared to the previous versions of the web.
Web 1.0 is a read-only web, where users would come to look for information. This type of web has become obsolete currently. Web 2.0 is a read and write format of web, where users can not only come and collect information, they can also write their responses or generate content, allowing a two-way communication between platforms and users or brands and users. An example of this would be social media or mobile.
Web 3.0 is the next generation of web which allows users to read, write and interact with the web and is a far more immersive experience.
The concept of Web 3.0 is not new. It has been in existence since 2006 when the term was first coined. About a decade ago, around 2012, Web 2.0 started getting irrelevant. And that’s when discussions around the next generation of web started gaining momentum.
Web 3.0 is the next generation of web, based on the principles of block chain. It involves AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), AR/VR, cryptocurrencies and NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and most importantly, is far more data safe and prevents data leakage by decentralising data storage, unlike web 2.0.
While there are many benefits to web 3.0, the pertinent question is whether India or any of the other growing economies in the world are prepared for it, from a technological advancement standpoint. For starters, the systems and gadgets currently in use, will not be compatible to web 3.0 For example, a lot of brands including brands in the FMCG, luxury jewellery etc. have done launches and events in the metaverse, and already registered their presence there. However, how scalable are these activities given that the Metaverse headset is something very few currently have? Yet, the global metaverse market is estimated to grow to a whopping 1.5 trillion USSD in the next eight years. So, the future clearly belongs to the metaverse.
However, India’s Information Technology Act of 2000 is highly inadequate to determine the loopholes of web 3.0. Yes, the Government has launched a few blockchain accelerator programmes to equip start ups to transition into web 3.0. But the scale of penetration required for a country like India is humongous.
USA is leading in the blockchain web 3.0 adoption, while markets such as Asia and EU are certainly showing promise particularly with the advent of 5G.
India is slated to become the fastest growing ad market in the world, beating behemoths such USA and Brazil this year, and will grow by 16%, as per a recent report.
And a majority of this growth is going to be driven by digital. Web 3.0 will certainly have a significant impact, not just on marketing but also on the entire customer lifecycle and user experience.
For starters, the power of data management will move from brands to consumers – certainly a welcome change given all the unrest around data security and privacy in the recent years.
Secondly, SEO will undergo considerable transformation as well, as more and more searches will become voice-based. Google has already reported that globally, 27% of all searches on mobile are voice-based. And this number will steadily grow over the next few years, compelling websites to become voice-search enabled.
There will also be a rise in long-tail keyword search with rise in voice-search and because of the use of AI, keywords such as “near me” will not be in use much, as businesses near the user will become a default option while searching.
Because of the nature of web 3.0, customers would derive more value out of the web experience, and ads shown to them would be more relevant and contextual to them. More importantly, with the increasing focus on AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), more and more brands, particularly in the high ticket-price segments such as automobile, real estate and fine jewellery, will create 3D content assets to deliver a more enhanced customer experience. This has already started taking place, and COVID-19 was a huge propeller of the high adoption of AR and VR by brands. The future of digital and e-commerce is certainly AR driven.
But fundamentally what will change is the nature in which brands engage with its customer. The future is cookieless, and marketers are already struggling to figure out how to navigate this. So, the advent of web 3.0 would mean more community-driven, interest-based interactions with consumer as opposed to a transactional relationship with them.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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