How NFTs could evolve for brands — now that marketers know what they actually are



For the most part, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been a bust for the marketing and media worlds, primarily the province of cryptocurrency aficionados who invested large amounts of coin in seemingly similar pieces of virtual art.

That era, or what Tyler Moebius calls NFT 1.0, is rapidly coming to an end, as the 2.0 era allows marketers and their agencies to use Web3 technology as next-generation data collection and engagement tools. many examples they already have appeared In recent months.

Moebius is the founder and CEO of a company called SmartMedia Technologies, a five-year-old company with around 100 employees that plays exactly in the Web3 space, fusing ad-tech with blockchain-based technology. He’s been around since the early days of the internet, having been part of the launch team for aQuantive (remember that name?), one of the first agencies to try putting advertising on the web. Along the way, he also founded the technology-based Adconion (which became Amobee).

The following conversation has been edited for space and clarity.

Where are you in the NFT creation process and who are some of your customers?

We’ve spent the last five years building an enterprise Web3 platform designed specifically for agencies, brands, and creators, with the intent of making Web3 easy. Not just so brands and agencies can take advantage of Web3, but we’re really making it easy for the end user.

We provide a two-tap custodial wallet, so anyone with a smartphone can have their first Web3 wallet, can acquire their first NFT, and then can start using that in terms of digital coupons or a loyalty. token you picked up while visiting a retail store. We have a partnership with Accenture, we have a partnership with Unilever. We just did an activation for Vodafone throughout Europe, where they acquired 250,000 wallets. And we have over 6 million wallets on the platform right now.

How difficult is it to get brands to participate in this form of marketing? Is there a lot of education that you still need to carry out?

Marketers have spent the last two decades obtaining consent from consumers to be able to send an email to their inbox. Now they see this as a new CRM channel. They’re looking at Web3 as a new channel where they need to focus on getting consent from users so they can send promotional digital tokens and coupons or perks or loyalty coins to that user’s wallet. They are addressable wallets the same way they think of addressable emails in their email database. It’s not as convincing now, they’re less focused on a single application, which happens to be NFT blobs done in the 1.0 way, now they’re seeing much broader technology and capability.

How do you see brands using this in other ways?

There are many different use cases that you could imagine. If you fly Delta or United, you get lifetime status. Imagine lifetime status becoming an NFT that I can actually pass down to my son or daughter. Being able to have real provenance and ownership around the benefits of a membership or a loyalty club.

The second area that I think web3 is really going to crack is NFT ticketing. In the future, you’ll pull out your phone, the NFT will have a QR code inside that will be scanned when entering a Rolling Stones concert. By scanning and redeeming the NFT, it will immediately become a digital twin of that ticket, so I’ll have that memory forever.

But not only that, it will change status and become a digital merchandise, or a coupon for $2 off Coca-Cola at the concession stand. And then when Mick Jagger is on stage, he’ll sing this song and say ‘This song is for you.’ At that time, we will be able to coin that moment and that song will be included in the 38,000 NFT tickets. Only the 38,000 people who attended that night will have a copy of that song to keep and treasure forever. The Stones will know it’s an authentic song because it was an NFT. And the Stones will be able to allow secondary sales of those, with a percentage of that going to their favorite charity.

What other elements of Web3 do you work on?

A lot of our product roadmap for the platform this year is really focused on the metaverse element, creating spatial web experiences. We think the future of metaverse environments is really helping to increase retail in the shopping experience for brands. And brands won’t necessarily have to rely on the Decentraland or Roblox user base in order to engage those audiences. They can use paid media and their own social channels. They can fill the metaverse with their own brand experience. We are focused on being able to create those custom environments. And the key element to that is creating the interoperability of a wallet where you can take the virtual tokens from the physical world that I picked up at a Walmart, and bring them into a metaverse environment and be able to redeem them. That bridge between the physical and virtual world is where we also focus.

How NFTs could evolve for brands — now that marketers know what they actually are