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This week’s show is entitled, “Marketing in a Crypto World“ and my guest is Phyllis Lee, SVP, Marketing at Manifold Group
Tune in to hear more about navigating marketing experiences in a crypto world, while learning about:
- The differences and implications between B2B Marketing in Web2 vs. Web3
- How blockchain technology affects digital advertising and go-to-market standpoints
- Bridging the gap between web2 users and web3 during a transition
- How privacy plays a role in the crypto world
Listen in now for this and MORE, watch the video or read the transcript below:
Matt: All right. Well, welcome everyone to another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. My name is Matt Heinz. Very excited to have you all joining us here on a very big day. It is not only Thursday, it is the first Thursday of Q2 and of April. If you see me occasionally looking this way, it’s because that screen has The Masters on it. We are recording this during day one first round of The Masters. Also baseball opening day. Should have been a day off, Phyllis.
Phyllis: Yeah, that’s right.
Matt: It should just be national holiday, at least for baseball opening day, but excited to be here. If you’re joining us live, thank you so much for doing so in the middle of your work day, and for pulling yourself away from whatever sporting event or early spring thing you’re doing. If you’re listening to this on demand or watching on demand, we’re very excited that you’re here and downloading and listening, and you can check out every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio, past, present, and future at salespipelineradio.com. If you are watching live, you have an opportunity to be part of this conversation. And Phyllis and I are hoping that you will, because we’re going to dive into something that I certainly don’t know that much about, but I think is becoming more prevalent on the marketing space. First and foremost, Phyllis Lee, SVP of Marketing at Manifold. Thanks very much for joining us today.
Phyllis: Thanks for having me, Matt. Super excited. The one thing I will say about kind of what you’re talking about in the context of the world is that one of the key phrases I feel like I always hear about crypto is crypto never sleeps. So I think it’s very apropos that we’re talking about it on a day with so many other major milestones going on in the world.
Matt: Always a lot going on. I think I remember we were talking about something the other day and I think we were talking about topics for the CMO coffee talk group. So, the CMO group that you’re a part of. Every Friday morning group gets together, few hundred CMOs in a live chat, a live Zoom call and there’s usually a topic that we cover. And you said like, “Why are we not covering crypto and Web3?” And I said, “Well, it’s a good topic. How does that relate to marketing?” I would imagine there’s a lot of old people like me that might be asking that same question. So let’s dig into it. And again, if you’re watching this live, would love to get your perspective on this as well. Chime in, we’ll bring you into the conversation as well. But, Phyllis, by asking the question of like, “What are marketers doing to be ready for this?” What sparked that for you? What are you seeing and hearing that makes this a more timely conversation right now?
Phyllis: Sure. I lead marketing for a venture holding group. We have a venture arm, a venture studio, and an advisory practice and that’s something that we’ve been thinking about really across the enterprise for us, working with companies at all stages of growth and all of that. As we have been thinking about Web3 and what that means, just in terms of the world and kind of the services we can offer, we’re also looking at investments as well on the crypto and Web3 front. I think it’s just a little bit more front and center for me, similar to what you were talking about, Matt, as in terms of my marketing network, even beyond kind of our CMO group. I don’t think that there’s a lot of discussion about it right now among, I’ll just call it like of kind of classically trained marketers. There’s a lot of kind of learning from the ground up from people who’ve who are more crypto native and I think it’ll be really interesting to see the blending of the two.
Matt: Well, help people understand that may not have even known we were in a Web2 What are the distinctions? What’s Web2? What is going to be the distinctive features of Web3?
Phyllis: The way I always kind of hear it framed is that Web1 is the ability to read. That’s kind of the start of the internet so around like 1990 to call it like 2003. Web2 was the ability to like read and write, from about 2004 to 2014. Web3 is really the ability to read, write and transact our own. Obviously, it’s kind of gained much more popularity, I would say, like around last year, like 2021, but really the timing from when that started from a lot of people who have been crypto native for a while is probably around that 2014, 2015 time. What that means in terms of transact is really that you’re cutting out like a middle person in that process, that creators can really continue to own, and that there are new business models that are blockchain enabled related to ownership that allow creators to kind of have that ownership for the long haul and also just transact in a different way with that blockchain technology.
Matt: Let’s go a little deeper on that just to make sure people understand. When you say transact, I mean, this isn’t just sort of traditional eCommerce, because traditional eCommerce is traditional currency through banks, through credit card processing companies. I mean there’s a whole infrastructure, obviously, that isn’t going away right away. But we’re talking about is sort of eliminating that as a middleman there, right?
Phyllis: Yeah, that’s right. I mean that is definitely one aspect of it. Transact really takes on a whole new meaning in Web3 because when you’re new to the community, you become an owner, a partner, an investor, also an early adopter and a user all at one time. Whereas in Web2, if you’re a marketer, your primary stakeholder is typically someone is part of a buying team or perhaps an individual, depending on whether you’re doing B2B or B2C type work. In Web3, those stakeholder groups are much more diverse, wide ranging, and really you can’t ignore any of them as a result of that. The transacting that’s happening on the platform, typically is caused either by a token, blockchain, crypto type token (and that’s kind of some sort of cryptocurrency) or it could be a non fungible token, like a digital asset, that would be an NFT.
There’s an exchange that’s happening. There’s also an exchange, you’re kind of buying yourself like a piece of ownership in the community as well and as a piece of that, you get to have decision making authority in the community. You get to invite other people. You probably have a level of access and are granted some extra perks and there’s some gated community type aspects that deepen your level with the community the more you engage with it. It does reward a level of transaction in a way that Web2 kind of purely billing, kind of cannot and does not today.
Matt: I mean super fascinating stuff. If you start to dig into and think about, okay, what are the implications of this? On the consumer side I think it becomes a little more sort of obvious in my mind, to be able to say, “Listen, like there’s ownership, there’s trading, there’s value you create as a member of a community, as just an individual that’s a creator, whether or not it’s through crypto or NFTs or whatever the sort of format is.” Talk a little bit about what we’re seeing now in terms of sort of the B2B side. What are some examples of how you think this is relevant to B2B marketers, maybe not this quarter, but what are some things people need to start being aware of and think about?
Phyllis: It’s interesting. I think when I think about kind of the evolution of marketing and Web3, there are kind of two main call it buckets of activities that I’m thinking about related to that. Number one is digital advertising. How does that come to life in a crypto world? Because blockchain technology does kind of enable and remove a lot of the pain points that people point out with Web2 today. I’ll circle back to that second since that’s probably more from like a consumer angle. The other is really from a go-to-market standpoint. It’s really interesting because I think that in a crypto and Web3 world, actually a lot of the practices that people have learned doing B2B marketing, account based marketing (ABM), really thinking about a lot of the strategy that goes behind that, will transcend to Web3 for some companies. It depends in the crypto world whether you’re centralized or decentralized, whether you have a token, you’re based on a token or you’re not.
For example, Coinbase is a company that is more centralized. There’s no token involved. It’s more like a gateway to kind of enter this crypto world. They’re going to employ a lot of techniques that you see in the Web2 world. They’re going to leverage a lot of the existing frameworks and all of that to really kind of bridge the gap because you’re really bridging the gap between those Web2 users, bringing them to Web3 in a way. On the flip side of it, you’ll see companies that are more decentralized, that have a token, and they’re leveraging like much different playbooks as a result of that. They’re using token economics as a result of that, kind of like doing airdrops and things like that to incentivize those early adopters. In the B2B environment that early adopter could be a developer for example and that that could be like the very first entry point.
A lot of the kind of frameworks and how you think about B2B decision making in Web2 probably does apply, but that primary stakeholder, the gateway, could be different in Web3 as a result of kind of who you’re looking at first. So a lot of those frameworks in terms of like the branding, the positioning, kind of where they are in the journey, what’s important to them? Truthfully, all of those things still apply. All those frameworks are still there.
Matt: The frameworks are still there. It’s just sort of access to information and how that information gets exchanged and where the values exchange is. It’s just fascinating to think about. We’ve got Phyllis Lee on Sales Pipeline Radio today. She’s the SVP Marketing at Manifold Group. We’re talking about crypto, Web3 and the emergence of this as a consideration for marketers. I think it’s easy to say, “Well, this is in the future I got to worry.” No, you got to start thinking about strategy right now.
I want to thank Morgan Pierce for asking this question next, around sort of the control that individuals are going to have on their personal data. We’ve got GDPR related to personal information. We’ve got the death of third party cookies that Google keeps pushing out, but it’s definitely going to come. Now have this sort of what’s saved about us in blockchain and who owns that? Do consumers still have access to that? Or do we have to rewrite the rules of privacy now with this whole, I mean, does GDPR and can’t spam and does what’s emerging today from a privacy standpoint even apply or does it have to be written differently?
Phyllis: My perspective is really that in Web3 the rules are completely different. There are going to be those privacy concerns, but Web3 is inherently more friendly to consumers and privacy. For those who are a little bit less familiar with Web2, in terms of the back end of when some of these things that happens, the minute you look at a webpage, there’s a chain of software that is powered up that is trying to identify everything about you, trying to understand your intent, trying to motivate you to do things that perhaps you’re not really trying to do, kind of running tests on you. There are all sorts of things that are happening in that world. And of course they’re collecting information about you. That’s really what this question is about.
With blockchain technology, you can use a blockchain to validate each consumer’s journey to confirm, for example, what ads they viewed, whether or not they’re at a certain point in the purchase cycle. All of that can be done without really kind of having their personal data in a way that happens today. Primarily because you have these gated networks through Facebook and Google that you’re kind of using and all of that. So the infrastructure is completely separate and different and so it is more privacy forward as a result of that.
Matt: It seems like there’s going to be some education that’s going to need to happen on that front. What are you, and I think that there’s still, I think about conversations I’ve had with people about crypto and blockchain., there’s still a lot of skepticism from a currency standpoint, from an information security standpoint. It feels like we’re still an early adopter territory where a lot of the language around this still feels a little inside baseball. What are some things you’re seeing that are helping those that haven’t been early adopters understand and get their arms around the opportunity here, to sort of explain blockchain in a way that sort of sort of helps make it more relevant and understandable?
Phyllis: Yeah. I think that’s the number one task of marketers for especially crypto native projects in the weeks and months to come, but also for kind of these efforts that are really bridging Web2 and Web3. Right now, it inherently feels like the crypto community is marketing to the crypto community.
Phyllis: It’s really not very user friendly beyond that. I think obviously we’re seeing kind of larger scale efforts like we saw in the Super Bowl and things like that to increase awareness to crypto but I think there’s a huge gap between just knowing that it’s there and figuring out how do you get a wallet? What do you need beyond a hot wallet? How do you make purchase? How do you stake somewhere else? To your point, there’s a whole other world related to that, the motions, the terminology, even the protection that you really need to have, because you have to have your seed phrase and if you lose that seed phrase, that’s it. I mean, even awareness about some of those very functional things need to kind of be surfaced.
I think that’s a major, major area that especially layer one blockchains are really going to be tackling in the months and certainly in the year ahead. I think that we’ll see kind of an expansion into additional platforms. You see a lot of community building today on Discord, obviously there’s crypto Twitter, the Hellogram, because crypto’s such a global community. But, I think inevitably there’s going to have to be expansion to more like YouTube content, places where kind of your average consumer is sitting, to tackle some of these things.
Matt: Well, it seems like a pretty big opportunity for a brand or for someone to be able to come in and help translate this for the masses. I feel like we did this a few years ago, like four or five years ago: AI was sort of big discussion among early adopters, but it was like AI enthusiasts talking to AI enthusiasts and what is this? What’s the practical application? Now all of a sudden, like we’re not really using AI, but like in marketing circles, we’re talking about intense signals. We’re talking about machine learning and dynamic lead scoring. We’re putting it in context and like, “Oh, that’s what it is. Wow. That would be awesome. That’s great that that’s what it applies to.”
We need that for crypto. We need that for the blockchain. Maybe I’m showing my age and naivete when I call it the blockchain versus blockchain but I think that it’s clearly an opportunity for brands that are involved in this I think to not just put their name on the Super Bowl and on sporting venues, but help people understand why this is important moving forward.
Phyllis: Yeah. I agree. I think even the benefits are really not explained in a real way. And a lot of what I see is that people are so enamored with the technology being new that they quickly jump into this discussion about what the technology is and how it works when really people don’t even understand like the real benefits of it and why. Now the crypto native people I think really do. A lot of those crypto native communities are really built on purpose, on community. It’s totally different. They’re figuring, like Constitution DAO that was set up like to purchase a copy of the Constitution. They didn’t know exactly how that was going to happen. They set that up and then they said, “Okay, as a community, how are we going to figure this out?” Of course, they still had to get to the fundamentals of a roadmap and all of that, but they don’t lead with a roadmap the way you do in Web2. In Web2, you’ve got to have everything super defined and you’re using that product roadmap to out how to engage someone in a deeper and deeper experience and crypto native, Web3 stuff is totally different in that regard.
But yeah, so that bridge is pretty wide today. I’m excited to see marketing help with that.
Matt: I think the more we have this conversation, and if you’re following along here 16 minutes in and need to sort of re-listen to this to sort of grock everything we’ve just talked about that’s part of the process. But I think the more we talk about it, the more we expose it, the more accessible it becomes. And so as we wrap up here with our guest today, Phyllis Lee from Manifold Group, I really appreciate you raising the issue, appreciate being able to start this conversation. What are are some places where you have gone to learn yourself about the opportunities and for other people that listen to this that might want to sort of dig in a little further? Maybe best not to go to a crypto Reddit board that might be using a different language, but where have you been learning and where do you recommend others learn as well?
Phyllis: Yeah, it’s interesting. There’s more and more content really in mainstream media. The New York Times has had like a bunch of different articles that they’ve published, I would say like over the last six to 12 months, for crypto newbies, I would say. Andreessen has a very good crypto canon, they’ve got a crypto canon, NFT canon for marketers out there. There’s a go-to-market article that’s very, very strong that they’ve published. HackerNoon actually has a very good article that I’ve shared that explains. It’s called “What the F is Blockchain”, I think is it’s something very close to that. It explains what it is, but in non-technical terms. So that’s been really great for me to just share with kind of family, friends and my network who are like, “I’m curious about it, but I just literally don’t really know what it is.”
The Messari Thesis is also a place that I would, there’s a very detailed kind of analysis on what’s going on on the crypto space. Last but not least, I would say Kraken also publishers a lot of stuff as well and they’re obviously a very known player in that space. I’m hoping that obviously from a Manifold perspective, we’ll start to publish more and more as well.
Matt: That’s amazing. I love that. Thank you for sharing all those resources. I particularly like just What the F is Blockchain. I always feel like, remember for years it would be a like Blockchain for Dummies. I’m like, “I’m not a dummy. I just don’t understand this stuff at all.” So if you want to use plain language to speak to it, plain language doesn’t apply I’m a dummy. I think we need to create a series, not Blockchain for Dummies, but like a series, What the F is X?
Matt: Whatever it is just like, don’t make it on me. Just what is this?
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. Phyllis, thank you so much for joining us and starting this conversation. We could go way down the rabbit hole on various these topics, but I love that we can at least get it started. And in some cases, admit, listen, new stuff is new. Don’t be ashamed you don’t understand this stuff. New stuff sometimes take some time to figure out. So I appreciate you helping getting that conversation started and sharing some other resources with us as well.
Phyllis: Thanks so much, Matt. It’s great to be here.
Matt: Yeah. Thanks everyone for listening and watching. Thanks Morgan for the great questions. Keep those coming each week. We’ll be back next week and every week at 1130 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. My name is Matt Heinz. Thanks for joining us on another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio.
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