In the past year, Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) have made headlines as a new way to create and sell digital artwork via the blockchain. Beeple, a well-known digital artist, famously sold an NFT at auction for 69 million dollars. Celebrities like Steph Curry and Jimmy Fallon have acquired NFTs for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Savvy marketers have started to pay attention as notable brands like Nike, Gucci, and Clinique get involved with NFTs. Forward-looking brands see NFTs as an opportunity to extend the customer experience into a more digitally focused realm.
How NFTs Provide a New Vehicle for Customer Experience
NFTs are unique digital assets that can represent anything from a piece of art to a movie ticket. Consumers can prove ownership of NFTs on the blockchain – a publicly available transaction ledger.
There are several ways that marketers can use NFTs to extend the customer experience in new and exciting ways.
Marketers can use NFTs to provide new or existing customers with unique digital items. The digital item could be a “twin” of a physical product or a completely digital asset that is branded uniquely and interestingly. For the 2023 football season, the NFL will offer NFTs alongside tickets purchased to select NFL games. Pairing a digital asset with a physical product or experience creates another touchpoint for marketers to build a community around their brand.
NFTs can also unlock limited or VIP experiences for highly engaged customers. Vee Friends, an NFT collection launched by the influential marketer Gary Vee, provides certain NFT holders with unique experiences like Zoom calls, dinners, and hangouts with Gary Vee. Using limited edition experiences as a benefit for NFT holders is a great way for marketers to build exclusivity and desirability alongside their existing products and services.
Another approach marketers can take is using NFTs as a membership pass for access and perks. Used this way, NFTs can become a great complement to rewards programs, creating an enhanced sense of community and loyalty with customers. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that they are exploring ideas for using NFTs to create a community of coffee lovers.
These examples highlight a few ways marketers can start thinking about NFTs today. In the future, creative marketing teams will undoubtedly uncover exciting new ways to bring NFTs into the customer experience.
How To Create a Plan to Launch an NFT the Right Way
Planning a successful NFT launch requires careful planning, and marketers should consider several key checkpoints before diving in.
- What are the brand’s goals for getting involved with NFTs? Is the brand hoping to capture interest as a first-mover, drive new revenue with NFT sales, or enhance customer loyalty?
- How can NFTs support existing marketing strategies? NFTs should be factored into the overall marketing mix like any other channel.
- Does the marketing team have executive sponsorship and support from business leadership? NFT launches can take considerable time, and key organizational stakeholders should be aligned with the goals and direction of the NFT launch.
- Has the marketing team identified the expertise needed to support the launch, including creative talent, developers, and a community manager who can build support and excitement for the launch?
- Does the marketing team have a reliable strategy and technology partner who can help spot and avoid pitfalls and unnecessary expenses along the way?
This list of checkpoints might seem daunting, but the upfront due diligence will help marketing teams make the most of their NFT aspirations.
If and When It Makes Sense for a Business to Adopt NFTs for Marketing
NFT technology is still young, but investors and visionaries are betting that NFTs will become
mainstream in the future. Meta has announced that NFTs will be a huge part of their metaverse strategy and is currently testing NFTs with creators on Instagram.
Social media took time to gain traction with the marketing community. Now, one would be hard pressed to find a competent marketing department without at least one social media expert on staff. Brands that invest in understanding the technology now will have a significant advantage down the road as businesses find new ways to monetize and engage with NFTs.