BUY: AntiConLX Tickets
Featured
martech-report-shadow

The State of MarTech Report

There has never been a more exciting time to work in marketing and technology. The world was already digitising rapidly, but the pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation. Companies that have been forced to adapt to evolving customer behaviours to survive now have an opportunity to thrive.

DOWNLOAD

What is NextTech?

NextTech is the next tech. Okay, article over. Off you go. 

Alright, I'm just kidding, just a little joke between you and me. I guess We'll get on with what NextTech is, then. Oh, ho, ho, we do have fun. 

NextTech

NextTech is the next tech. The tech of the future. The next big tech. Can you see where we got the name? 

Basically, it's everything you've been hearing your Gen-Z colleague talk about. Whether it's NFTs, Web 3.0, De-Fi, or the Metaverse, NextTech is all about the technologies and innovations taking the marketing space, and beyond, by storm. 

It's a particularly important industry for a few particular marketers, including Innovation and Transformation Officers, CDOs, Digital Profs and Marketing Technologists. They need their fingers on the pulse, and NextTech is the answer.

What has led to the emergence of NextTech?

We're seeing this tremendous desire, and opportunity, to shift to a more decentralised world for brands and creatives"

- Steven Bartlett, thirdweb

A combination of technological advances, shifting consumer perspectives, and huge global events have caused priorities to shift. 

So, decentralisation has become the word of the day. From decentralised worlds in the Metaverse to decentralised finance with cryptocurrencies to decentralised content and the web with Web 3.0, people have changed how they see the world, and the world continues to change with them.

No longer do people trust big social media companies, being more aware of their data and privacy than ever. 

Why are we building their audience, and not ours? People are sick of living in the halo of Facebook's trust." 

- Robert Rose, This Old Marketing

So businesses and marketers must ask: how quickly, and how well, are we responding to this increasing decentralisation? 

Many have been obsessed with innovation and futurism for some time, what became clear to us is some of the same crowd that live that martech life were early tech adopters beyond marketing and we wanted to give them a home.

Carlos Doughty, CEO and Founder, LXA

What this technology offers you, is what it can offer your customers. Business is all about meeting your customers where they are, at the right time. Every customer wants to be treated with personalisation, relevence, and care.

So, NextTech like the Metaverse is offering an elevated version of all this. It is a digital version of our lives laid over the real version - shopping, meetings, communication, leisure spaces, gigs, workspaces and all. This means marketplaces are opening, and B2B businesses must consider new ways they could be approaching, and engaging, their customers. 

Consider how NFTs are benefitting customers. Instead of a one-off purchase, they might be given additional experiences or products, expanding the customer experience and creating a favourable image of the brand. Think Bored Ape Yacht Club's exclusive parties, or a certification authenticating a bottle of expensive wine, which has been proven through previous blockchain purchases. 

What Pieces of Disruptive Tech are Leading the Way in NextTech?

There are a few technologies I'm sure you've heard being bandied around the office. Some are a little underdeveloped, some are established, and some are showing their potential. But all represent a changing future, both within marketing and outside. So, what does our founder, Carlos Doughty think are the front runners?

The metaverse, Web3 and NFT are all massively hyped right now. Plenty of nonsense but also opportunity. Differentiating one company or project from another in the space is pretty tough right now, time will play this out.

Let's take the Metaverse first. 

There are predictions out there that the Metaverse could reach the $800B mark by 2024, as it is already sitting at around $47B thanks to a surge of interest in 2020 when the pandemic peaked. So, theres could be plenty of potential for marketers; but is it shiny new thing syndrome, or a chance to get ahead of the game? 

 

Meta itself has said it would spend $10B over the next year to develop the technologies required for building its metaverse. “Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” said Zuckerberg in his founder's letter. 

 

Basically, the idea behind the metaverse is to create a space similar to the internet, but more tangible, so that users can interact with the world via digital avatars.

 

Plus, unlike the modern internet, metaverse users experience environmental changes in real-time. If a user makes a change to the metaverse, this shift is visible to everyone. 

 

Right now, there seems to be three categories of metaverse marketing:

  • In-game products. I.e. a can of Coca-Cola you can pick up in a game
  • Integrated Ads. I.e. in-game billboards, or somewhere an ad would be seen in real life.
  • Experiential and Events marketing. I.e. brand and game collaboration. This might be a franchise character turning up in a game, or a virtual art exhibition. 

And with NFTs? Creators now have the power to cut brands and advertising agencies out of the picture - if they choose to. Unlike broadcast media or social networks, some individuals can build businesses from only a small number of fans, buying content like NFTs, or donating through a Patreon. The whole model revolves around social tribes with shared interests, and passions. 

Maybe it'll even offer content creators the ability to team up with their favourite brands to create NFTs, placing the creative aspect into the hands of the influencer, who knows what their audience wants and likes.

Which Companies Are at The Forefront of NextTech?

There are a ton of exciting companies right now. Here are a few I see which are doing interesting things; OpenSea, Vayner Media, Solana, thirdweb, bored ape yacht club (BAYC) and RTFKT (which was acquired by Nike). And from a content perspective, the newsletter Milk Road is cracking.

Carlos Doughty

Despite not directly being marketing companies, many ventures into the new NextTech space utilise clever tactics that innovative marketers should be aware of. These companies have utilised and grown dedicated communities, who return not only for the product, but for what it represents, and the brand identity it provides. 

NFTs have created a new form of exchange. This new economy offers freedom and decentralisation for creators, artists, and even brands to form an additional and exclusive relationship with their supporters. From clubs to donations, to brand experiences, the purchase of an NFT extends the interaction a community has with an individual or company.

"So we’re all selling media, and we’re all selling products and services, So what’s the difference?”

Robert Rose, This Old Marketing

For Robert Rose, Host of the This Old Marketing Podcast, it's a case of looking at what’s happened in the recent past. What we're seeing is that a lot of the audience building has become just as important as products and services. It's all about becoming multi-revenue generating.

How Do We Avoid ‘Shiny New Toy’ Approaches in This Space?

We might not be able to. Part of NextTech is to think of it as a playground. Play with those shiny toys until they can become something real, they can become more than just a press release to sound like you’re doing something innovative and actually workout where tech is heading and how it will redefine marketing, sales and experience.  

Carlos Doughty

According to the LEAP group, brands should be asking themselves:

  1. What are the strengths of our brand in a virtual world?
  2. What are the weaknesses of our brand in a virtual world?
  3. Does our brand have opportunities in a virtual world?
  4. Is our brand threatened by a virtual world?

The metaverse will continue to grow, both in number and platforms and user base. This will unleash a bunch of creativity, content, activities and experiences, including work-based activities.

So, this framework can be applied to any other tool, platform, or tech in the space. Think: avoid the hype, and only use what's good for your business. 

What is the near future of the space? Are there any figures, books, or technologies you see emerging as the guidebook or leader?

With the rapidly changing space, it's important to keep up-to-date. So, following experts in the space is important. 

The evolution of Web3, tokenisation and the metaverse will reshape things as we know them but I’m still shaking my crystal ball to try and make sense of what might play out.

There will be some overhyping, some nonsense, and only 1-5% of things will really land. But that’s pretty much how the internet arrived. A few people I pay close attention to are Chris Dixon - a16z, Shaan Puri – MFM pod & Milk Road and Steven Bartlett – thirdweb (Incidentally he will be speaking at our AntiConLX Global).

Beyond that, I waste my weekends on YouTube and Twitter trying to learn more about the space.

Carlos Doughty