Future Venture
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Future Venture

Marketing in crypto, the 10th circle of hell.

Why web3 is an all or nothing game

Web2 Marketing, a Primer

In Web2, you broadly have two branches of marketing: organic and paid. Organic marketing is a form of marketing that drives users to your site without surfacing ads. A great article or video that goes viral, baked in product virality (Dropbox) or word of mouth (great restaurants) are examples of organic marketing.

An Aside on Product-Market Fit

Product market fit is notoriously difficult to quantify. Therefore it’s natural that different people have varying definitions.

Product-channel Fit

Product-market fit is the elusive treasure, the search for the fountain of youth. Product-channel fit is a little easier to achieve, more akin to mining for gold. Sure you’ll need some equipment, you’ll need a permit and a good team, but it’s definitely do-able if you follow a set process and keep getting better every week.

Web3 — is All Growth Organic?

There is the idea in Web3 that paid marketing is redundant. Because everyone is bought into and owns the protocol, they will ‘shill’ their own bags. Effectively you weaponise your ‘nodes’, bringing on more nodes to create a free marketing engine.

An Aside on Speculative Investors v End Users

This is where we must clarify the two types of customer crypto projects appeal to — the speculative investor and the end-user. Both customers achieve the same end goal of purchasing a project's tokens, but one is not sustainable. If you are a crypto project bringing in customers purely for an expected increase in the price of the token, you are doomed to fail, you are a Ponzi scheme

Paid Marketing in Web3

Web3 companies face two fundamental issues when it comes to paid marketing, access and attribution.

Using promo codes specific to ad campaigns is one imperfect way of getting attribution.

Alternative to paid marketing channels

Crypto companies have a few alternatives to traditional paid marketing channels.

Brand marketing

Because of the lack of paid marketing options with direct attribution, most crypto companies resort to brand advertising to spend. Twitter is a good example of this. Twitter's main ad strategy is brand advertising — raising awareness of your project. Some companies will advertise this way. Lithium has tried this kind of brand advertising but generally found it to be quite ineffective.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is one way of marketing that can drive traffic, but only if used correctly, which from our experience, rarely is.

Bake in virality

The hardest kind of marketing to do is to bake virality into the product. There’s a free and paid variation of this approach. An example of ‘free’ virality (technically nothing is free, you still have the engineering costs to build the product) is Facebook. Facebook grew exponentially because the product was inherently viral, the more people that used it, the more valuable the network got, driving more users.



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Tom Littler

Tom Littler


Co-founder, Chief Product Officer, Lithium Ventures. Web 3.0 Enthusiast. https://www.tomlittler.tech/