Why IEX of ‘Flash Boys’ Fame Launched Web3 Marketing Platform Dispatch
Marketing in Web3 is going to look a whole lot different than just launching a newsletter, according to newcomers Dispatch.
“There are a lot of brands and companies exploring Web3 and how they can use technologies that are available on top of the blockchain, and our goal is to make it easy for those companies to transition from Web2 to Web3,” Dispatch head of product Sean Spector said in an interview with Decrypt at this year’s NFT Paris event.
Launched last year, Dispatch markets itself as a full-stack marketing, messaging, and ad tech tool specifically tailored for Web3.
Incubated by IEX, the exchange that was founded to mitigate the effects of high-frequency trading and made famous in the book “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, the New York-based company is building out a way to simplify Web2 businesses transitioning to the new world of Web3, while offering a new way to engage with customers.
Onboarding businesses to Web3, according to Spector, also means talking to brands that already have successful playbooks on how to leverage social media tools like Instagram and Facebook according to the firm’s goals.
“We see Web3 as the next prong of that: how do you make tools for brands to access Web3 just as it would be the next social media network and then provide analytics, infrastructure, and messaging tools,” Spector told Decrypt.
Speaking to what aspects of Web2 companies might want to apply to Web3 and what won’t work, the first thing Spector points to is the long-time established way of communicating with customers via newsletters.
“Imagine you are a brand in Web2, or you are a small startup trying to find a market. How do you do that? You create an email subscription list so that when someone comes to your website, they add their email and now they are opted in to get notifications from you. Does this work like Web3 yet?”
According to Spector, “no, not really.”
Tokens: the ‘social graph’ of Web3
Dispatch offers a solution for that, enabling brands and token issuers to communicate directly with the wallet addresses connected to their communities via non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
This lets companies open a direct line with communities, eliminating the need for email addresses and other platforms built with Web2 consumers in mind.
“We really see tokens as the social graph of Web3,” said Spector. “There’s a brand or a project, and there’s a contract, and then people who opt-in, and buy the token or mint the token, become part of that project. Now, that’s their channel for opt-in distribution.”
Brands are drawn to blockchain’s open database architecture, Spector said. That can help products with big secondary markets overcome the struggle to engage with customers.
“My ability to understand who my customer is is limited by the people who check my store,” Spector said. “But with the rise of the secondary market, how do I continue to engage with the customer who is loyal to my brand if I have no data on it?”
Blockchain, he explained, gives businesses the “next level of data that lets you stay in touch with the customer beyond the initial purchase.”