At this point, you’ve almost certainly heard the acronym NFT. But if you’re still scratching your head about what it really means, and how on earth it can be applied to marketing, we’re about to break it down for you. Here’s an overview of what NFTs are, how they’re being used in digital marketing and whether or not you might want to explore them for your own business.
NFTs At A Glance
NFT stands for non-fungible token (which basically means an irreplaceable token), which must be purchased with cryptocurrency. Think of it as a digital asset (like a stock) that has the potential, at least in the buyer’s eyes, of increasing in value. NFTs can be GIFs, photos or videos, they can be “worn” digitally or they can provide access to something like a virtual community, for example.
Each NFT is given a digital certificate of ownership, which is then stored in the blockchain (essentially a very secure way of handling digital documentation). Because of this, an NFT is considered totally unique and therefore irreplaceable, hence the non-fungible part of the name.
“Ok,” you might be thinking. “This all sounds very well and trendy, but what does it have to do with digital marketing?” Well, brands are getting on the bandwagon and creating NFTs to help accomplish their marketing goals.
NFTs in Marketing
Here are two examples of recent use cases:
- Animal Planet launched a series of trading cards in the form of NFTs that fans can view and buy. The opening drop features 5,000 free tokens of the “Puppy Bowl Pass,” which offer fans first access to the upcoming drops of NFTs that will vary in price and rarity, all leading up to the game on February 13.
- Marriott unveiled its own NFTs (which were created by three artists based on travel experiences) during the Art Basel modern art show, raffling them off. Winners received their own NFT along with 200,000 Marriott Bonvey points.
Both of these examples, and really almost all current examples of NFTs in marketing, serve to increase brand awareness and drum up excitement. Admittedly, using NFTs is a cool tactic that certainly gets attention. So, should you try your hand at creating them?
To NFT Or Not To NFT
Even though they’re fresh and fun (and potentially valuable), NFTs aren’t the right fit for every business. Here are some questions to consider if you’re thinking of giving this approach a try:
- Do your customers understand NFTs? Even though they’re popular, many people don’t really “get” the concept of NFTs or care to spend their time learning about them, while others simply don’t see the point of it all. You should know your own customers better than anyone; do you think they’ll understand NFTs and be eager to make a purchase?
- Do they have cryptocurrency? Again, NFTs must be bought with cryptocurrency like bitcoin, etc. Do your customers already have cryptocurrency? If not, this will be another hurdle to get past.
- Does it align with your brand and customer goals? As we mentioned above, NFTs can come in a variety of forms. If your customers have expressed interest in you starting an online community, but you only have the resources to invite a small number to it, offering access via NFTs could be a great way to go. Or, if your goal is to host a really exclusive industry event, you might be able to stir up intrigue by using NFTs for tickets. If your goals don’t really require promotion in these ways, or don’t fit with the idea of NFTs, it’s probably not worth your time right now.
- Do you have more pressing needs? Finally, what is most urgent in front of you? If you have a talent shortage, your time would be better spent recruiting team members than dreaming up a new NFT strategy. But, if you’re well staffed and bringing in solid profits, you might have some room to explore new creative marketing approaches.
We’re all about experimentation and testing, so if you want to try your hand at the game of NFTs, contact us anytime! We’d love to discuss whether it fits into your digital marketing strategy and, if so, how to proceed.