Over the past several months, NFTs and “the metaverse” have created a buzz in the worlds of tech and cryptocurrency. Naturally, this buzz has also piqued the interest many of people involved in e-commerce, such as B2B traders, since there is a common digital element.
In this article, we will discuss what an NFT is and how NFTs could be connected to B2B marketing. We will assess if there is a future for NFTs in B2B marketing and what that could look like.
Let’s get started by reviewing what an NFT is and the role it plays in the metaverse.
What is an NFT?
NFT is short for “non-fungible token.” This is a digital asset that exists in the metaverse with unique ownership rights to the person who has created or purchased it. NFTs can include images, videos, audio clips, and other digital files, and they are traded in marketplaces of the metaverse.1
If you’re not familiar with the metaverse, the term covers the global collection of digital “realities.” The metaverse has different dimensions, but one of the most tangible explanations is the world that people enter with virtual realities with dedicated headsets and games.
It is common for NFTs and cryptocurrency to be discussed in the same conversation since many NFT trading platforms use cryptocurrency for transactions. Plus, both are key elements in the metaverse, so this connection makes sense.
However, there is a key difference between NFTs and cryptocurrency: NFTs are non-fungible and cryptocurrency is fungible.
Does the NFT craze affect B2B businesses?
B2B trade has had a major push towards digitalization in recent years.
There is still so much room for growth and development in NFTs, so it is difficult to completely understand the effects of this technology on B2B businesses.
At this point, however, it seems that NFTs have a primarily neutral or positive effect on B2B businesses. There doesn’t seem to be any major negative effect at this point.
One likely intersection between B2B businesses and NFTs could be marketing. As NFTs continue to develop, the cross-over could grow greater.
Potential NFT use cases for B2B marketing
The use cases for NFTs are currently quite expansive. Basically, businesses are free to use them in whatever way makes sense for their brand, so they can get as creative as they’d like to incorporate NFTs in their marketing strategies.
With that said, there are a few specific different ways that B2B businesses could use NFTs for marketing.3 Let’s check them out.
1. Staying on the cutting edge
Since NFTs are a relatively new concept, a B2B business’s participation in this trend demonstrates that they are keeping up with and bypassing their competition.
The willingness and ability to stay with the times reflect well on brands because it shows that businesses are innovative. This helps to form a connection with B2B buyers who are looking for trade partners who are focused on innovation.
If anything, staying on-trend allows B2B businesses to tap into the hype that trends, like NFTs, create. It helps to draw the attention of other forward-thinking companies.
2. Developing customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is essential for B2B businesses because it is more cost-effective to maintain customers for long-term contracts than it is to generate new leads.
Luckily, B2B businesses can use NFTs to build brand loyalty with customer loyalty programs.
For example, NFTs can serve as a punch card of sorts that gives customers a real asset that is representative of your brand. Businesses can give buyers an NFT after they’ve reached a certain number of orders or a specific dollar amount spent with your company.
Ownership of the NFT should come with special perks. It could come with discounts and benefits within your company, or it comes in the form of an NFT that is expected to grow in value.
Another interesting use of NFTs for brand loyalty is to offer equity in the company in the form of NFTs. Of course, this is a bit more involved than some other NFT strategies, but it is an aggressive way to build a connection with your most loyal supporters.
3. Building brand awareness
NFTs can also be used to build brand awareness. B2B businesses can create a collection of NFTs that are trendy and appealing to their target audience.
The idea is to create NFTs that will go viral and become much sought after. This will take the support of a creative team who can bring something ingenious to life.
The collection should include some touches of the brand so that as the NFTs spread, your brand is recognized. This will help to build brand awareness.
4. Creating memberships
Some NFTs have something called “utility.” This means that by purchasing a specific NFT, buyers are entitled to membership, service, or some sort of exclusive access.
For example, B2B sellers can sell NFTs that come with memberships to an exclusive group that includes priority service, discounted shipping, or other perks.
You can keep it exclusive by only allowing a set number of members. That way, your members who may want to leave the group in the future can sell the NFT for a great rate to other customers who want in.
By offering a small number of memberships, the competitive nature will keep the rates high.
Businesses that choose this model are wise to add a royalty fee of a small percent when they mint the NFTs so that they also generate some income as they change hands down the line.
Risks of NFTs for B2B marketing
Since the idea of the metaverse is relatively new, there is still a lot to be discovered. With the unknown comes inherent risk.4
One example of a risk with NFT is related to the fact that many NFTs have assumed the role of an investment medium, like cryptocurrency. Although both of these things were meant to be digital assets to trade in the metaverse, they have become minimally investments in their respective markets.
This market structure has created a bit of volatility. The market can skyrocket, but it can also drop just as quickly. For example, NFT sales recently hit a 12-month low. This decline coincided with a significant crash in the cryptocurrency market.5
It is worth noting that a common sentiment in business is the idea that high risk can yield a high reward. Sometimes a calculated risk can propel your business forward in a way that surpasses playing it safe.