Horrors Of Web3 Marketing

God Bless This Hot Mess

Julie Plavnik
4 min readJan 20, 2023
Web3 Marketing

Most folks in Web3 have no patience.

While crypto isn’t the wild, unprofessional gold rush of yore, many can’t shake that lingering hunger for a quick buck.

Long-term strategies, careful planning, consistent action?🤔

Those just don’t seem to appear on the mental maps of many Web3 teams.

Instead, they rely on sporadic, chaotic tactics they hope will yield instant victories.

Airdrops and shillings reign supreme.

The Nike motto, ‘Just do it!’ appears to be their mantra.

Recently, I had a jarring reminder of this.

As an old crypto veteran with over seven years in the space (OMG! 🤯), I was invited to contribute to a study examining Web3 startups’ go-to marketing strategies.

After extensive work with the research team, we distilled the most popular blueprints.

Here they are:

Airdrops 🔹 Giveaways🔹 Bounties 🔹 Ads 🔹 “Influencer” shill campaigns 🔹 so-called Community Marketing.

Why so-called?

Because in 99.9% of the cases, there was no community in place.

Instead, there were Telegram or Discord groups used merely to post “we’re thrilled to announce” updates and handle burning customer support questions.

That’s pretty much it. 🤷‍♀️

What’s missing?

The FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS that make marketing more than just noise.

I’ll name a few.

Brand — a valuable asset rarely cherished in the Web3 world

You’d be surprised how many Web3 projects don’t have anything even remotely resembling a brand.

Sure, they have names and logos, but a captivating brand is so much more.

What about a unique mission (not copypasted from competitors), an authentic backstory, WHYs, core values — all those essentials to build a community around and set a long-term relationship with it?

Why on earth wouldn’t a business (Web3 or not) have a brand?! 🤯🤯

It’s the first touchpoint with potential prospects and a fantastic tool for showcasing why you’re remarkable and trustworthy.

Especially in Web3, where establishing trust is the paramount challenge. No matter how innovative or disruptive, Web3’s reputation is still, well… a bit shaky, to put it mildly.

Hoping to lead a Web3 startup to success without a solid and trustworthy brand is akin to attempting an Olympic marathon in cement shoes — utterly nonsensical.

Sure, building a compelling brand demands grit and dedication. Not everyone in Web3 is willing to expend that effort, especially when the phantoms of overnight crypto success stories continue to lurk.

Why bother delving into brand building when you can just breadcrumb a batch of your tokens (aka airdrop) and fire off some memes? It seems an easier route and it’s certainly more buzzworthy.

Many fall for this way… and that’s precisely where they falter.

ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar)

Though it’s a basic principle for any business to clearly understand its target audience, in the Web3 world, it’s a foreign concept.

Often, when I ask Web3 teams, “who’s your ICA?” I get the responses like this:

Web3 people, developers, crypto guys…

Who the heck is a crypto guy?!

Is it a full-stack developer coding on Solidity, a trader, or just a dude sniffing around on crypto events because he has nothing to do better?!

Who exactly are you trying to reach through all your Twitter AMAs, blog posts, and YouTube videos? And what is it that you hope to gain from them?

In 90% of cases, I find no clear answer, meaning startup resources are constantly being wasted on speaking into a void.

It’s a sad reality. 😢


Simply absent.

In the best-case scenario, a startup might have a basic plan and schedule: today, we’ll do this; tomorrow, we’ll do that, with little logical connection behind it all.

Take content creation as an example.

Only a few realize the importance of making it STRATEGIC.

What does that mean in plain language?

Every piece of content you publish online should be an integral element of a prospect’s HOLISTIC IMMERSIVE CONTENT EXPERIENCE.

It should actively guide a prospect through an engaging and comprehensive journey, leading them closer to taking the actions that you desire (making a purchase, leaving an email, etc.).

Though, it’s not as manipulative as it sounds.

What’s today’s Web3 content about?

Right, a chaotic mosaic of random tweets and blog posts.

I forecast it will only worsen since more people believe that ChatGPT will do all the jobs for them.

The advantage of that is if you’re not among those shortcut-minded, you will easily stand out and outperform them all.

Summing it up

It’s nonsensical to make any marketing move without first laying the necessary groundwork. It’d be like trying to build a house without a foundation.

You can’t ignore the basics.

I’ve been in the crypto world since 2016, and I know that all this Web3 marketing cacophony happening today can only attract a bunch of unqualified leads constantly asking “When Lambo? When Moon?” and bringing zero value.

Is that the ideal community you want for your Web3 venture?

If not, it’s time to stop fussing and accept the new reality:

Crypto is no longer that chaotic speculative space of fast-money projects in which all you needed was hype, airdrops, and the like.

Today, it’s rapidly evolving into a reputable industry of long-term brands, where only professionals will succeed.

No more shortcuts, désolé.

Wanna launch a successful Web3 startup and build a high-quality community? Be ready to work your ass off according to the old-good marketing standards:

  • A thorough audience research
  • Strategy
  • Brand building
  • Patience and Consistency
  • Long-term vision and dedication

In Web3, all these things are rare gems. If you stick to them, you will have no rivals.

Interested in cutting-edge digital marketing trends?

Let’s connect on Twitter and learn from each other.



Julie Plavnik

FinTech nomad. Web3 content strategist and writer. Ultra-spiritual Jew living in Bali.