As crypto and blockchain technologies gain prominence, so does their marketing fervor. However, a troubling trend threatens to destabilize the trustworthiness of crypto marketing campaigns.
Overwhelming advertising — or ad bombardment — is now a formidable adversary to gaining customers’ trust.
Crypto Marketing Should Nurture Trust
Cryptocurrencies, hailed for their decentralized ethos, have recently seen their marketing strategies increasingly centralized around intensive advertising campaigns. However, such marketing moves may be causing more harm than good.
Recent reports suggest that the constant barrage of advertising alienates potential investors and committed enthusiasts.
The gap between generational attitudes to advertising is widening. According to research from Credos, a UK industry think tank, and Craft, a research agency, younger audiences are becoming more wary of advertising bombardment.
Indeed, there has been a significant increase from 19% in 2021 to 32% in the latest study, which cites ad overload as a chief concern.
Trust in Different Advertising. Source: Credos
But why should crypto marketers care about these numbers?
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Crypto, by nature, hinges on the trust of its community. Unlike traditional assets, its value is not tied to physical commodities or a country’s economy. Instead, it thrives on belief — belief in technology, the ethos, and potential returns. When crypto marketing practices erode this trust, they threaten the very foundations of the industry.
Crypto Marketers Must Follow the Money
Pinterest’s approach to advertising offers a critical lesson for the crypto industry. Grace MacDonald, the firm’s B2B marketing lead, stressed the importance of “following the money” when investing in marketing. But beyond financial diligence, MacDonald also warns of the pitfalls of data overload.
“You can end up with all these fragmented datasets that you can’t really merge together or you don’t know how to merge together,” MacDonald remarked.
The issue MacDonald raised resonates deeply within the crypto industry. The risk is not just fragmented data but fragmented trust.
“You shouldn’t be in a situation where you’re over-targeting and going too niche. That’s not going to bring results. On the flip side, if you’re too wide, you’re going to get a lot of wastage, so it’s about finding that balance,” MacDonald added.
Overwhelming potential investors with ads can make them question a project’s authenticity. For many, it evokes memories of the infamous pump-and-dump schemes and other malpractices plaguing the market.
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Furthermore, data privacy is becoming an increasing concern for consumers, especially those between the ages of 35 and 54. Since crypto operates within digital transactions and online footprints, crypto marketers must be especially attuned to these privacy concerns.
Quality Reigns Supreme Over Quantity
Crypto can take cues from broader advertising industry insights. Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association, notes the efficacy of promoting regulatory bodies like the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to bolster trust.
“The ASA advertising campaign results show that relevant action can make a difference, with those aware of the ASA’s comprehensive regulation of advertising content via this campaign having a 50% higher level of trust than those unaware of it,” Woodford said.
Moreover, the essence of advertising should be revisited. The core strength of advertising, as Credos’ research notes, lies in its entertainment value. Crypto marketers must ask themselves whether they aim to educate while entertain, or just add to the noise.
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Key Drivers of Trust in Advertising. Source: Advertising Association
Ultimately, the path forward is twofold. First, crypto marketers must recognize the real threat ad bombardment poses to their industry. Second, they should recalibrate the crypto marketing strategies to prioritize quality over quantity, engagement over interruption, and trust over transient gains.