NFTStudio24 sat down for an interview with Dev Sharma, the co-founder, and CEO of Blockwiz to discuss the lessons he learned after 7 years of experience with Web3 marketing, his vision for Blockwiz, and the future of PR and marketing.
Blockwiz is an award-winning PR and marketing agency focused on crypto, blockchain, and the Web industry. Established in 2019 by Dev, the company has grown on a global scale and aspires to be the “crypto marketing powerhouse.”
Dev has been working in the field of Crypto Marketing for 7 years and was also part of various cryptocurrency-based firms in different positions. As the CEO of one of the largest Crypto Marketing agencies in the world, he deeply understands the importance of quality digital marketing to reach the right users for cryptocurrency projects.
Dev Sharma’s crypto journey
Dev is one of the pioneering personalities in the crypto industry which dates back to 2015 when there was no proper setup and only a few people were fully involved. According to him, the early market was all about exchanges, ICOs, airdrops, and forming communities.
When asked what motivated him to join the crypto industry, Dev shared his personal experience coming across the digital world during his student life when one of his friends got Bitcoin as a bounty for exposing a company’s vulnerability. Dev researched this new currency all night and immediately fell in love with it.
During this time, Dev had the opportunity to work with good brands as soon as he graduated from his college. His experience with crypto led him to open his own company, Blockwiz. Since then, Dev has been working in crypto marketing for almost 7 years.
Blockwiz by Dev introduces an innovative way of giving PR and marketing services based on his experience working with different crypto projects. Now, his company is one of the leading PR agencies in the space.
The Importance of Crypto Marketing
Dev has been promoting the importance of crypto marketing in the space for a long time. In the interview, he shared that instead of doing simple marketing, multiple dimensions need to be explored. If a brand hires influencers or doesn’t have a single directional strategy, it won’t have the same impact as the company with a complete digital marketing strategy would have.
Crypto digital marketing is much more optimized for your business KPI than only experts like Dev or other marketers can handle because they closely look at your product and customer base, and then create a perfect plan that covers all dimensions of marketing.
NFTStudio24 laid out an example of a crypto brand that puts up ad banners, promotes itself well on social media, and runs a full-suite digital marketing campaign, yet still fails to attract attention, to which Dev pointed out five key points that the brand missed:
1. Product Marketing: Explore your product and see if it is solving a problem.
2. Trust and Credibility: Build trust and credibility in your network and solution.
3. Team: Decide whether you want to build an in-house team or hire an outsource agency to help you develop your brand.
4. Legal Advisory and Finances: Always take care of your finances and legalities
5. 360 Digital Marketing: A complete digital market go-to plan before the launch of your product
“A lot of companies jump to point no. 5, which is an all-out marketing approach without covering the first four points which really form the fundamentals here,” Dev said.
Evolved digital marketing: from Web2 to Web3
In discussing digital marketing, Dev shared that a lot of current marketing strategies are traditional methods used in Web2. He believes digital marketing isn’t evolved to fulfill the demands of Web3.
The current marketing methods are similar to how Web2 promotes its products. Facebook puts ads on AdSense, there are Google ads everywhere you search, and Amazon also promotes its products on Google. So, all Web2 websites advertise their services for their target users.
In Web3, brands are utilizing the same methods. They promote NFT projects on social media platforms instead of OpenSea or Magic Eden. Dev believes this part of digital marketing hasn’t evolved but “we’re slowly going towards it soon.”
Customer satisfaction is the best marketing
Most Web3 startups and companies create a lot of hype during launch but after 2 or 3 months they lose their popularity quickly. According to Dev, the most important part is to listen to your customers. “Once you become customer-centric, that’s when you start unlocking a virality effect and no amount of marketing can solve that,” he said.
No brand can achieve organic and sustainable growth unless they listen to its customer’s needs and demands. After all, they’re the ones you’re going to sell your product or service to.
“Good marketing can kill a bad project,”
When talking about popularity, bootstrap startups tend to struggle to establish their brand compared to big companies. Dev believes small brands can match the pace of a bigger brand if their marketing approach is clever.
Big brands have money and power. They can buy anything with money to maintain their position in the market. Startups also have their advantages, especially if they adopt a customer-centric method. They can be more proactive and market solutions that big companies lack or take time to solve.
Dev’s experience with bootstrapping Blockwiz
Bootstrapping a startup from the ground up is quite a challenge especially when you have no funding investors or companies. Dev also built his company, Blockwiz from scratch.
Based on his experience, bootstrapping startups are very slow at the start with a younger team because no one can afford high-paying employees at first. You also need to do all the work by yourself. Building credibility is also slow and takes months and years based on how much effort you put into your work.
“Despite the disadvantages, the main advantage is you can take your own time without any pressure from investors, listen to customers, and don’t throw money at problems like big companies do,” he said.
Once your startup meets the tipping point, you can eventually pick up the pace and even grow faster in competitive markets than funded startups because you overcome your main problems before them.
Social Presence is important for any Web3 brand
According to Dev, a startup or a company is unlikely to succeed if they don’t have any social presence. Web3 is highly community-based, so the brands that are successful with building their own community are most likely to succeed.
“If you don’t set up a community, you don’t have a key player powering your ecosystem. I don’t think there are many examples of Web3 projects succeeding without community,” Dev said.
Future of Web3 and Crypto Marketing
NFTStudio24 asked Dev to share any changes he saw in Web3 over the year and what he predicts for the future of crypto marketing.
The changes in crypto marketing have been quite extensive. Dev observed that Discord used to be the main platform with OG members, but now Discord has become a primary source for building a brand where thousands of people join and interact every day. This is one of the most significant changes in Web3.
In terms of crypto marketing, Dev believes the shift is coming where Web3 projects will be promoted through Web3 brands. Creators will promote their NFT projects on the OpenSea website rather than Facebook, and it’s coming quite soon.
Web3 predictions with Dev Sharma
NFTStudio24 had a rapid-fire question with Dev Sharma to hear his thoughts on the current market and Web3.
Q. A marketing strategy that grabbed your attention in the Web3 space?
A. Kucoin and Paxful have been doing something unconventional with SEOs. They’re doing old-school digital marketing, which is really contradictory to everything we’re seeing in Web3
Q. What are your predictions on Bitcoin prices in 2023?
A. I think we might hit 50,000 at least. I don’t see an all-time high coming this year due to the macroeconomics and everything happening in the world.
Q. Top 3 crypto coins in your wallet and why?
A. 1. Bitcoin, 2. Ethereum, 3. MATIC
Q. What would Web3 look like in the next decade?
A. It would look exactly the same way. I feel like it’s just going to have more people, and more regulation but the overall agility and the speed and the hype don’t die down. I wish it looks the same way as it is now.
Dev’s message for NFTStudio24 viewers
Wrapping up the great interview, Dev Sharma shared an inspiring message to NFTStudio24 viewers:
If you’re a developer, an intern, still studying, or if you’re an entrepreneur, think of that opportunity. It’s a very unique time in the market as well as the world where creators are given more opportunities than big businesses and I feel that in a decade or so, we’re going to be looking back at 2022 as the decade where we innovated the most towards the Creator economy. We’re gonna be looking at it the same way as we looked at with the internet back in the 90s.”
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Note: The discussion above is not financial advice. Kindly make financial decisions at your own risk.