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Solving the Web 3 growth problem
Serotonin and Spindl are partnering
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
The public narrative about Web 2 is that it all exploded with organic and unstoppable virality. In reality, much of that consumer adoption was accomplished via ‘growth marketers’ who found ways to offer the right product to the right user at the right time, and then keep them happily using that same product.
For onchain to be the next online, there must be a reliable way for legit developers to drive usage of their products in an ethical and scalable way that plays well with Web 3 expectations around privacy. There must be a way to input $100 into a Web 3 growth machine, and get out more than that in revenue (or a desired number of active users). Marketing can rarely make up for a bad product, but even a good product isn’t guaranteed to win with bad (or non-existent) marketing.
To date, Web 3 projects looking to grow have had few options: NFT drops that go ignored, token rewards that often draw mercenary users, influencer campaigns of dubious impact. Assuming impact can even be measured: Most Web 3 marketers make do with legacy Web 2 tools or very non-actionable Dune queries. Without proper measurement, marketing becomes a media crap shoot no better than highway billboards, and even the smartest marketers can do no better than spray and pray.
Serotonin and Spindl are setting out to change all this.
Rather than paying for media in legacy models like CPM (cost per ad impression) and worrying about proxy metrics like clickthrough rate, which feels to this ad tech boomer like a very 2010 conversation, both companies think more crypto-native models should be applied to all media buying.
Roughly 10 months ago, Spindl set out to solve the attribution and measurement side of the problem, and we’ve mostly done that. Using Spindl, a marketer can generate a shareable link or instrument their app with a client-side SDK, and then understand where users came from and how well they monetized onchain. This all seamlessly works across Web 2 and Web 3, mobile and desktop, fiat and crypto, with one combined picture of the user. They can also reward the user, and whoever referred the user to the app, all natively onchain.
But technology isn’t enough.
We are routinely asked by projects looking to increase their usage about the best practices right now, which media works and doesn’t, and how to best increase the usage they can finally measure. Sometimes we’re even asked to submit DAO proposals ourselves for a user growth budget, the very odd and Web 3-specific way that some projects fund their marketing.
Our go-to line here is: We build the race car, but you or someone else has to drive it. For us, that someone else has often been Serotonin, a full-service media agency handling everything from PR to conferences to branding to the most numbers-driven growth marketing in Web 3.
After working closely with Serotonin on a number of client campaigns—making sure we measured client revenue correctly, thinking of the best user incentives, building yet more data infra to capture yet more channels—we realized this needed to be a tighter partnership to actually work. Serotonin provides the market-wide visibility and operational excellence to actually run campaigns; Spindl provides the necessary measurement technology to make data-driven marketing possible.
Today we’re announcing that Serotonin and Spindl have signed a partnership agreement: Spindl will work even closer with Serotonin and for Serotonin’s clients. What drove this was partly complimentary interests—Serotonin gets the best Web 3 measurement, as well as dedicated technical support; Spindl gets a book of new business—but also something else.
Both Serotonin and Spindl agree on what the future of Web 3 marketing looks like, and that’s something like the rev-share model of Web 3 referrals (which we half-seriously call CPV). Rather than paying for media in legacy models like CPM (cost per ad impression) and worrying about proxy metrics like clickthrough rate, which feels to this ad tech boomer like a very 2010 conversation, we both think more crypto-native models should be applied to all media buying. Rather than relive 10+ years of marketing history on the Web 2 side, going from untargeted and unmeasured traffic to carefully-measured performance, we should start building that correct end state right now.
Both Serotonin and Spindl believe that marketing will be far more complex and sophisticated, and ultimately more fair and decentralized, on the blockchain than in the legacy Web. But that will only happen if we build both the business models and technology the right way.
With this new partnership, that process starts now.