By Frederik Bussler, Security Token Alliance, Founder
There’s a saying in entrepreneurship: A business without users isn’t a business. Well, there isn’t, but there should be, especially in the blockchain world. We’ve come a long way since Bitcoin in 2008, with hundreds of blockchain applications created (though fewer than that are out on the market and with actual users).
In spite of the fact that there are blockchain apps out there with hundreds of thousands of users, it seems that some people are still sticking their heads in the sand and saying (in a muffled voice) that blockchain is just a fad.
However, one protocol and application can put those arguments to rest: WOM Protocol and the YEAY app, led by Melanie Mohr.
The WOM (word-of-mouth) Protocol connects content creators, authenticators (who rate the genuinity of product recommendations), and platforms (like YEAY).
Clearly, there’s a need for genuine, trust-able product recommendations in the marketing and branding space, as YEAY has amassed around 800,000 downloads. Take that, anti-blockchain Dilbert cartoons!
Basically, WOM Protocol allows content creators and authenticators to get paid. It has turned influencer and authenticator into real jobs, as these players are awarded with the WOM token for participating in the network. The killer use-case is tapping into word-of-mouth (the highest converting marketing channel) by incentivizing everyone involved in an authentic way.
If you’re a brand trying to get the name out for a new product or service, your best bet is word-of-mouth recommendations.
So if you see a WOM recommendation somewhere, you’ll want to make sure it has the highest visibility it can get. Naturally, you’ll allocate some of your marketing budget to boosting that WOM recommendation.
The person who made that recommendation is rewarded with more and more WOM tokens as the visibility increases, as are the people viewing the recommendation by rating its genuity. One brand example is adidas, which was the first brand to purchase WOM tokens.
If we compare and contrast this with more traditional marketing strategies, like paid ads, the advantages of WOM become clear.
As a marketer, I’ve experimented with countless paid ads, and I’ve recognized that it’s easy to glorify paid ads, the allure of money-for-clicks is almost enough to make you forget that a lot of those clicks came from bots, click farms, or are just simply not relevant. WOM is aiming to fix this broken ecosystem, by creating a platform based on authentic, genuine recommendations.
As a user of a product or service, you can recommend it on platforms like YEAY, and get paid to do so. If you’re a micro-influencer or even an influencer, you can be in for a nice pay-day.
If you’re not really into the content creation side, you can still earn tokens as an authenticator, or someone who checks the authenticity of recommendations.
Ultimately, WOM Protocol enables brands to tap into word-of-mouth marketing, a massive industry, while creating a more genuine and authentic social network for Gen Z.