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Marc Mathieu (Salesforce): "Companies' NFT projects are becoming much more serious".

Marc Mathieu (Salesforce): "Companies' NFT projects are becoming much more serious".

The US customer relationship management (CRM) giant is now enabling companies to offer Web3 experiences to their customers. We spoke to one of its managers.

Salesforce is a web2 giant, so why did you launch a product based on web3?

We work with over 100,000 companies and a significant proportion of them are aimed at consumers who must have been 10 years old when the first iPhone came out (2007, ed. note). New technologies' are the norm for them. They are very comfortable with cryptos, NFTs, generative artificial intelligence...

By integrating Web3 solutions into our offering, we will enable brands to be more relevant with these customers, who sometimes represent up to 40% of their sales.

Concretely, what can the Salesforce platform do?

The first use for brands is to be able to create loyalty programmes with what is known as token gating, a kind of digital passport. You need a token to access a service or product.

The second use is to be able to manage "digital doubles", which is increasingly common for cars or luxury watches. These digital doubles, in the form of NFTs, are certificates of digital authenticity.

The third use is what I call "NFTs for good". A brand can support a cause as soon as someone will mint (create) one of its NFTs.

Other companies such as France's Arianee also allow brands to create NFTs based on this model. What makes your offering different?

Without a doubt our size and our customer relationship management system. Our web3 offering is directly integrated into it, whereas the web3 players like Arianee, with whom we work, are more wallet-to-wallet messaging platforms.

Who takes care of creating the NFTs? Is it Salesforce or do you work with service providers?

For creation, we work with agencies such as MediaMonks or AI Studio, while for implementation we work with Accenture or Deloitte.

Our business model is to develop the ecosystem with partnerships like those I've just mentioned or then with others that are more specific depending on our customers' needs.

Which ones, for example?

For wallets, we have worked with Ledger.

What type of companies are you targeting?

We are targeting medium and large companies that already have a CRM system and have identified Web3 as an asset in their customer relations. If these technologies continue to develop, we are the right player to industrialise the process.

Today, some companies manage their web3 projects in a rather traditional way. But if they want a scalable solution, they're going to have to scale up, and that's where we come in. Not to mention the fact that we help build trust in an environment where companies sometimes find it difficult to identify the right partners.

Is Salesforce Web3 already available to all your customers?

The solution has been launched, but we're still being selective about which companies can use it. We are focusing on certain industries and use cases. We are currently working with several groups such as the ready-to-wear brand Scotch & Soda and the toy manufacturer Mattel.

Which brand projects have interested you?

We are closely following what Starbucks, Nike and Ticketmaster are doing. For me, these are the projects that could, in time, become the major Web3 use cases for brands, even if there is still a long way to go.

Many companies have understood the subject, they know what they need to do and also the mistakes they need to avoid. We can see that we've gone beyond the gadget experimentation phase and that projects are now much more serious, with companies wanting to scale up.

How do you make money from this activity?

Our income comes from minting NFTs or API calls, which enable us to automatically retrieve data for our customers, such as checking that a wallet is not fraudulent. For a while, we considered charging a fee for each token transfer, but as the trend is towards free transactions, we didn't think this was appropriate.

Which blockchains are available in your system?

We have only integrated blockchains that we consider to be 'long-term'. Polygon is one of them. We also added Ethereum at the end of 2022 after the switch to Proof-of-Stake. It's undoubtedly one of the blockchains most in demand by our customers.

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