Data & Tech

The Discord community where marketers learn about Web3

At more than 600 members, Jump focuses on discussions about “the intersection of crypto and Web3 and marketing.”
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Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Photo: Jump, Getty Images, Discord

· 6 min read

Thanks to moves from McDonald’s, Adidas, and Budweiser, advertisers left 2021 with at least a vague understanding of the Web3 alphabet soup—rich with non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrency, and, of course, the metaverse.

Last year, brands created and bought NFTs, carved out virtual real estate, and earned headlines, but not much else. While time (and wallets) will tell whether these were one-off gimmicks—a mass-meta-crypto-fever dream—or meaningful engagement tactics, one chat room is trying to make sense of it all.

Called Jump, it’s billed as the first “tokenized community for marketing and advertising professionals.” Housed on messaging platform Discord, it’s where advertisers can follow the intersection of Web3 and their industry, ask questions, and join groups by interests.

Since it started last June, Jump has grown to more than 630 members, publishes a twice-weekly newsletter, and has held (virtual) roundtables with executives from Publicis, Playboy, and artist-slash-musician Young & Sick.

On Jump, conversations range from discussions about branded NFTs to privacy in the metaverse. There are channels about sports, gaming, and music. (An ad-tech channel was retired due to low activity. Shocking.)

Like many other online communities, the conversation is often free-flowing; it can be hard to keep up, even if it’s just members sharing links.

“I can’t walk into a meeting and just talk with 20 other people and have a conversation about the intersection of crypto and Web3 and marketing. I don’t know if it’s happening anywhere other than inside Jump,” said its founder Jeff Kauffman Jr., who was previously head of business and product innovation at The Richards Group, a job he left last year. He’s now also founder and CEO of Parachute, a consultancy helping marketers navigate Web3.


Web3—the decentralized, blockchain-based internet, sort of like a new internethas become the catchall term for anything relating to cryptocurrency, the metaverse, and NFTs. Those that proselytize Web3 envision an internet where communities, including the Jump Discord members, have ownership of their experiences (as opposed to massive tech firms like Google).

Kauffman is in the process of structuring Jump as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) through an incubator for tokenized communities, and Jump currently gives tokens to its members.

Remember when crypto investors tried to buy the Constitution? That was a DAO—basically, a collection of people who’ve bought into an internet community, whether financially (by buying tokens with cryptocurrency) or by earning tokens through work done within that community, something Kauffman calls “sweat equity.” Token holders can then dictate the decisions the group makes. That’s how Jump is currently organized.

Unlike many other DAOs, Jump’s tokens aren’t tied to monetary value. In the community’s first several months, tokens were doled out by Kauffman himself. Now, the group is focusing on specific projects or “workstreams” that “put tokens in the hands of jumpers,” Kauffman explained. These tasks range from organizing the group’s events and roundtables to rebranding Jump and designing a website for the community.

The more tokens a user has, the more weight their votes carry, though tokens aren’t used for voting yet. “The idea is that the community will be governed literally by the people who get their hands dirty,” said Kauffman. (This reporter was given 10 Jump tokens. He doesn’t know what to do with them, but for ethical reasons, he won’t be using them.)

All together now

Over the course of a 47-minute interview with Kauffman, “community” was said nearly 100 times. Though Kauffman is adamant about the future of Web3, the future of Jump is unknown. Not because he isn’t confident, but because he isn’t in charge. The community is.

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“I foresee a future where we just kind of act as a DAO marketing and advertising agency, where we work with other DAOs to help broadcast their content and create their marketing strategy,” said Jeremy Olken, VP and director of digital innovation at Omnicom Health Group.

In this future, Jump tokens would be traded with another DAO’s tokens, acting as a form of payment.

Why would a DAO need a marketing strategy? Well, ideally, the value of its token, whether monetizable or not, increases, so getting people to join and be excited is crucial.

Olken was an early member of Jump, but has been “deep” into the Web3 and crypto space for the past few years. “I was trying to apply some of those concepts to the agency that I work at,” he said. “How can we begin educating our clients, our brands, our agencies, in general? Just being a part of this is incredibly valuable.”

As of now, the Jump community has two pretty clear use cases: as a platform for networking and as a safe space to ask questions. Keith Soljacich, head of innovation at Publicis Media, posted in mid-December that he was working with “some of the biggest brands in the world” on their Web3 strategies and was looking to expand his team. (Soljacich didn’t respond when Marketing Brew asked which brands he was referencing.)

Brendan Gahan, a partner and chief social officer at Mekanism, believes that Jump is “going to create a group of Web3 apostles that are going to go out and preach the church of Web3” to agencies. “Some are going to have success, some aren’t going to land, but we’re going to be out there evangelizing this stuff, and we’ll convert more people to Jump,” he told us. “I am fully drinking the Web3 Kool-Aid.”

Since joining Jump, Gahan told Marketing Brew he’d brought up Web3 with clients, though none have bitten yet.

Daniel Kelly, founder and general manager of augmented-reality strategy company Avonni, joined Jump at the suggestion of his crypto-curious business partner. While Kelly’s not “super deep into it,” he’s still found it useful as an educational tool and a firsthand experience he can share with clients.

“You can’t talk about something without at least getting your feet wet,” he said. “You have to jump in and see what it’s all about.”

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