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Adelyn Zhou Explains Why Community-Building Is The Heart Of Chainlink Labs’ Marketing

On a recent episode of the Marketing Trends podcast, CMO of Chainlink Labs Adelyn Zhou joined host Jeremy Berjeron to explain marketing’s unique role in emerging tech industries like blockchain, and how Chainlink has become the industry-leading oracle network by establishing cryptographic truth and nurturing an enthusiastic grassroots community that believes Chainlink oracles will create a more equitable and efficient world. 

Creating A Playbook From Scratch

Zhou said her background in marketing for nascent tech like AI led to her discovery of blockchain as the next big thing. Her knack for creating playbooks in new spaces was perfectly suited to Chainlink Labs, which is architecting the future of hybrid smart contracts and laying the groundwork for decentralized finance (DeFi)

“Especially here in blockchain, it is a whole new world,” Zhou said. “There are no playbooks. We’re creating it as we speak.”

When she joined Chainlink Labs several years ago, she was a marketing team of one. Now that Chainlink Labs is number one on FlexJobs’ list of the top 25 companies hiring remote workers, Zhou’s leading a team of over 50 and overseeing everything from communications, content, community and product marketing to developer relations as well as visual and product design. 

“People are the bedrock of what we do,” Zhou said when asked how Chainlink Labs adds to its fast-growing team while keeping its culture close to the chest. The company’s core values stem in large part from its Co-founder Sergey Nazarov, who champions the importance of ownership and focus. “These values have helped us get to where we are and move as quickly as we have in an industry that’s so full of noise and distractions,” Zhou said.

Bringing The Future To Fruition

The use cases for Chainlink’s data oracles and decentralized services across industries like DeFi, blockchain-based gaming and decentralized insurance are constantly on the rise, with 84 new Chainlink integrations announced last month alone. “You see more and more [integrations] and over time you see more and more of them come to fruition,” Zhou said. “People dreamed about a lot of these use cases years ago.”

She highlighted parametric insurance as a compelling use case and an example of how Chainlink Labs’ marketing takes a radically different approach than traditional paid advertising. The Chainlink Community Grant Program is dedicated to supporting teams creating increasingly more advanced hybrid smart contracts like those used to provide crop insurance to farmers in the developing world. 

Ultimately, Zhou said committed and continuous innovation builds community, especially among developers, for whom authenticity is key. “People don’t follow you because they see an ad; really it’s because they resonate with your vision and your brand.”

Her number one piece of advice to marketers in the realm of world-changing tech? “Community comes first.”

Listen to Jeremy Berjeron’s full interview with Adelyn Zhou on Episode 249 of the Marketing Trends podcast.

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