Blockchain: A new world of Digital Marketing Opportunities
November 22, 2018
We have all heard of Bitcoin. It is impossible not to have. I know of at least one person who tried to talk Spectrum customer support into accepting Bitcoin against his bill. Bitcoin has been alternatingly called the next currency standard as well as a scam. The reason is clear to see. Bitcoin prices skyrocketed recently and just as suddenly reduced by almost 50% in value. It’s volatile to say the least. But what is more interesting is the technology behind it: blockchain.
Blockchain and Digital Marketing
What is blockchain, you might ask? To put it simply, it is a way to create digital records that are tamper-proof and are transparent. Experts, even those against bitcoin, are in awe of blockchain. They say it could drastically change several industries, including digital marketing. Here are some ways in which the technology can fundamentally affect digital marketing:
1. Data Collection
2. Digital Advertising
3. Digital Security
Let’s briefly gloss over what to expect in each area.
The internet is available to anyone who has access to the traditional means. The companies behind these means are internet service providers and browsers. Through the “gateways” that we pass through, these companies gather a lot of data on our activities. In the Digital Age, this data is very valuable. In fact, just recently, Facebook got involved in a huge scandal. It allegedly sold data on its users to a third party in exchange for money. This was a wake-up call for many internet users. The data we generate on the internet can be actually used to influence us without us even knowing. Blockchain comes in as a solution to this problem. The network is completely built on verified signatures.
This means your data remains with you instead of the servers of whatever website you are on. The science behind how the blockchain verified signature works is dense. But the bottom line is, it won’t give marketers access to the data that is crucial to their efforts. This means digital marketers can no longer rely on data gathered by a website. Instead, data will have to be directly gathered from customers and prospects. This will cause a fundamental shift in the traditional approach to digital marketing.
Online ads are a very useful tool for digital marketers. But there are still many flaws in their working. They can prove to be costly for businesses to run and manage. They are also monopolized by 2 major giants, Google and Facebook. Blockchain aims to break this monopoly through its Brave and BAT initiatives. Ideally, advertisers will buy ads using BAT for the Brave blockchain browser. Users who opt to view these ads will get compensated by BAT. Both the consumers and the advertisers will compensate the publisher. This means it’s a win-win for all parties involved. All without compromising consumer data. More importantly, consumers can choose the relevant ads they want to see. This will change a lot about digital and social media marketing campaigns.
If you’re too young to remember Napster and the rise of mp3, you probably don’t remember the digital piracy epidemic. Nobody suffered as much as the artists of the music industry. We now have solutions to this problem like Spotify and iTunes. But the model is still not perfect. The owners of musical compositions get paid in peanuts for every stream on these two platforms. The licensing itself is a confusing maze. Blockchain could be the answer here. It could offer creative artists the ability to showcase their work and get exposure without the middlemen like YouTube or iTunes. There are actually certain projects that are working on just this.
Tao is a great example. It allows artists to make an IAO or an Initial Artist Offering which lets them create their own community. Fans purchase crypto tokens from the artist and get merchandise, tickets, records, and music in return. As an artist or band’s popularity rises, so will the value of their crypto token. It’s the digital equivalent of a vinyl LP!
Of course, it bears mentioning that there is no guarantee the digital landscape will end up like this. Blockchain is still in its infancy, especially when it comes to regulations. However, with teams of bright people developing blockchain applications, it will be interesting to see the results. If blockchain does become the standard of the future, then digital marketers will need to adapt. Which means a shift in conventional approaches to digital marketing as we know it. Even the way we see Spectrum Select package ads may soon be about to change.