Without a single doubt blockchain technology is about as revolutionary as it gets and has the potential to impact the world in a way only few inventions ever have.
The marketing industry might not be the first one that comes to mind when thinking about cryptocurrencies and tokens, yet the imminent effect they will have on how marketing is done will be enormous.
Blockchain networks are built on a peer-to-peer system. Where its users can interact directly with each other, eliminating the need for third parties to get involved. Imagine being able to send money to a friend, client or company without having to use a payment service like banks, credit cards or Paypal.
With blockchain tech you can directly send your money from your digital wallet to another’s. And it does not stop with money – almost any digital or physical asset can be stored in a blockchain network and directly transferred between its users.
In this way, any information can be exchanged between two or more parties without a central instance or entity to get involved.
The developments have not hit the mainstream yet and are still in their infancy as of now. Yet, soon, they will make it a necessity for any marketer to strongly adjust their strategies to the blockchain enabled world.
The 5 main impacts of blockchain-enabled marketing
Let’s take a closer look at how blockchain technology will influence the future of marketing.
1. Facebook and Google will get challenged
It is almost impossible to imagine but marketing without the need for third parties points to the fact that the business models of Facebook and Google will be challenged. If they are not able to adapt, they will face hard times.
As of now they can use the data of their users and create their revenue from that. The blockchain based internet with its decentralised applications will allow for users to take ownership of their own data again. Advertisers will need to directly interact and pay them to get their adverts in front of the consumers’ eyes.
Consumers will be able to choose if they even want to give their data away. Ultimately that would cause the demise of the centralised approach to online marketing as we know it.
2. Easier Ad Delivery and more control
Using and integrating trackers into adverts is going to be a lot easier with the use of blockchain. Without any interruption these can be tracked and will be able to deliver detailed information about impressions, the target audiences reached and the actions they have taken.
The reliance on the big two – Facebook and Google, will decrease even more. Enabling a more direct interaction of advertiser and potential consumer making ads more specific and targeted.
3. Consumer insights will be easier
In today’s world marketers can claim pretty much anything. “The most sold product” or “fully organic”, could be a part of their message without the consumer really being able to know if this is true.
In a blockchain world, consumers can immediately see if these kind of claims are true. It can easily be imagined to have some kind of QR codes or RFID chips that are storing the whole supply chain, reviews, and production facts being attached to any good or service. In this way, consumers could scan products directly at the point of sale and have all this information available.
Opening the way for a totally new transparency, as any product, be it digital or physical would have a definite identity that all information would be attached to. Imagine an Amazon or Tripadvisor review style on steroids.
4. Loyalty points will become interchangeable
Up until now loyalty points of company A can hardly ever be used with company B. On a tokenised Internet this will become very easy to do. Customers will be able to simply exchange their loyalty points from retail, travel and financial products.
This will make the individual points a lot more valuable as they are not only a part of a fragmented loyalty world anymore. That way consumers’ points for grocery shopping will make their next flight cheaper and vice versa.
A whole new way to use loyalty programs is opening up with blockchain networks.
5. Smart contracts
Contracts tend to be complicated and time-consuming. Getting the legal aspects right involves a lot of time and money.
Smart contracts can make this process a lot easier. These contracts are written in code and take care of all aspects of a cooperation or collaboration without any loopholes. If the set parameters of a smart contract are fulfilled or not fulfilled the according predefined action will automatically be triggered and processed.
Creating trust on both sides and taking out the need for a middleman making sure the contractual statements would be full-filled.
An example could be a contract with an influencer stating that he is going to get paid X amount when 1000 views have been reached. The smart contract would automatically be triggered in this event without further human action needed.