Most business leaders understand that innovation typically comes from the margins of the business, not from its core. This is why many companies will create research and development or innovation functions, separate from everyday operations.
Beyond the organization, the margin of the corporate environment is the point at which the innovation potential is higher. Enlightened entrepreneurs will know what the latest developments are. They know that if they ignore the latest developments, they will not have the foresight to know how their business could work more effectively or defend themselves from competitors enabled by some new technological innovation.
Blockchain is one of these innovations (see Econsultancy & # 39; s new report: Demystify Blockchain for marketers). While there has certainly been a lot of unbridled enthusiasm for blockchain, it would not be wise to dismiss it as a passing fad. Of course, the large-scale adoption of the blockchain may not take place within the next year but, as the evolution of the Internet, it has the "potential" to lead to the reform of entire industries.
Blockchain for marketing
It is only trying to correctly understand the blockchain that modern marketers will be able to evaluate the cases of use when they present themselves, or legitimately reject them. Until recently, blockchain innovation focused mainly on fintech, but there are many investments in blockchain-based marketing technology. Blockchain can influence marketing in different ways:
- Provision of services between companies and their customers
- Digital advertising
- Social media
1. Provision of services between companies and their customers
Blockchains can eliminate the need for intermediaries in certain types of transactions. According to Adam Helfgott, CEO of MadHive, "Today we use banks and other trusted arbitrators to say who owns what … Bitcoin is a protocol that uses an encryption mashup that includes message signing, hashing and a distributed registry for keep track of who has what – without an intermediary Blockchain that is taken from the bitcoin experiment is trying to apply it to all online aspects where trust is mediated by third parties who charge for that trust or are simply unreliable . "
Examples often cited in which blockchain can be used to remove the need for intermediaries to include platforms such as Airbnb and Uber instead of a centralized exchange system, where these types of companies mediate transactions between customers and suppliers, blockchains could distribute the power of the network between users (suppliers and customers).
For example, rather than looking for accommodation on Airbnb for a place to stay in New York, blockchain based so You could create solutions whereby accommodation providers and guests can be matched directly based on parameters of specific research without paying an intermediary. This could reduce transaction costs for all parties.
2. Digital advertising
One of the most acceptable use cases for blockchain is to solve problems related to transparency through the supply chain of the media to make the digital advertising ecosystem more transparent.
Blockchain could give advertisers greater control by cutting media intermediaries and, through verification, also create direct links with the audience that improve personalization and reduce fraud by improving ad and consumer verification.
Brave is an example of a blockchain-based browser and a decentralized and transparent blockchain-based ad exchange. The exchange uses a cryptocurrency called Basic Attention Token ("BAT") that works by making the Brave browser anonymously measure the attention to accurately reward publishers. Attention is measured in real time as content and ads appear in the active tab of the browser.
For advertisers, attracting customer attention becomes less expensive because the Brave browser allows publishers and advertisers to more accurately assess their attention with a more transparent system that provides advertisers with a clear attribution.
3. Social media
If blockchain has the potential to interrupt peer-to-peer business by connecting customers directly with suppliers, it could potentially usher in a new era of social networks beyond the control of key platforms like Facebook.
Blockchain evangelists suggest that blockchain-based social networks may offer a decentralized solution that could reduce concerns about privacy and publicity for users and might reward brands for the content they produce and distribute.
When will the blockchain become mainstream?
2017 saw many ideas, white papers and raising capital for blockchain initiatives. There is already some evidence of conceptual projects related to marketing now in use such as the Brave browser and the Basic Attention Token.
The blockchain experts I interviewed for our demystifying blockbase for marketing experts agree that it may take some time for the blockchain to reach proportions, partly because people still have to grasp the concept:
Johan Zammit, Founder and CEO, Smart Studios: "2017 was a year of conception with blockchain while 2018 is the year in which we started to build the cases of use."
Adam Hopkinson, COO & Co -Founder, Truth Media Agency: "For mainstream adoption, it will take at least a year from now for anyone to start building a viable product (based on time taken to build ours), so I would expect a truly mainstream adoption in mid-2019, followed by a metamorphosis in which it is like a British Standard Kite Mark by 2021. "
Adam Helfgott, CEO, MadHive: "We're still at the beginning days." In practice, most people are learning how this peer-to-peer value transfer mechanism will impact their daily business. not having centralized platforms to mediate those who are right and wrong is a new concept.In the next 36 months I would expect to see immense amounts of business innovation occurring due to peer-to-peer value transfer, enabled by blockchain.  Abe and Janmohamed, CEO, Papyrus: "Mass adoption of blockchain will happen faster than the adoption of mobile devices. We have created the binaries for the protocol to be implemented and it is now a matter of educating consumers about the values of the blockchain and what value it can bring to the ecosystem. Markets such as Africa and Latin America have adopted mobile and skipped the desktop and are already ahead of the Western world on the blockchain and the value it brings. "
The challenges to the blockchain become mainstream
Critics suggest that despite the exaggeration and awareness around the blockchain, there is still not a classic blockchain killer application in addition to the (encrypted) currency speculation and the facilitation of illegal transactions.
Issus includes costs and complexity, speed and usability, a fragmentation of blockchain-based solutions, regulation and a general learning curve about the concept
Becoming familiar with the blockchain
It seems that the blockchain be advertised as a solution to all business problems these days: Leaders will need to exercise caution and avoid the use of blockchain blockchain.This is one of the main reasons why marketers should learn to blockchain so that they can effectively evaluate technological solutions to business problems.
Robert Cooke, Director of Partnerships, Cube Intelligence: "Consumers and businesses need to be educated about the benefits the blockchain offers to ensure general acceptance."
Blockchain should not be used simply because it is blockchain. There may be other solutions that involve other technologies or even make current business processes more transparent than they currently are.
Miro Walker, CEO, Cognifide: "You have to ask if you're jumping on the bandwagon hype or is there a real problem you're trying to solve? Ask if there's a real break that you need to move forward or is there an opportunity to provide something useful to your consumers by making use of the capabilities offered by blockchain technologies? Marketers need to start understanding the concept. use cases and domains in which blockchain can be used.This is the exciting part that will drive interesting conversations between brands, their agencies and consultancies to start creating some really interesting innovations in this space. "
The future of the blockchain
Modern marketers would be wise to consider Amara's law: "We tend to overestimate the effect of short-term technology and underestimate the long-term effect . "
In other words, do not let yourself be lulled by inaction. While blockchain applications continue to expand, marketers will need to equip themselves with the knowledge they need to assess the potential of the blockchain for their work, their organization and their industry.
We wrote a report, Demystifying Blockchain: Guidelines for marketers, to do just that. that this relationship will stimulate modern marketers to think more expansively of this exciting topic. Ideas for related content on blockchain are welcome.