It is not an easy road to adoption of crypto and blockchain in the marketing industry. It is clear that transformation is on the horizon and will soon become a highway.
I have been creative director, partner, owner of an agency, strategic planner, chief market officer for fintech startups, and entrepreneur.
What are the common features of marketing revolutions?
While every “marketing revolution” is different, there are some commonalities. Marketing agencies will be ahead of the curve to show their clients their competitive advantage and their value. However, most brand marketers will take a slower approach to change. They face the challenge of socializing change internally and are attracted by the possibility of competitive differentiation. This is why brands like Walmart and McDonald’s are exploring crypto but still have a long way to go.
Second, like most transformational moments in marketing, the core challenge is behavioral. How do you get customers/consumers take that first step? To overcome fear/distrust or simply inertia to make their first transaction. Consider the early days of internet, when you had to connect a modem to get dial-up access. You also had to encourage people to use online banking to pay their first bill, or deposit their first check electronically. QR-codes were an ineffective tool until Apple created a QR reader built into the iPhone’s camera.
Simpleness is the common denominator. It is difficult for mainstream consumers to navigate an innumerable number of exchanges, Metamask and Uniswap, as well as hot and cold wallets and other similar services. Although early adopters may be doing well, they are only a small fraction of the overall population.
Related: Cryptocurrency, the rise of the user-generated brand
Innovation happens when there are problems to solve. The champions of crypto, from the Cypherpunks and modern-day evangelists talk about how privacy, decentralization, and the democratization money will transform the world. Marketers see the issues as related but less prominent.
Projects like Lucidity (now Logiq), for example, aim to address the problem of bot-driven fraud in digital marketing. The browser Brave and the token BAT that it accompanies promise to protect data privacy while searching the internet. AdsDax, IBM and others are working together to increase transparency and accountability in digital marketing performance.
You are just around the corner
You can find the onramp to blockchain/crypto highway marketing all around you, right now. Take a look at:
Payments: With the emergence of crypto credit cards such as those offered by Coinbase and Crypto.com, BlcokFi… the possibility to pay with cryptocurrency on PayPal… buy now and pay later (BNPL), platforms like Klarna integrating Safello… it is safe to assume that the payments category will rapidly evolve and have a significant impact on the way products and services engage customers.
Analytics: The digital marketing revolution is based on data analytics. Marketers can leverage this information to their advantage in a distributed ecosystem. The potential uses of querying tools like onChain analytics, Chainlink and querying tools like The Graph for brand marketers are just a few examples.
Content creation: Rights of content creators as well as publishers have been a major topic in the marketing industry. Audius and other projects are showing how a decentralized ledger can be a gamechanger for copyright protection. Consumers have more control over how they consume and pay for content and how it is stored and distributed.
Similar: Capturing intellectual property revenues lost with blockchain
Social media: Twitter announced recently that it has hired an executive to lead its BlueSky exploratory to establish a standard for social media. Facebook claims to be piloting its own stablecoin-based digital currency, Diem. The past five years have seen social media and content marketing as the mainstays of brand marketing. There is little to no reason to believe this will change.
Loyalty: Customer relationship management programs that are unable to create a “currency to reward behavior change and not just defend defection often have a hard time creating one. Projects like Cryptibles or Enjin offer a new way to make loyalty work. The promise of NFTs for “digital ticket” to exclusive experiences such as that offered by Microsoft, collectible trade and auctions and the ability to link in-person events with digital experiences is a promising new frontier.
Similar: Brands should tokenize loyalty and reward programs
Gamification: Axie Infinity’s impressive growth shows just how powerful play-to-earn and NFTs are. Although Axie Infinity is a standalone game, it hints at a future in which brands will be able to gamify their marketing strategies in a semi-decentralized manner and even create their own games.
Ingredient brands: When will the blockchain on which a product or service is built becomes an “ingredient branding” in the same way Visa and Mastercard are to a credit card issuing bank, or Intel to a Windows-based computer? We will see Flow power the NBA Top Shot. It’s not a crazy idea, considering all the investor interest in crypto-related projects.
The Metaverse: Looking into the future
If the past is any indication, the decentralized digital future is going to fundamentally change the way marketing is done. As the UX of technology becomes easier and more intuitive, its utility increases and adoption increases. Behavioral hurdles are gradually but surely being overcome.
While I have previously presented my thesis on the rise of the user generated brand (UGB), I would like to look into the future and create a vision of a personal Web 3.0 decentralized consumer community.
Related: Could a new, decentralized internet (Web 3.0) be possible?
This is what you can imagine: Web 3.0 has been in place, and crypto and blockchain technology are everywhere. The fight for regulation has been won. Transaction speed, scalability, and resilience are all now in question. After several waves of merged project, consolidation, and an inevitable shakeout there are now dominant projects in all categories.
Everyone on the internet now has a private key to a blockchain in their personal metaverse. This allows them to build their “private home” (which can be named as they like). Their Metaverse House (MVH), which is easy to access, will allow them to storeexplore and acquire using their universal wallet.
Their MVH will contain their electronic health record, legal documents, profile, preferences, and NFTs. They can also “hang” them on their virtual walls. They can access only the items they want to make public by using a privacy “viewkey.” All other information is secure and private.
In this case, the consumer is paid in crypto for agreeing that they will be targeted for advertising. For example, someone might want Nexium to tell him how to eliminate acid reflux. To do this, they will simply need to make their entire health record public with their view key. They will be rewarded if they engage with the ad unit as per their smart contract. They can simply upload their public key to the brand’s website if they are researching a car or would like it to send them offers. It’ll appear in their MVH… and continue to show up until the prospect revokes it.
Consumers don’t always know what can solve their problems or add value to the lives of others. This is why they will toggle on Surprise Me! Advertisers will need to pay a premium to get this option. This means that they’ll have to be more selective in who they target using AI/predictive modelling which analyzes publicly available profiles and transaction histories.
Because almost all advertising can be addressed by then, it will be possible to deliver the things people really want when they want them.
Similar: Building the Metaverse with no bias: New industry, new rules
Consuming content, whether streaming video, article online, or podcasts, they will pay using their universal wallet. This will not be a monthly subscription. The publisher will offer a variety of options to choose from: You can pay by the time spent on the site, the content accessed, or any other arrangement the publisher may have for its customers. It will not be paid in large monthly chunks. Instead, it will be split into smaller payments.
Their MVH chain records transactions across multiple sites and services and allows for a new type of loyalty program. This will allow a group of brands from different sectors to come together and create something that is unlike anything Upromise or Plenti could ever do.
Need auto insurance? Instead of buying it from an underwriter like State Farm, Progressive, or Geico, you will connect with other members in a peer to peer smart contract cooperative. Arbitrators act as adjusters and get fees for each “verdict.”
I could go on.
You can shop and bank directly from your MVH, regardless of whether you have stablecoins that are issued by your country. You can ask retailers to bid on your business by price, added value, bundle offers, etc. You want to purchase something in a store located halfway across the globe? It’s possible to exchange currency electronically and decentralized.
Consumers will be able to decide how many of their shopping transactions are made public, or not — which means that they can be used for marketing analytics as described above. Advertisers should be careful to show consumers the value of their business and not harass them.
Is this not possible? It is possible. You decide.
However, Ken Kesey’s eloquent words suggest that when it comes to roads worth travelling, you either get on or off the bus.
This article is not intended to provide investment advice. Every trade and investment involves risk. Readers should do their research before making any decision.
These views, thoughts, and opinions are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cointelegraph.
Rich Feldman is currently the marketing manager for Finario, a SaaS provider of enterprise capital planning. Prior to joining Finario, Rich Feldman was the chief marketing officer of PrimaHealth Credit. He was also an owner/partner of Doner CX and the chief strategy officer of Doner CX, which he managed the CRM, analytics and digital media, as well as other strategic areas. Rich is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut University, where he serves as an advisory board member of The Ancell School of Business. He has also lectured on strategy at New York University’s Master’s Program of Marketing. Rich is also the author and editor of Deconstructing Creative Strategy.