We’ve so often heard about how new tech disrupts industries that it has become cliché. Whether it’s IoT, smart glasses, or even AI, there’s always this constant conversation about how new and innovative tech is going to change things. With blockchain, though, it’s more than just hot air. It’s the truth.
From healthcare to insurance, blockchain has the potential to impact an array of industries. Aiming to solve problems including remittance, intermediaries, and even proof of ownership, there’s a lot of applications blockchain can bring about. However, it’s the recent innovations in marketing and advertising that have been at the forefront. This has been fascinating both in how marketing practices have changed and how new technology has played a role.
One of the biggest stories to come out of blockchain last year was the explosion of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). If you’re not familiar, ICOs, are public sales of a coin or token as a means of raising funds for a project. Similar to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, ICOs became massively popular, with companies receiving millions. However, this wasn’t without its hiccups, which marketing companies had to learn to combat.
According to Bitcoin.com, 46 percent of ICOs failed last year. While some companies were well-intentioned with their token sale, the lack of regulation led to an immense amount of fraud. As a result, companies like Facebook and Instagram banned them from advertising And MailChimp straight up banned any blockchain or cryptocurrency projects from using their service. As these traditional channels were unavailable, blockchain marketers had to get creative.
For marketers to have a successful token sale meant building trust with their audience. For example, companies like Deedcoin were able to build an audience by compiling solid press, which lent them authority from trusted sources. Furthermore, using the chat messaging app Telegram enabled people to communicate with the founders and team members in real time, which gave these leaders an opportunity to showcase that they know their stuff. A big lesson for marketers here is how to be scrappy and resourceful — how to rely on grassroots and organic efforts.
Many in the tech world believe that blockchain could potentially change the world for good. This altruistic approach was seen early on with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin being able to serve the unbanked – huge for developing nations. This idea has led to a whole new sector of social entrepreneurship. Even with such a philanthropic goal, it can be hard to explain this new tech and how it helps to the masses.
When it comes to marketing social entrepreneurship in the blockchain, there are a lot of layers and steps necessary to educate potential users and customers. An excellent example is with Dispatch Labs, who are creating a protocol to build scalable DApps (decentralized applications), with some of their early projects giving back by donating money via smart contracts.
One thing they do right communication-wise is simplifying their message, cutting out all the unnecessary noise surrounding how blockchain, protocols, or dApps work, and instead talking directly about how the user can become engaged. Setting a precedent like this could make a big difference later. With the blockchain industry estimated to be worth $3.6 billion by 2023, even a fraction of that going back to charity could make a world of difference.
The most significant takeaway from social entrepreneurship and blockchain is how companies are able to communicate complex ideas in a simple form. Especially for the CMO that works in tech, taking a page out of this playbook can be a smart move. Remember, the more you can help people understand and believe in your product, the easier it will be to spread word-of-mouth.
Beyond just marketing for blockchain companies, the actual blockchain technology has also started to make a significant difference in the advertising and marketing industries. Although still in its infancy, a lot of blockchain uses have been the perfect fit for early use cases, especially projects that deal with proof-of-stake or proof-of-ownership. Forbes noted that blockchain is already combatting the $7 billion in fraudulent advertising sales, which goes to show the value this industry holds for one application alone.
One use of blockchain technology is to verify the source where a file comes from allowing secure copyright and file transfer for creators wishing to sell their work on an enterprise level to agencies (e.g. typefaces, b-roll, etc.). Furthermore, being able to apply a quid-pro-quo smart contract system on the blockchain enables more transparency in advertising purchases too, reducing fraud. Who knows what other amazing innovations will be coming in the next few months.
What are some innovative strategies you’re interested in implementing within blockchain and marketing? Comment with your answers below!