A world in which we are accountable for our every action sounds like an unpleasant fever dream to some and like utopia to others, but we are still far from that reality. However, we are edging closer to it in small, universally approved and publicly registered steps, which cannot be denied once taken. This is why blockchain is the next step in our coming to terms with our imperfections and our acceptance of the fact that while it would be great to be able to trust people unreservedly, they are not always trustworthy.
By allowing you to dictate the terms under which you’ll enter an agreement just as much as the other side and ensuring that involved parties are identifiable and accountable, blockchain does a great job of covering for some of our basic human flaws, creating a more trusting, and consequently, a more productive and vibrant environment.
Some of the changes that the increased adoption of this technology is bound to cause in digital marketing will be inevitable, something that you have to deal with or overcome; but others will be welcomed and actively explored because of all the potential benefits they can bring. You should be prepared for either.
Blockchain is equally focused on protecting information and on making it accessible. So, while the parties involved in a contract will, depending on their transactions, be required to provide a set of personal information, that information won’t be available to just anyone. As a digital marketer, you need to be able to appreciate the potential of this kind of structured data, even though you cannot reach it in any other way than by directly requesting it from the owners.
If this doesn’t seem like much of an improvement to you there are two things you need to consider:
- Accuracy – while more difficult to obtain, this data will be far more reliable, focused and comprehensive than what you’ve been able to gather from traditional sources. This means less waste from failed targeting and fewer surprises in general.
- Legal aspects – data privacy is becoming more of a burning issue as each day goes by. With GDPR taking swing, United States Congress getting involved and the huge part of the population believing that they can unreservedly exercise their right to free speech without it ever endangering their right to privacy, you want to have a clear record of what you did and didn’t do once someone starts pointing their finger your way.
Getting that data from relevant prospects may be as simple as straight-out buying it, but even if you find that you need to invest much more effort into obtaining it, it is going to be worth it as long as you are capable of properly incorporating it into your overall strategy.
More transparency with blockchain
We’ve already mentioned transparency, but have only touched upon one of its aspects. Needless to say, a radical change in this direction would have a much wider impact on digital marketing than what we’ve discussed.
One of its most anticipated benefits would be the ability to cut out the regulatory bodies that we are paying to regulate us. In other words, the amount of trust in trackable transactions that blockchain would allow us to circumvent the middlemen we once needed to ensure the satisfaction of both parties.
The ability to trust each other allows smaller entities to form direct collaborations, avoid unnecessary expenses or limitations, be more creative in their marketing, and carve a place for themselves somewhere far away from the overcrowded watering holes created around the dominant, perhaps soon to be obsolete, intermediaries. Decentralized finances allow for decentralized markets, which allow for greater freedom in deciding how you are going to grow and promote your business.
Changing consumer habits
Your clients are not your only concern, it’s your clients’ clients that you really need to keep an eye on. Conscientious and professional digital marketing agencies promoting a business will pay more attention to helping their clients than finding a way to attract new ones, and that is exactly what you are doing by learning to anticipate the behaviour of your client’s target audience.
The proliferation of blockchain is going to cause serious ripples in all markets and industries, and the consumers are going to change accordingly. If you even want to think about formulating a long-term marketing strategy, you will need to anticipate the direction of these changes and account for them in your plan. What is a typical buyer journey going to look like? How much more pronounced are the differences in marketing funnels of your clients working in different industries going to get? How will you adjust your strategies, and ensure that you can absorb such a huge increase in workload?
There’s no need to go into detail about how protecting your client’s interests means protecting your own, so do your best to prepare for the possibility of a drastic change of habits of their target audiences.
Since the limits of blockchain’s application potential aren’t even close to being fully explored yet, we are not left with much apart from speculation regarding the benefits increased transparency and data reliability are going to bring. However, what is forecasting if not informed speculation? While there is no way to accurately predict the changes this technology might bring in just a couple of years, doing your best to keep coming up with educated guesses on the subject is bound to give you a head start on those who leave the speculating to others.