At first glance, the use of blockchain in marketing doesn’t seem to “fit.” After all, blockchain is a technology for secure and transparent transactions, contracts, and documentation, etc. And we think of marketing as content – websites, blogs, social media postings, ads, emails, etc.
But just as blockchain is disrupting almost every economic sector, from logistics and manufacturing, to travel, insurance, education, finance, healthcare and more, it promises disruptions for marketing too.
Here are just three ways in which blockchain will impact brand marketing.
Transparency in Production Will Add Value to a Brand
It began with millennials. It continues with Generation Z on an even larger scale. These two demographics are demanding that companies with whom they choose to do business demonstrate social responsibility. And that translates to many things – commitment to human rights, contributing to those less fortunate, and, critically important, sustainability, ethics, and responsibility in production processes.
This is why consumers are seeing more and more labels on products, such as “cruelty-free,” “organic,” “sustainable,” etc.
Millennials and coming Gen Z’ers make up a large portion of the consuming public, and that will only grow. It is estimated that, by 2020, millennials will have purchasing power worth about $1.4 trillion annually. Gen Z is already spending up to $45 billion a year, and the youngest in that generation is still only age 3.
But these generations are not willing to take a company’s word for it. Just placing a label on something is no proof, and they want definitive proof. What is the production chain that merits these labels?
When brands can record and document their production processes, from the raw materials, to worker conditions, to distribution, and show that they truly practice ethics and sustainability, the brand value increases in the eyes of these huge consuming generations.
And the entire process from source material to consumer can be documented via blockchain. It’s transparent and provable. When companies can prove that they are casing no harm to the environment; when they can demonstrate that their workers are in safe and comfortable environments and receiving a living wage; when they can show that their inventory management does not result in destruction of surplus and adding to “garbage,” then consumers have trust. And trust means increased revenue.
Blockchain Records and Stores Contractual Agreements
Affiliate marketing has become big business. In short, marketers agree to pay a commission to another external web-based source for traffic or sales that come from its referrals.
And with affiliate marketing comes contracts for payment. When blockchain is used to record and store these agreements, there is never any question about the amount to be paid to an affiliate.
Blockchain can also track and record the actual traffic that has been generated, so that disputes will not occur.
A company that uses blockchain for its affiliate marketing efforts will sustain its reputation for reliability of payments. It establishes a level of trust that brings more affiliates to the table.
Global Contractual Agreements
Many businesses are expanding their marketing reach to foreign markets. This means that content and websites must be translated and localized. And it also means that a translation service company, such as The Word Point, must be secured for those translations. Again, ontracts are involved, and blockchain solidifies them.
Blockchain and Advertising
Part of most every marketing campaign involved paid advertising, usually through a PPC venue or direct ads on search engine results. The pricing and costs can get a bit complex and will vary with the venue.
If blockchain is utilized both by the marketer and the ad venue, then there is full transparency with the contractual arrangement. The advertiser knows how much he is to be paid by the marketer; the marketer can see the records of the actual PPC’s and know that he is making payments for actual results.
Another advertising venue that is becoming increasingly popular is that of micro- and macro-influencer marketing. Many younger millennials and almost all Gen Z teens are accessing videos of their favorite minor “celebrities” on popular platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. They follow their favorite influencers religiously, based on their focus – fitness, health and beauty, fashion, etc. When companies that market products related to any of these focuses can tap into these influencers, they gain a great audience for their products or services. Getting endorsements from these influencers can mean increased revenue.
But with influencer marketing also comes contracts, and they, too, can be a bit complex. When those contracts are hammered out and recorded in a blockchain environment, the responsibilities of both parties are clearly spelled out in immutable terms. This provides a level of security for both the marketer and influencer.
Blockchain is proving to be a technology that can provide many things for brand marketers – transparency, security, immutable contractual agreements, and, best of all, trust on the part of their target audiences and those advertisers with whom they do business. Trustful relationships are truly the future of doing business with consumers who have increasing demands for genuineness and transparency.