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I really feel there are a huge amount of unseen opportunities for blockchain technology to change current marketing practices. This is probably scary for traditional marketers who are overwhelmed for choice, but for those willing to embrace new technology, they'll run rings around their competition.

In the travel space, we're closely following the Winding Tree project. The travel industry is heavily dominated by a small number of companies at the moment. These "online travel agents" do most of the marketing and selling, while hotels, airlines, car rental companies and tour operators do just that, they run the operations. Marketing departments have been outsourced in favor of these 3rd party online travel agents. But what was once a great idea is now hurting these businesses, with often enormous commissions (~12-25%) and aggressive pricing forcing profits down (or closing doors).

Due to the enormity of these few major players, it's very hard for a new travel startup to get a foothold in the industry. Winding Tree plans to change that, by allowing completely open distribution of sales inventory. Rather than the lengthy manual contracting of agents to sell hotel or flight inventory on your behalf, simply updating inventory on Winding Tree would allow a huge amount of merchants sell for you. Smart contracts will be built into the system.

For savvy marketers currently working for hotels or airlines, their imagination is the limit. The website of a small boutique hotel in Vancouver, BC could allow guests to book a spa package and mountain biking tour with two separate third parties as part of the reservation, with everything completely automated - no need to manually make these reservations or check on the latest pricing. Airlines will only find it easier to sell rental cars, hotel rooms and activities along with flights.

Of course, I don't believe the revolution will come as fast as many hope. Winding Tree and companies like ourselves at Otium Boutique have plenty of work cut out for ourselves to encourage companies to get on board. Without a critical mass, it won't work.