Just like radio, TV, the Internet, social, and mobile before it, blockchain technology presents an opportunity as well as a threat and will dramatically affect the practice of marketing. It will also give rise to a new set of competitors with different business models. It will be a dramatically different experience than the one we have today.
There will be new payment and transaction models. Customers will have a cryptographic proof to his or her identity and credentials. Ex. Customers can prove eligibility to shop on your site as a US citizen without telling you any personal information whatsoever, with no tracking imposed on the customer (decentralized apps).
Why so different?
Blockchain Technology solves the problem of transfer of value between internet users without having to rely on a third party. The entire point of Blockchain technology based decentralized transaction platforms like peer-to-peer digital currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) is the elimination of middlemen and the increase of trust.
Everybody with a connection to the internet can transact with everybody else. It's moving power (data ownership and control) from central organizations like Facebook or Google to a decentralized community and individuals (YOU!).
For example, what influence will blockchain have on the marketing technology landscape in 3 years?
Blockchain technology will be to marketing, what "web" was to communication. Imagine as the internet allowed new forms of communication and transformed the economic models and media landscape, so does blockchain technology (using the underlying internet technology).
It will transform not only the financial industry, but also create business models not even considered today. Think how Amazon, Netflix, Uber and AirBNB created new business models unimagined in the early 1990s. It will impact every "transaction step" from compliance and supply chain management to advertisement, marketing and sales.
Advertising will be one of the first disciplines to be disrupted by blockchain technology. Customers will maintain their own identity and control over their information.
Marketers will have to pay each individual to get their attention. The good news is, there will be much greater trust in knowing that your advertising and outreach efforts are going exactly where you intended them to go.
The bad news is, "pay for attention" will be required (attention of others will come with a price tag). When data moves out of proprietary systems onto open blockchains, data itself is no longer a competitive advantage.
Interpreting the data becomes the advantage. There will be a new way to implement and manage loyalty programs. Digital token programmability will remove friction from the settlement of loyalty points across multiple programs and companies.
How will customers benefit from blockchain technology in marketing?
Companies will chose Blockchain Technology based solutions and business models because they work well for them and their CUSTOMERS. All can be winners:
1. Marketers/agencies win by engaging users and verifying the message reach, a (targeted) real human.
2. Publishers win with a fair exchange of value, as rapidly as possible -- and with funding to generate more and/or better site content for their user base.
3. Users win with access to content as inexpensively as possible, without wasting attention on intrusive or irrelevant messaging, without feeling they're being spied on.
Rethink marketing and advertising to include: deeper customer engagement, rewards from customers for valuable content, loyalty and award programs and creation of market places.