Over the last few years, the use of blockchain in business has become a hot topic.
But what exactly is blockchain? And how can it help in the marketing sphere?
Blockchain technology enables the storage of information — including transactions and other data — in a secure, distributed ledger system that is accessible to everyone in the network. This ledger can be shared, in a secure way, with other companies too.
By using blockchain storage, companies no longer have to rely on centralised data storage systems or trust third-party organisations to securely store their data.
Blockchain technology records digital events in chronological order. Each transaction made on the blockchain is stored in an immutable ledger which can be viewed by all parties while remaining secure and private. This means that companies can use blockchain to keep track of customer data, purchases, payments and other transactions without fear of tampering or fraud. Companies can also use it to optimise their production and supply chain, create new products or even use it to help track, audit and validate their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) claims.
Taking crypto coins as payment is only one aspect of the blockchain technology application; it is much more than that.
How can Blockchain help in the Marketing Function?
I believe there are many ways in which blockchain technology can help with marketing campaigns for business. A prime example for me is that companies can use blockchain technology to track customer interactions across multiple channels and devices, making it easier to personalize and tailor messages and content for each user.
Businesses can also use blockchain technology to better understand how customers interact with their products or services, allowing them to improve their offerings and make sure they are meeting customer needs.
Businesses can also use blockchain-based smart contracts to automate certain processes, such as payment processing or data collection, not only with customers but also with suppliers and partners.
Blockchain technology can also provide valuable insights into their own production and supply chain process, which can help marketers develop more effective data lead campaigns.
Blockchain technology also has the ability to create new types of digital assets that can be used for marketing purposes. These assets could include anything from digital coupons and loyalty points to virtual currency tokens used for promotional campaigns or rewards programs. By leveraging the power of smart contracts, companies could create these assets quickly and easily with built-in security features that make them difficult (if not impossible) for hackers or malicious actors to exploit.
Smart contracts also could not only eliminate costs through improved operational efficiency and cutting conflict-associated costs in advertising campaigns, but also improve safety and customer satisfaction.
Digital product passports are another key feature of blockchain technology that marketers can use. It creates a digital record of a product's journey from raw materials to finished goods, including information on the energy used, the emissions generated, and the waste produced. By tracking a product's value chain from manufacture to purchase to disposal, we can gain a much more comprehensive understanding of its environmental and social impacts. For example, consumers could learn how much of the product they are using contains recycled material, allowing them to calculate their environmental impact. This is really appealing for businesses with ESG commitments - and indeed those looking to increase their ESG undertakings. In this way, blockchain can support more sustainable and ethical consumption.
Finally, using blockchain technology produces high quality data and feedback on advertising penetration. By using blockchain to track their ads, advertisers can receive improved data on how their ads are being received and adjust their strategy accordingly. This allows advertisers to create more targeted ad campaigns that are likely to gain better traction with target audiences. Customers may also feel reassured their personal information is securely stored, making them more likely to provide it.
Furthermore, in terms of social impact, businesses can track the number of jobs created by their products, either directly or indirectly. They can also track the diversity of their workforce, as well as any gender pay gaps. Finally, they are better able to track any investments they have made in the communities where their products are manufactured and the benefits those communities receive from those investments. Consumers today are very savvy and highly attuned to such issues, and a decentralised secure ledger can assist businesses to build and then protect key brand values.
As a marketing specialist at Finboot (an SME that makes the adoption of digital ecosystems powered by blockchain easier for enterprises), I know that the possibilities offered by blockchain technology are truly exciting — in my field of marketing as well as many others.
From increasing transparency with digital product passports and providing better customer insights to creating unique digital assets and automating processes with smart contracts, blockchain has the potential to transform how we “do marketing” to enhance connection between brands and customers and in turn increasing customer satisfaction.
As we move into 2023 and beyond, I expect more businesses across all sectors and disciplines — including marketing — to start leveraging this innovative new tech! And of course the elephant in the room is that there is no Web3 or Industry 4.0 without blockchain. Companies that want to stay ahead of the competition should consider integrating blockchain into their current strategy.
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