Blockchain technology applications in various industries

Blockchain technology applications in various industries

Previous blockchain blogpost:

Bitcoin can address the cash flow problems that many marketing agencies face. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.

Blockchain technology applications in various industries

The novel technology called blockchain is making waves and is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain technology are far more wide-reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising.

Supply chain sector

WALMART IBM

WALMART IBM Source: Unlock blockchain

The problem that large food companies face is trust issue because their customers are skeptical of many things such as where their food comes from and the factory conditions. It is the job of the marketer to build trust to be able to sell the product successfully. And transparency about the product is the quickest and the surest way to gain that trust. For example, Walmart used a strategy to bring a certain level of transparency in their logistics and supply chain. They enabled their customers to track digitally from where the products came. The goal was to boost the trust of Walmart consumers in their products. This strategy of storing products through blockchain makes room for transparency and prevents tampering. Some services such as Metamask and Keybase already offer the user control of their transaction history and identity.

Earth with Tree between Hands - Ecology Concept

Earth with Tree between Hands – Ecology Concept

Corporate responsibility sector

Sustainable practice is something that customers used to take on the organization’s word. Regarding such initiatives as corporate social responsibility, there used to be no accountability. Blockchain can generate digitized agreements, wherein the company is then held accountable by making these promises public.

Fashion designing sector

VeChain-End of counterfeiting

VeChain-End of counterfeiting Source: The complete coin guide

Innovative ideas are coming through in the fashion industry using blockchain. Shanghai-based Vechain is authenticating fashion products and providing a background of the items using blockchain technology. At Shanghai Fashion Week, Babyghost provided a link between the fashion and digital worlds. The customers can verify if a particular fashion item is genuine or not by scanning the tag using blockchain, and even see where it came from as well as who had previously modeled it. Verification of the authenticity of the products can be traceable from the point of origin. This feel to each product allows the customer to create a unique connection with the item. Thus blockchain can tap into authentic advertising without being seen as marketing. The possibilities are endless for those marketers innovative enough to jump on the bandwagon.

Digital advertising sector

The advertising and marketing industry is not only dynamic but also susceptible to change. Intrinsically, it fluidly adapts to the shifting focus of consumers and new technologies. The blockchain comes into this arena by creating more value for ad campaigns. For advertisers and marketers, the future could be different on many fronts and applications. They include permanent contracts with consumers; verification of ad delivery; and handling consumer data transparently. This surge shows how much commotion is happening right now in the digital marketing industry. And it all boils down to an increase in the profit margin and a decrease in extra costs.

Intermediaries made redundant

The middle person plays a significant role in the world of digital advertising and marketing. However, the companies investing are hardly getting even half the value because of the intermediaries involved. The technology of blockchain solves this by proving that users are real, eliminating the need for a mediator for advertising. So, companies can now communicate directly with the site owners when they publish an ad.

New blockchain browser

The Brave browser built on blockchain has ad-blocking software that blocks intrusive ads and trackers. The blockchain browser allows screening of those ads that do not respect people’s privacy. It has introduced the Basic Attention Token, which brings the digital marketing model to a simple framework of users, publishers, and advertisers, without the intermediaries taking a cut. This software can anonymously track the sites that are of interest to a particular target market. Brave creates a win-win situation whereby the advertising agencies can target the ads directly to the end-consumers, and people can choose the level of exposure to these ads and also get paid for it.

Unified customer profile

In marketing, the process of gaining a customer profile comes in dribs from third parties such as Google and Facebook. But the novel way of doing things would provide marketers with an integrated profile of the customer. That way, marketers will have to prove their customer relationship value and find advanced ways to engage with them.

Future of marketing

The way forward is to balance advertising and marketing with consumer identity concerns. In the new era, marketers will have to earn the permission of the customer in a completely different way. So, in the future, the marketer will have to pay the user to see their advertising material. For example, when a company approaches a user to subscribe, the company will be asked to pay the customer a certain price for that info. It would be in crypto payments, which would then go through a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin branded company

A brand that embraces cutting-edge technology is one that is innovative and edgy, one that other companies might want to copy. It is possible to create a whole strategy around this and gain coverage that will put the company in the middle of conversations and generate intrigue and curiosity around the brand. There is also the opportunity to become a go-to expert by producing informative content around this topic. The way it could work for a business is by first learning how to source Bitcoins, and then deciding whether this is the right fit for the company.

Receiving Bitcoin tokens

To accept Bitcoins, all that is needed is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads. From there, the users can opt to donate them using blockchain all the while making it reliable and private.

Coming up next:

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

Previous blockchain blogpost:

Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much discussion goes around as to how blockchain would upend the role of advertising. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first that blockchain technology would disrupt. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena.

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. With most agencies getting paid on a monthly basis, shortening the payment cycle can improve cash flow. Different ways such as providing clients with a menu of payment options to changing terms can accomplish this. Most agencies opt for the former, choosing to offer the option of paying via credit card, direct bank transfer or cheque. Although these are all very convenient, there are risks and costs associated with each.

There are risks and costs associated with each payment type

There are risks and costs associated with each payment type

Credit card transactions

For credit card transactions, merchant fees are typically around 3%, which can be high for clients on huge retainers. Moreover, credit card companies hold payments for up to three days before they transfer it.

Direct bank transfer

For direct bank transfer from one account to another using electronic methods, usually, there is a flat fee levied on each transaction, making them affordable for the sale sizes most agencies process. But while costs are less expensive, the time to process a bank-to-bank transfer is longer.

Payment using cheque

With cheques, although there is no cost to process them, there is a significant delay in getting paid. From the time it takes to mail it to the time the bank clears the payment, it can take a couple of weeks to see the amount hit the bank account.

Payment option challenges

Both direct bank transfer and credit card transactions sometimes incur disputes or chargebacks from customers. They may claim that the charge was unauthorized, false, or that the bank misappropriated the information of the account. When this happens, marketing agencies have no choice but to absorb the financial loss. Also, organizations that accept direct bank transfer or credit card payments are obligated to safeguard the payment information of the clients, and if they mishandle this, it can be a severe risk.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Bitcoin offers solutions

For marketing agencies struggling to increase cash flow and reduce risks, Bitcoin is the solution. There is no risk in accepting Bitcoins but an advantage regarding improving the cash flow. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has grown to become the most extensively used cryptocurrency in the world. Vendors including Amazon, Overstock.com, Dish Network, Target, Dell Computers, PayPal, eBay, Expedia, the Sacramento Kings, Home Depot, Kmart and Sears now accept it. Bitcoin payment solution also has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages.

Great financial benefits

Marketing agencies that get paid via Bitcoin can either accept actual Bitcoins or merely turn them into cash using a third-party payment processor, much like credit cards do. From a risk standpoint, the former approach is much safer because there is virtually no exchange risk when using a third-party processor. There are no processing fees unless the transactions exceed a high amount. There are no chargebacks either because Bitcoins are push transactions, meaning the buyer initiates them.

Less tangible benefits

Marketing agencies should consider accepting Bitcoins because there are non-financial benefits. Agencies get paid faster because payments are processed immediately without any delay. Also, the agencies do not need to safeguard or hold sensitive customer payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers because of the push nature of the business. Therefore, the marketing agencies are not at risk of confidential information being leaked, stolen or hacked if it experiences a data breach. And converting them into cash eliminates the risk of fraudsters taking the Bitcoins through a cyber attack.

Easy payment form

Chief amongst the reasons to accept Bitcoin, as one of the accepted forms of payment, is customer satisfaction. Marketing agencies can allow their clients to pay for the services in the way that is most convenient and easiest for them thereby offering them more options.

Capture lucrative customers

While people have not widely adopted Bitcoin the way they have done with credit cards it is prevalent amongst high-tech and dot-com firms, which can be very profitable customers for the agencies. There is a growing but small cadre of advertising and marketing agencies that are accepting Bitcoins such as Quintain Marketing, 5ivecanons in Jacksonville, Florida, and DiMassimo Goldstein in New York. Because there are so few of marketing agencies that are taking Bitcoin, those that do are enjoying a significant amount of press coverage.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Processing Bitcoin payment

Blockchain has various uses, but it becomes technical when it comes to how it works and what it is. When someone wants to pay using Bitcoins, they must initiate it using a private key. The company or person who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Once Bitcoin has been initiated and processed, it cannot be refunded or taken back.

Get set go

Getting started is easy and fast as there are plenty of companies helping businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option. These companies help businesses to navigate the unfamiliar process of establishing a Bitcoin account. They will then connect the company with a third-party processor that will convert the Bitcoins into cash, which then gets deposited into the bank account. Among the most popular payment processors include Bitpay, Coinbase, and GoCoin. To help simplify the process, take some time to check out their sites, and if possible, work with a local agency. That way, there will be someone to turn to for help for quick answers to questions in this unchartered territory. 

Mass adoption challenges

The most significant problem with the mass adoption of Bitcoin is that people do not have a clear understanding of how it works. They cannot even comprehend what it is. Furthermore, Bitcoins have been used to facilitate black market or illegal transactions because they are non-refundable, difficult to trace and are not regulated by any central authority. As a result, the news in the mainstream media channels surrounding Bitcoin has been negative. This bad publicity has led to the hesitation on the part of many companies to accept it as a payment form.

Coming up next

Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. It is already in the financial world. But the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking digital advertising firms. It is also becoming prevalent in many other sectors in all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, and fashion designing. To accept Bitcoins, all the marketing firm needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.

Blockchain technology disrupts advertising services industry

Blockchain technology disrupts advertising services industry

Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much discussion goes around as to how blockchain would upend the role of advertising. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first that blockchain technology would disrupt. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena.

Digitizes touch points

The stimulating effect of blockchain in the advertising world is that it makes everything unique. It makes this possible with its capability to digitalize any asset by coding every customer transaction data and laws into it. That way there is verifiable proof of each transaction identity, and that transaction can be a product. Therefore, customer attention at every touch point would become a prized commodity, without any intermediaries.

Makes digital micropayments

In the future, people will be paid a small fraction of a cent for their attention through advertising. Such micropayments can only work with a digitally native currency. Tracking these types of payments is precisely one of the strengths of blockchains.

Creates meaningful value

Identifying and differentiating every product means the ability to add significant benefit. For example, Babyghost, the fashion label, gives their customers the capability to use unique identifiers for their products that provided them with extra information on it. These blockchain identifiers tell a sales story in an innovative way about how they make the item and where it came from, appealing the customers on an emotional level. Another company is Goodwill that takes one person’s unwanted clothes and sells them to another using blockchain platform.

Builds great trust

Blockchain technology makes it extremely difficult to manipulate the data and rip the system off. And what blockchain can do regarding privacy is to make groups of data anonymous, thereby turning all brand data into something like a census. Essentially, this gives detailed information about the network, but not which person is in love with which brand. This added layer of privacy would allay customers’ fears of being manipulated or taken advantage of, but would not affect the brand and their data. This enticement could be used to enhance the trust in the advertising industry. Such direct fraud-free connections with the customer will become much more trustworthy and simpler, nurturing a long-term relationship. As blockchain technology matures, it is possible to build greater trust that the advertising investments are where they are intended to go.

Decentralizes advertising concepts

One of the traditional advertising concepts is the idea that the ad reaches a consumer. After that happens, and if the message is good enough, the customer acts. And marketers take it for granted that customer attention and act comes without any cost. But this paradigm is already changing in the blockchain world through decentralization, and it is becoming a trend. For example, Shape Shift as come up with a solution on how to decentralize loyalty points by allowing for the free exchange of coupons, eliminating any lasting ties to brands. Those coupons and loyalty points probably would have sat there unused, but the new market creates value for both seller and buyer. By decentralizing networks, blockchain offers a better way of verifying the advertising system. It is precisely what the ad-blocking software called Brave does, which runs in millions of devices worldwide.

Blockchain technology browser

www.brave.com

www.brave.com

Brave that looks like another web browser offers a glimpse of the future of decentralized advertising industry that uses blockchain technology. Built by the co-founder of Firefox and Mozilla and the creator of JavaScript, it is faster, blocks ads and prevents cookies.  Moreover, using Brave it becomes possible for site visitors to make micropayments to a publisher for their content via cryptocurrency. The next iteration is a function that gives advertisers the capability to pay for the attention-based effort by an individual. Consider the entire revenue stream model of Facebook and Google that places ads in front of people. Now with the blockchain technology browser, the payment will go to the end-users, instead of the ad dollars going to Google and Facebook.

Industry faces disruption

It is not proper to say that blockchain will change every industry, but it will affect sales due to the innovation within the advertising industry. The initial traction from the first generation solutions is being experimented by early adopters in the advertising supply chain as they begin to implement the earliest concepts that reduce costs, eliminate fraud, improve reporting accuracy, and minimize recording time. These initial advanced wave of blockchain-based technologies and protocols seek to change how digital advertising is purchased, measured, delivered, and valued. Future-proofing businesses against this can protect companies against disruption. Also, traditional advertising agencies will have to reduce their prices in response to this competitive threat drastically.

www.adchain.com

www.adchain.com

Advertising industry pioneers

One of the early contenders is Ad Chain, which offers a protocol for buying and selling advertising space. Shareholders in the network use its native token and get incentivized for keeping it clean from low-value or fraudulent publishers. In return, they benefit by getting more ad value and campaign auditing through cryptographically secure tracking. Ad Shares is a decentralized market for programmatic advertising giving publishers and advertisers the ability to trade without the need for centralized exchanges.

www.chipin.com

www.chipin.com

Future of advertising

The blockchain is different and radical, and possibly foreshadows the arena where marketers of the future would live. It is going to change advertising by bringing simple solutions where expensive ones existed. Already, the number of investors and companies based on blockchain are growing exponentially. If advertisers used blockchain, then they can eliminate costly consultants. The bad news is that in the future customer attention and retention will come with a price. Because, in marketing, value comes not only from money. It also comes from products exchanged, opinions given and attention paid to customers. But the good news is that there will be much higher trust. That comes from knowing that the advertising and outreach efforts are going where companies intend it to go.

 

  • This is the first post in a series of 13 blog posts about blockchain technology and its impact on sales and marketing. The SMEI community would like you to share your thoughts on this revolutionary technology. More pertinently whether you think blockchain is definitely the future where sales and marketing professionals should focus their efforts on or whether it is just a passing fad. 
  • Coming up next is how Bitcoin can address the cash flow problems that many marketing agencies face. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.

Stay tuned on www.smei.org

Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

For the next few months, expect a series of 13 blog posts about blockchain technology and its impact in sales and marketing. Below is a synopsis of what to expect in each blog post in the order given.

  1. Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena. Already companies based on blockchain are growing exponentially.
  2. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.
  3. Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising. To accept Bitcoins, all the company needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
  4. We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.
  5. In the real estate blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous. While all sounds great, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things. As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading of some firms. Investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave.
  6. The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.
  7. Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.
  8. A war is over the future of Bitcoin, the first digital currency, and is already showing strain. Two of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin and Ethereum. Many of the currencies younger then Bitcoin can be used for much more versatile purposes. Hence Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors. Digital currencies will drive new company model innovation at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment.
  9. Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point
  10. Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.
  11. Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shrem went to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.
  12. Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but was mired with doubts, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.
  13. Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.
Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

Bitcoin is the earliest cryptocurrency

The topics of the series are broadly categorized as follows:

  • Blockchain is defined as a distributed peer-to-peer database that is based on an open and public ledger coded by cryptography. It is intermediated, decentralized and unalterable. Blockchain is a technology to be reckoned with as it can be applied in various industries. It will disrupt many businesses including the advertising world.
  • Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies or, in technological parlance, alternative coins, also known as altcoins. Although Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency, there are many limitations to it. Its flaws and weakness have given rise to many other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash.
  • The marketing industry will see phenomenal changes in the way products and services are advertised. In future, customers in the target market will have to be paid a fraction of a cent for their attention. Such micropayments is only possible with blockchain that is one of its greatest advantages. The blockchain technology called Brave will enable this.
  • Big-ticket items such as mansions and real estate properties are purchased using Bitcoin. There are cases whereby houses with a Bitcoin price tag received overwhelming response and media publicity. However, the technology faces some obstacles in the real estate sector that prevents mass adoption.
  • Lastly, using a real life case study we will warn you on how not to conduct business using this emerging trend. It is a case study based on the first felony committed in the crypto industry. It is also the story of a powerful transformation in the life of the felon who has now dedicated his life to help evolve the blockchain ecosystem.

After the case study, we will provide some information for those who would like to pursue a career in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. We will then wrap it up with the publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

Stay tuned on www.blog.smei.org