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May 24, 2018

Blockchain Technology: What Does It Mean for Your Business?

Bitcoin
Photo Credit: antanacoins via flickr

How often do you come across a piece of news talking about bitcoin or Blockchain?

Last year, Gartner declared Blockchain technology as one of the top 10 technology trends. The global Blockchain market is expected to grow from 210.2 Million USD in 2016 to 2312.5 Million USD by 2021.

Blockchain can reduce bank infrastructure costs by 30%. IBM has invested more than $200 Million in blockchain-powered IOT (Internet of Things).

Given these numbers, it makes sense to take this technology seriously, and understand what it can do for your business in 2018.

How about we start with dissecting Blockchain?

Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that records transactions across a number of computers and devices. The best thing about this concept is that one cannot alter the record without changing all subsequent blocks.

Do you recall that sometimes when you transfer money from your bank to someone else, it often takes some time (a few hours at least). This is because the sender (bank) holds the money until the receiving bank confirms the receipt of the amount.

Blockchain, however, does not follow this traditional approach. It comprises just one ledger of transactions between the two banks.

I am sure you use Google Docs for your business. When you share a document with your colleague, you give them the privilege (permission) to either edit or view the document. Let us assume that you have given full rights to the other person.

Now, when your colleague is editing the document, you would not be able to alter that doc. During the period (when the doc is in edit mode at the other person’s device), you are locked out of editing.

Downside?

You will have to wait until your coworker has finished editing that document.

With the new kid on the block (yes I am talking about Blockchain technology), this will not be the case. This technology will eliminate single-points of control and failure.

Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Trust and Transparency

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are in great demand today. Everyone seems to be caught in the wave of this new form of money.

What is the single biggest issue faced by financial institutions?

Security Breaches.

With blockchain technology, financial fraud would be a thing of the past because it would facilitate big chunks of data transfer without the security issues.

This technology has a transparent approach; meaning the transaction is easy to track.

Marketing and Blockchain Technology

We have talked about Blockchain and finance. But that is not where it all ends. This technology has a reach far beyond the confines of money-transfer.

In the current digital marketing scenario, companies such as Google act as intermediaries.

How?

Suppose you want to advertise on your website. You would need advertisers, right?

How would you find advertisers?

Perhaps, through an advertisement network such as the Google Display Network (GDN)?

You could also start data mining and try to find advertisers yourself. But there is always a hint of risk. With a trusted partner such as Google, that “risk” is almost non-existent. In the digital marketing space, this is known as programmatic advertising. Google (via the GDN) would connect YOU and the advertisers; and would take a commission for every transaction.

Blockchain Throws Out the Intermediary

Now imagine this media buying scenario without an intermediary.

Yes, I mean WITHOUT Google. (Don’t hate me for this!)

This would eliminate the commission on their part as well.

In addition, the biggest benefit would be that there would be no room for foul play.

Advertisers pay money when someone clicks on their ads. Often, some companies (and bots) engage in fraudulent and black-hat techniques to show more clicks in order to make more money. This means losses for the advertisers.

With blockchain technology, advertisers and website owners would have ‘transparency’ over the number of clicks and the payments.This will result in reduced online Ad fraud; the amount being $6.5 billion in 2017.

Customer-Centric Marketing

We always rave about customer-focused marketing – bla bla bla. The truth is that few companies actually implement this. We always have this ‘fear’ that companies (such as Google, Facebook and others) have too much information about us. And that is not false by the way! Although Google has strict rules about Personally identifiable information (PII), companies do know much about our lifestyle, behaviors and more. (Blame the “cookies”).

Come Blockchain and this would change forever.

How?

Blockchain is all about trust and transparency. With control on the customer-side (as against the business-side), there will be less intrusion – less annoying ads, fewer email blasts and so on.

No, this does not mean business would start losing money.

On the contrary, Blockchain would pave way for an ‘honest’ marketing approach. Businesses would have fewer (but better quality) prospect-lists.


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Shashank Shalabh leverages growth hacking and digital marketing strategies to help businesses generate more revenue.

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