Blockchain. Crypto currency. Talking about an item with a friend, and immediately seeing a Facebook ad. It feels like a barrage of new and sometimes, mysterious technologies are taking over our devices and incoming advertising.
Additionally, the application of technology to traditional marketing principles makes the concepts that we all know seem unrecognizable. Market research, advertising impressions, the 4P marketing mix, Porter’s Forces, and the 5 C’s, are still viable foundations of marketing theory, albeit buried deep under incredible marketing automation and technology-driven immediate consumer feedback. Web and mobile based technology have collapsed the boundaries between the manufacturer and the consumer, changing the face of multi-tiered distribution channels and supply chain logistics.
Consumer reviews, blogs, and other postings have stood market research concepts on their proverbial heads. The one-way product information flow from manufacturer to the consumer has been replaced by the virtually instantaneous consumer feedback that does not require any participation by the marketer at all.
But, the biggest disrupter to digital marketing is blockchain. blockchain built applications allow users to user to participate without sharing personal data, and their on-line presence is a simple blockchain verified signature. Today, digital marketers harvest personal consumer data as a dual asset. First, information about how the consumer reacts to their primary promotion, second, consumer data that can be resold to other marketers.
A blockchain enabled network combined with crypto currency concepts would allow the consumer to make many types of online purchases without the exchange of any personal information; (Caveat: shipping actual product may crimp the anonymity, and possibly create a surge privacy guarantied package stores!)
Other examples, of blockchain’s impact on marketing is the brave.com browser. A web interface that touts keeping its user’s personal information private and using blockchain tokens can create scenarios where the consumer can be paid by the advertiser to view the advertisement.
There are myriads of other examples that show how technology has redefined marketing. Despite this, traditional marketing theory still exists. The marketer still has to find a way to reach the consumer when they are in a place they can purchase. The difference? The place in not the store on small town main street, it is their mobile device. Price is no longer just the trappings of the store and the perceived value, it is how fast, and efficiently can the product be delivered to the consumer, a unique blend of value plus convenience consumer decision point. The potential of the consumer being paid to view an advertisement gives the consumer more bargaining power and gives more power to the marketer with the deepest pockets. Porter may never have had this market dynamic in mind when he first introduced the Forces of Change in 1980, but his Market Analysis Strategies still provide insight today.
Marketers are challenged by having the choice of so many options to interact with the consumer. It is hard to know which one is the most effective. Which marketing spend actually converts to revenue and a loyal relationship with the customer, which results in solid forecast able customer Life Time Value, (LTV)?
One of the keys to this challenge is to remember that there is a person on the other end of your transaction, a person who wants to buy and not be sold. If we focus on consumer and help them mitigate their risks, provide real total value, and improve their lives by their experience with us, then we should be able navigate the sea of incredible marketing choices.