Emerging TechnologyBlockchainBlockchain marketing: A look at the technology landscape and emerging players

Blockchain marketing: A look at the technology landscape and emerging players

In part three of our blockchain series, Never Stop Marketing CEO Jeremy Epstein takes a step back to look at the blockchain marketing technology landscape.

As we covered in part two, advertising will most likely be the first function to be attacked as blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin, enters the mainstream. Why? Simply put, the number of middlemen and the amount of friction makes it ripe for disruption.

The good news, as you can see in the first-ever Blockchain Marketing Technology Landscape, is that there is a lot of whitespace.

Most of these categories have no entrants. If you know of one that is missing, feel free to add it here.

Blockchain martech will mirror traditional martech growth

As background, take a look at the current industry standard Marketing Technology Landscape, a fixture for the “students of the marketing game.” It’s crowded with more than 5,000 companies on the list, which originally only had 150.

In a blockchain world, everything that can be tokenized will be tokenized and everything that can be decentralized will be decentralized. Which is why there is a good chance that many of the companies on the Marketing Technology Landscape list will have a decentralized equivalent in some form or fashion.

Six years from now, it would not be surprising if there were 3,000 projects in the blockchain marketing technology landscape.

Understanding blockchain MarTech

Here we look at some of the foundational components of marketing, highlighting examples of blockchain technologies already in the market.

Advertising

The Papyrus Project is in the decentralized advertising space aiming to provide open source infrastructure for the entire industry. Their goal is to both rip out the inefficiency in the existing supply-demand chain and enable a fair exchange of value between users, publishers and advertisers.

Through a token-based system, they hope to offer users control over which ads they want to see, who has access to their personal information and a market-determined compensation for their data, attention and actions. In this model, you don’t need ad-blocking software because you’ll get to choose which ads you see—and get paid for it.

As if that is not ambitious enough, Papyrus is building a decentralized reputation system for all ad market participants, which will leverage blockchain to provide increased transparency. It will also improve brand safety, ad quality, and prevent fraudulent traffic and unscrupulous players.

That gives publishers greater monetization opportunities and brands more confidence that their ads will be delivered to the intended audience. Let’s not leave out app developers who will earn the right to quickly target and re-target existing users for cross-sell and upsell.

Email

On the email side, 21.co enables individuals to put a price on their attention. In other words, no more spam. Want to reach Bitcoin investor Marc Andreessen? He promises to read your email… but it will cost you.

By moving the cost of email from the recipient to the sender, we will start to see email systems that compensate people for the value of their time and attention. I’m not as expensive as Marc. I only charge $20, with all proceeds going to Coin Center.

Market research

Many of the challenges that plague email also plague market research, particularly as it relates to forecasting demand and product-market fit. Old-school focus groups and surveys are ineffective.

But what about a prediction market?

That is what Augur and Gnosis do. You will soon see prediction markets not just for sporting or political events, but also the success or failure of product launches. Tools like these can gauge sentiment and determine budget for a given event.

If you look at the Gnosis site, you will see a few sample decentralized apps (dApps) represented. The price discovery one is a perfect example of where we might go. Don’t guess at what price the market will bear; let the market tell you.

What it all means

Some of my classifications can definitely be debated. Most likely, some of them will need to be altered. It is near certain that new ones will need to be invented.  

Putting decentralized identity solutions such as MetaMask and uPort in the CRM category is probably a stretch, even if they are similar concepts. Some technologies like Keybase are not fully decentralized or blockchain-enabled.

What is perhaps the biggest challenge is that many of these are not tools, but protocols which will enable tools down the road. Over time, we will fix the categorizations as we go. We will improve how we classify. We will also ultimately rename “Blockchain Marketing Technology Landscape” to “Decentralized Marketing Technology Landscape”—when the time is right.

Blockchain and decentralized technologies are coming for both general application and marketing applications, but the classifications matters less than the trendline. It’s still very early in this evolution, so companies must develop a blockchain/decentralization strategy, especially as new startups enter the space.

I’ll be watching very carefully.

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