Why CMOs need to understand the power of blockchain and the impact it will have on consumers and marketers, with Jeremy Epstein
As the former VP of Marketing at social media management company Sprinklr, Jeremy Epstein had a front row seat to the evolution of social media marketing. He left the company a year ago to pioneer the growth and uptake of blockchain marketing, as the CEO of Never Stop Marketing. He’s back to the risky (but exciting) “landing on beaches part,” watching the birth of blockchain marketing in real time.
“My passion is really about the challenge of taking disruptive technologies that I think are ultimately beneficial for society and business, and trying to figure out how to get over the proverbial chasm into the mainstream,” says Epstein in the latest episode of The ClickZ Podcast.
After a brief explanation of what blockchain is and how it works, Epstein discussed the obstacles in the way of the technology’s “mainstreamification.”
Blockchain is great for those who don’t trust the government or marketers with their personal information, especially with the increased reported number of data breaches. But cryptocurrency’s lack of regulation also makes it perfect for criminal activity, though Epstein doesn’t think that should be a major deterrent.
“We have to figure out a way to stop the bad guys, but that’s not a reason to poo-poo the entire innovation,” he says. “We don’t want people to have their life savings stolen and there is room for healthy regulation. But we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
As more people start to understand blockchain’s potential, the early adopters are able to evangelize more believers through word-of-mouth. Advertising is one industry that’s particularly susceptible to blockchain disruption, given how many problems are pervasive in the ad-tech ecosystem. Even Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard, Chief Branding Officer of the world’s largest advertiser, has called the supply chain “murky at best, fraudulent at worst.”
Epstein couldn’t agree more, noting the lack of transparency and how much money disappears into the hands of middlemen. “Blockchain is built for disrupting businesses full of intermediaries,” he says. “They have blockchain sniper rifles pointed right at them.”
Marketers continue to deal with those issues because it’s the world they know. But as emerging players like Papyrus become better-known, Epstein believes companies remunerating consumers for their data and attention will become the new normal. Still, he acknowledges that with blockchain marketing in its infancy, there are still usability challenges—for now.
“If Bitcoin can handle seven transactions per second and Visa can have 35,000, we’re clearly not quite there,” he says. “But people understand that we have to do the raw infrastructure and now we think about how to scale it.”
As a passionate evangelist and self-proclaimed resident of “the intersection of Blockchain Avenue and Marketing Highway,” Epstein has a lot to say on this topic. Click here to hear what CMOs need to understand to fully prepare themselves for the impact of blockchain.