Blockchain marketing news in May 2019
May is the month when (arguably) the biggest event in the blockchain calendar, Consensus, takes place in New York. While we weren't there, it seems like this year's event was more cerebral and less flashy than last year's, with fewer Lamborighinis on show and more suits talking about enterprise blockchain trends.
This theme of tech titans deepening their involvement in blockchain can be seen in the articles we've featured in this month's newsletter too. Amongst the big news stories are ones covering Salesforce's use of blockchain technology in a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool and the launch of Microsoft's fully managed Azure BlockchainService, which will surely result in a flood of blockchain marketing from both firms.
Probably the most interesting section of this month's newsletter is the features and interviews. There's a piece from Coindesk that rounds up one of the biggest ongoing stories in blockchain marketing right now, that of Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency. Another is a thorough run through of all the different blockchain marketing tactics you can use to promote your project, including a focus on Reddit and Telegram. This topic is also covered by The Next Web in its 'crypto marketing war' article.
All in all, we're seeing blockchain marketing activity continue to tick up as 2019 progresses. This can only be a good thing because we are the pioneers!
News and Reports
The San Francisco-based tech giant is known to have been interested in blockchain for some time but it recently revealed more details of how it is incorporating the technology into its tools for businesses. The company says Salesforce Blockchain is a low-codeblockchain platform that helps users build and maintain blockchain networks, apps and smart contracts.
Microsoft is one of the most blockchain-friendly technology companies and the launch of its fully managed Azure Blockchain Service is a big milestone on its blockchainjourney. Following on from its Azure Blockchain Workbench and Azure BlockchainDeveloper Kit releases last year, this one is launching in preview. Expect lots moreblockchain marketing to come out of Microsoft as a result.
There's been a steady flow of case studies in 2019 that show how large corporations have used blockchain to improve some part of their advertising or marketing, with the latest example being PepsiCo. Working with media agency Mindshare, the drinks producer is reported to have used smart contracts to reconcile impression data with payments data, resulting in a 28% cost efficiency in viewable ad impressions.
Features and Interviews
This comprehensive run through of the strategies you can employ to market your business does a great job of highlighting the channels and tactics that are specific to crypto and blockchain markets. It's easy to skim through but also has a lot of content and covers many elements of a marketing strategy, including podcasts, influencers, tactical PR and relevant channels (i.e. Reddit and Telegram rather than Facebook).
This article in The Next Web from the co-founder of a crypto-focused PR agency covers the same topic as the article above (blockchain and crypto marketing tactics) but takes a more narrative form. In particular, it focuses on the guerrilla tactics that can work so well in this field, with social media influencers and stunts able to have more effect on prices and trading activity than in more traditional markets.
Regular readers will know that we think the Facebook cryptocurrency story is one of the biggest news items in blockchain marketing during 2019. Being the platform of choice for most marketing professionals because of its Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp brands, its involvement in crypto will undoubtedly have a big knock on effect and this article does a good job of rounding up all that we know so far.
While you won't get the answer to the why question in the headline by reading this article, it does give an interesting perspective on blockchain's role as a trojan horse for change within enterprise IT. While "IT in the minds of…CMOs has never been considered vital", Tom Goodwin makes the valid point that "blockchain can get us to rethink what we’d make if we could change things at a deeper level".
This article from Forbes treads the familiar path of blockchain as a solution to ad fraud, which it says causes almost a quarter of desktop video spend to be wasted. There's no doubt that blockchain-powered ad solutions get a lot of airtime these days and, while we're sceptical about the transformative effect of decentralised ledger technology in this area, this article is a useful summary of what is at stake.
Incentives are a crucial part of blockchain networks and fundamental to the role of cryptocurrencies within them. This topic gets more attention in the wider blockchaincommunity but it appears less frequently in blockchain marketing news. While this video interview with Dr. Mihaela Ulieru doesn't quite live up to the promise of the headline, it does touch on some interesting points.
Anyone in need of a headline containing a bag of buzzwords? We've got just the thing with our final feature. But don't judge a story by its headline alone, as this piece from the always interesting MIT Technology Review is one that marketers should read. It will give you an idea of how some of the brightest minds are suggesting these technologies can work in tandem to enable billions of devices to connect to 5G networks at once.