Blockchain marketing news in March 2019
Is blockchain marketing all a load of bollocks?
No, of course we don't think so. But because of one provocative headline in this month’s newsletter, it's worth explaining why.
Firstly, it's true that the storage of all data (particularly low value marketing data like a single click or like) in a blockchain is pointless and not what we foresee in a blockchain-enabled future. However, the main area we disagree with the writer is his dismissal of how secure, encrypted and privately stored personal data that blockchain networks enable could revolutionise existing marketing and advertising business models.
In fact, during March we've started to get a real sense of momentum within blockchain marketing, which we were searching for at the start of the year. One of the things that is encouraging us right now is the number of news articles we have featured this month. Why does news matter? Quite simply because opinion pieces can come at any time but news stories are a clear sign of things actually happening.
This month, those news stories include more details about the blockchain team that Facebook is building, further developments for Sirin Labs's blockchain phone and a couple of interesting developments in blockchain-based programmatic advertising.
Far from being a load of bollocks, we're really excited about what is going on. Yes, critical analysis of the scene is important but positivity should be the order of the day. Especially because we are the pioneers!
News and Reports
One of the biggest stories in blockchain marketing right now (we have featured an opinion piece about it too) is that of the world's most popular social media platform continuing to build out its blockchain team. While it still isn't entirely clear how Facebook will use the technology, it clearly believes marketing the final product will be a key priority, with brand, marketing, community and growth roles all being advertised for.
We're following developments with the Finney blockchain phone (and the Samsung S10) closely because of the significant role that mobile plays in marketing and e-commerce today. This news, which sees the Ethereum wallet-generating service rolled into the phone's built-in cold wallet, could be an interesting precursor to seamlessly using different cryptocurrencies within a range of decentralised applications.
Coinme, the cryptocurrency company that powers Bitcoin exchange kiosks, has appointed a new CMO to help grow the brand globally. Jonathan Maron, who has held senior positions at firms such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, said he wants to help the firm fulfil its mission to "help people everywhere understand and utilize the power of digital currencies as a delightful medium-of-exchange".
Swedish digital marketing firm Tradedoubler has launched a blockchain-based platform that aims to connect publishers and advertiser in a way that "will enable automated and transparent direct relationships". It includes a Publisher API that the company says partners can use to develop on the platform, using features that include new product feeds and deep link generators.
GroupM, the world's largest advertising media company, has released its "Blockchain & Marketing" report in which it claims distributed ledger technology will make its way to viable products and solutions this year. The report also outlines five steps that marketers must take in order to proceed successfully with the technology, as well as a flow chart of checkpoints to help them understand when to use it.
Isobar India, the regional division of the global digital agency, has partnered with AdsDax, a blockchain-enabled advertising platform, to test the usefulness of running ad campaigns on a public ledger. The test, which took place in January and February, involved video banner ads delivered to mobile devices and resulted in more than 2.6million ad impressions being recorded.
Features and Interviews
While Kataruka's role with Zilliqa is referenced, the main focus of this article is his role as one of the organisers of the Future of Blockchain competition, which aims to uncover far-reaching applications for blockchain technology. He explains the importance of educational programmes and why, in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain, it must be delivered in a way that ensures it doesn't become outdated straight away.
David Parkinson, the Managing Director of Brave & Heart, wrote this piece for The Drum during his time at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. He states that he "wanted to know more, listen to actual experts" but eventually came to the conclusion that he has "no need to write a 'five things that were twaddle at SXSW this year' article – because all five would be blockchain". This isn't an in-depth critique of the each speakers arguments though, more a sarcastic summary of his frustrations.
Our first issue with this article is its title. The second is the fact that it landed so late on the last day of February that it missed that month's newsletter. Neither of these points have stopped us including it here though, as it's one of those articles that any blockchain marketer must read. Why? Well, as the co-founder of a crypto fund says in the article, "it's pretty much the most fascinating thing happening in crypto right now".
This article revolves around the argument, put forward by Vitalik Buterin, that most enterprises' involvements in blockchain are led by a desire to be noticed and considered relevant, rather than a deep-seated belief in cryptography or decentralisation. The question in the headline is answered pretty quickly with the sentence "what JP Morgan has achieved is more a feat of marketing than one of technological innovation", but the explanation of why this is the case is still worth a read.
This month we launched our new website, thanks to the help of some very dear and talented friends. Over the coming weeks, our aim is to regularly add the sort of long-form guides and opinion pieces that we normally produce for our clients, covering all aspects of best practice blockchain marketing and copywriting.