Many of us have heard the term, “blockchain.” However, few of us understand it let alone how to use it as marketers.
We recently interviewed Travis Wright, Author of Digital Sense and Co-Host of the Podcast Bad Crypto to learn about blockchain and its application in marketing.
We answered these three questions:
- Why is blockchain important?
- How do marketers use it practically?
- What are smart contracts?
First, let’s go over a little background on blockchain technology. If you don’t really know what blockchain is, check out this video:
Travis first heard of blockchain back in 2010. His knowledge and understanding of blockchain have only grown since.
Travis described blockchain as a huge database that cannot be changed or edited after any action within the blockchain has been done. He went on to explain that blockchain transactions cannot be fraudulent in any way.
Travis even believes that after the voter fraud allegations earlier in the election season, we should be voting through blockchain from our phones. He believes that they are more secure than our current methods.
To cap it all, Travis said, “Blockchain is one of the most amazing inventions since the internet.”
1) Why is blockchain important?
Right off, Travis suggested reading the book Blockchain Revolution.
He then added that blockchain is an incorruptible, digital leger of a transaction and virtually everything of value. So essentially, it’s an open ledger. When a transaction occurs, everyone who has the blockchain software on their computer can see the said transaction.
Travis used the example of sending $10. Let’s say you send $10. Once that $10 is sent, the network will make sure that the sender has $10. When that’s verified, it’s added to the blockchain. When it’s in the blockchain, it can’t be changed. Travis went on to say, “It’s immutable and immovable”
So why is blockchain important? Travis said, “…once it’s in the chain, it’s undebatable. Everyone can agree that what’s in the database is real. It’s the first time everyone can agree that it’s real.”
Travis believes that the undebatable ledger is what makes it so relevant and important.
2) How do we use it practically?
The practical applications of blockchain for currency can be fairly simple to understand. But what about marketing?
Travis gave a keynote at the MarTech Conference 2017 about all of the markets and industries that blockchain is disrupting. However, there are ways that marketers can practically apply to blockchain and cryptocurrency.
How can they do this? Rewards.
Travis made a cool point when he said, “Imagine if every time you bought some apple product, you got some apple coin…You’re not just a consumer, but you’re an investor.”
He also shared an example relative to sports marketing. Say you are a season ticket holder. When you buy your season tickets, you get access to your sports team’s coin. That coin can unlock perks that are specific and enticing to you as a fan of that team – like special jerseys or access to professional athletes.
In addition to the coin as an added marketing tool, there is the ability to add smart contracts on top of that.
3) What is a smart contract?
A smart contract is a system through the blockchain that automates a repeated process. Say for example you’re in a band. The lead singer wrote and sings the song, and because of that, they get 50% of the royalties from that song each time it’s played. The guitar player gets 25% and the drummer the other 25%.
A smart contract will automate that system and every time the song is played it automatically registers it and distributes accordingly. By practically applying blockchain and cryptocurrency in marketing, we can turn our customers into investors.
Bitcoin is only one blockchain. There are others being developed. Travis shared that, “One which is created by Disney – it’s called dragon chain. Which would allow business to have their own internal blockchain.” Dragon chain would allow for the company’s data to be private to them, but the transactions are visible to the outside ecosystem.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are on the rise. It’s taken a while for people to catch up, but people are starting to catch on. Have you?
This post is based on an interview with Travis Wright. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The #FlipMyFunnel Podcast. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.