Tim Duncan, Product Growth Lead at Bottle Rocket, discusses how marketers can use blockchain technology to build better relationships with their customers.
For a decade, blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been spoken about as the answer to shaking up different industries. These are open decentralized databases that govern and record transactions from human or machine interactions, such as sending money from one person to another.
Touted as being “world-changing”, blockchain solutions are used to make a big splash in the market and gain the attention of potential customers – with spending on the technology soaring from $1.5 billion to $4.1 billion over the last two years.
The blockchain martech industry has proved ripe for disruption, with brands like Unilever, Nestlé, and McDonald’s adopting the technology to improve transparency in their digital campaigns.
These solutions are fast becoming mainstream in marketing, helping to eradicate advertising fraud that typically plagues the sector and proving their value in overcoming data inefficiency challenges.
But according to the CMO Survey, only eight percent of firms believe the use of blockchain in marketing is important, with bad user experience, design, and lack of understanding posing as significant barriers to its widespread adoption.
Given its high degree of security and accessibility to the masses, however, blockchain networks hold significant potential in driving growth and long-term loyalty with customers.
This article discusses the expanding opportunities for marketers to overcome new pain-points in the user journey, and build better relationships with customers, through blockchain.
Disrupting marketing with blockchain technology
Blockchain is opening up a largely untapped digital advertising and marketing arena. Customer-centric marketing is now non-negotiable for firms wanting to hold onto their customer base and ultimately survive in a fiercely competitive market environment.
Given this trend, companies are taking advantage of emerging martech solutions to transform how they surprise and delight their customers.
The vast majority of companies want the contact details of their customers, which – even though intended to personalize offerings – is typically found invasive. Most blockchain solutions can help to level the playing field by eliminating intermediaries and storing customer data safely, returning a degree of power to the user.
Businesses can allow users more control over their personal information, who has access to it, how they got access to it, and how it can be used. Customers have greater freedom to choose to sell their data directly to marketers, whilst simultaneously avoiding processing fees and interference from third parties.
Building deeper relationships with customers
Blockchain has the potential to dramatically impact customer experiences, but successful implementation will be largely dependent on how companies leverage the technology to reimagine touchpoints in the user’s journey. There is scope for marketers to use blockchain to manage a secure network of loyalty programs designed to lock in new customers.
Only 52.3 percent of loyal customers were willing to join rewards programs in 2018, signalling a need to transform how brands incentivize customer activity and keep customers engaged in repeat custom.
By linking content with a virtual token – credited to the customer’s account – companies can leverage blockchain to entice users to exchange loyalty points in real-time.
Taking this a step further, digital wallets can be used to permit users to redeem their credits at their convenience. In return, marketers can use these data insights to cultivate a strong understanding of their customer base to drive awareness of a new product and improve conversion rates.
After-sales service is a huge determiner of customer churn, as consumers seek a fulfilling end-to-end experience. Self-service has fast become popular with customers preferring online help instead of turning to support agents.
Blockchain, when developed and configured that right way, is capable of automating these support transactions and storing this valuable data in blocks – to which customers can access.
What differentiates this from traditional self-service platforms, is that customers are in control of their data and can choose to opt for instant paid support, boosting revenues, and improving turnaround times.
Greater access to highly-usable customer intelligence also enables marketers to run user-tailored campaigns with enhanced personalization. This can help to counteract negative sentiment towards engagement that lacks personalization like poorly-devised pop-up ads for example, with a 73 percent disapproval rating..
Though marketers pay for incentive data collection, blockchain-enabled marketing helps to deliver personalized prices and generate better leads. This smart approach tackles the common issue of being burdened with incomplete customer information, which can typically hinder the success of marketing campaigns.
Future of blockchain marketing
As blockchain continues to build momentum in the marketing space, the technology will prove to be a manageable and scalable investment area for brands across industries. The technology is disrupting traditional digital marketing models, capable of enhancing transparency for more frictionless experiences.
The relationship between businesses and consumers is being redefined, as trust – typically surrendered through intermediary interference – is strengthened and data is made more secure under the customer’s control.
This level of visibility is empowering users to engage with companies, and grant them access to their information, ultimately reinventing the dynamic of customer relationships.