SPECTRA 2021: How will Blockchain help marketing & communication professionals in the next decade?

Blockchain is a new term that we are coming across quite frequently today. It may be a relatively new technology, but it’s already changing the world around us. By definition, blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. To thrive amidst competition in this digital age, you need to work on having an effective communication network, and blockchain technology is revolutionizing how businesses function due to its range of benefits.

This is what Gowthaman Ragothaman, Founder & CEO, Aqilliz explained as he spoke about – “How will Blockchain help Marketing & Communication Professionals in the Next Decade”. This is an exciting period for business. However, time is really running out for the ad world and perhaps, the coming 18 months are extremely critical, he said as he opened the discussion on an urgent footing. At one end, companies are looking at launching new opportunities to replace cookies, and publishers on the other end are creating new consortiums to address these challenges.  Besides, responsible advertising is getting launched in the marketplace.

Why is this happening today? “Time has come to wake up and smell the coffee,” as he put it. There are three broad trends – the deprecation of 3rd party cookies (the rising need for privacy; the ISBA/PwC Report pointed to wider collaboration & standardization of  data structure to resolve “unknown delta”; and 90% of marketers believe that their consumer experience technology has not matured for effective deployment. “I believe these are new standards and policies that are required in the business today,” he said, putting his point across.

New three Ps of marketing

Declaring the new three Ps of marketing, he expanded on the new analogies. First is Privacy, which is at the heart of marketing communications and is a universal concern for GDPR, CCPA and other similar emerging regulations across the world; and second is Provenance of the human and valid digital in dentities and inventions is an essential requirement for marketing technologies to mitigate fraud; and lastly, Personalisation is owned by the walled gardens and not by brands, leading to a fragmented, poor understanding of the customer journey. “These are going to be the bedrock of the ad business,” he said.

The world is going to look different

The next 18 months will see some form of privacy techniques emerging for browsers to ensure that 3rd party cookies are not tracking consumers without consent. This will bring about a big difference to the business and while this is playing out, the general view is that the media world will further fragment into – walled gardens, private gardens, communal gardens and rocking hills. The open web is going to be a bunch of ‘gardens’ and will bring a huge difference to the world as we see it today.

What will it mean to the marketing world? It will mean an extremely fragmented, disconnected consumer journey. The new age challenges for marketers – at the centre of which is privacy, transparency, trust, which means that provenance and personalisation leads to growth, reputation and productivity for the business and “this is a tectonic shift for the industry” he revealed. Built like the Tower of Babel, with $120 bn at stake, the entire system is going for a new overhaul; many solutions are being discussed, but no clear answers have appeared in the horizon. 41% of B2C marketing decisions indicate that the lack of required technology is a challenge. More than 2/3 of any enterprise data do not belong to them (enterprises source 65% of data and owning data are a thing of the past); and what this means is that every time a digital campaign is carried out, it means that at least 6/7 enterprises are duplicating the data sets across different roles and responsibilities.

Blockchain plays a critical role

At a fundamental level, blockchain comes into play. An Aqilliz view on the future of digital marketing is that at the middle is the consented audience and brands will need to interact with consenting consumers in creating market places. For wherever it is being built will become the marketplace, where there’s exchange of value between the brand, consumer and platform. So, at the centre is consumer data which is the future, he emphasized. Without consent or provenance of consent, we cannot proceed to be compliant in activating marketing campaigns tomorrow. And, user id is a basic requirement of the future.

Finally, a single source of truth is built through – descripted database, distributed ledgers, encrypted technology and consensus protocol. In the new age, privacy, reputation, provenance, personalisation and product will be key elements for leading growth and blockchain plays a key role in making marketing communications compliant.

In a conversation with Tuhina Pandey of IBM, she wanted to find out how blockchain will change the game? If you look at how the marketplace is being evolved, it means quality of content has to be constantly updated and short form content has become very important and has to be rewarded, he said. It’s become a huge opportunity for platforms to continue to provide snackable content for consumers, and if they hold back, they will lose out on the monetisation opportunities. “It’s all about content”.

And, when she quizzed him on what is the role of human creativity a decade ahead, pat came the answer – “I wish there is serendipity in life, where unexpected things happen!”

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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