Imagine a future where organizations pay you for information about yourself. Where instead of Google selling the data they glean from scanning your emails to brands, the brands instead, pay you. This is the not so distant future promised by decentralization and the blockchain.
In fact, the whole idea of brands sending unsolicited emails, ads or selling an individual’s data into a third party pot will blow the minds of future generations and we will seem really daft when we try to explain how we tolerated all of the sleazy, intrusive marketing that we receive.
The blockchain in a decentralized world will give individuals control over who has access to their personal data. Subsequently, the strategies of marketing teams will be turned on their head. No data no detail.
You may be thinking that this sounds a little like what GDPR aims to do, and, at this level of detail you’d be right. However, there are fundamental differences; GDPR relies on organizations complying with the consent requirements of consumers, the blockchain revolutionizes technology as we know it, and, put simply the organizations will never get the data if the individual doesn’t share it.
Both GDPR and blockchain/decentralization present the same challenge to marketers – you are going to have to work for the opportunity to obtain data that you previously took for granted.
As your competitors up their game, you’ll have to as well. It will no longer be acceptable to not leverage the customer data your customers have given you. I’m talking about those poorly executed retargeting campaigns, impersonal emails and oblivious approach to cross-device interaction.
Another big difference between the future on blockchain and GDPR is that organizations will not be able to incentivize individuals to give consent where as with blockchain it’s likely that individuals will be credited for sharing their data.
If you think the idea of being credited for participating in activities that we currently do for free is a little far fetched then check out steemit.com, a social network where users get credited in Steem* for posting, commenting and upvoting, or check out https://21.co/ where users get credited in Bitcoin for answering emails.
What ever way you look at the future and how prevalent you think blockchains and decentralization will become, one fact remains: the cost of entry for marketers to sit at the same table as consumers is going up rapidly. If you are not putting serious thought into how you can use customer data to ensure your customers have frictionless and relevant experiences at every touch point then you risk being locked out for good…!
*Steem is a Cryptocurrency. Currently, 1 Steem is worth 0.00048259 Bitcoin or about £1/$1.30.