To say that the Internet has changed the way we do business would be an understatement. Online payments no longer hold a small share of the total economy, and each year we see an increase in this way of paying for goods and services.
However, while this process is certainly an upgrade from paying in cash, it still goes through all the traditional financial channels, such as online wallets and banks. Since new technologies are not something that stands still, we have been seeing a lot of new trends, with the most promising one of them being cryptocurrencies.
While there are still some doubts and even controversies surrounding this “virtual money”, it is definitely the talk of the town and something marketers should pay attention to.
But first, what exactly are cryptocurrencies?
According to the Investopedia, a cryptocurrency is “a digital currency that uses cryptography for security.” To say it in laic terms, it is a financial system that enables you to transfer money anonymously without security compromises. This means you could avoid the now already more traditional means of paying such as credit cards and bank accounts, and make payments through virtual currency.
One of the most famous and the first cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin, but it is not the only one out there. This form of paying has an enormous potential that is yet to be discovered, and for now it is not used for many purposes in advertising, but since it is essential in this branch to always be ahead of time, it is important to be informed about its importance.
The troubles with collecting data
The very foundation of a good marketing campaign is knowing your audience. For that, marketers need to be able to collect data on consumers. This type of information is often acquired through monitoring digital footprints of the potential customers to attract leads. Currently, marketers have it pretty easy, because platforms like Google and Facebook own and sell the information.
Advertisers then use the acquired knowledge to create a successful marketing strategy. However, as we said when we explained the term “cryptocurrency”, this way of paying allows users to remain anonymous, which prevents marketers from learning their buying habits and how they respond to marketing tactics. Because of this, it is imperative for advertisers to start coming up with new ways to collect information and design strategies.
Will we have to pay for information?
It is obvious that navigating the probable lack of user data will be difficult. One of the approaches that will perhaps be necessary is paying the users directly for their personal information instead of paying the platforms for gathering the information for you. What this actually means for businesses is that they will probably have to spend more money on market research.
This will happen because the average user will want more compensation for giving his/her information than an average platform for thousands of customers. Also, these trends suggest that businesses will have to try harder to reach out to customers and convince them to participate.
Changing the content
Content marketing has had its ups and downs, but we can finally say that the quality is becoming better than ever. How will using cryptocurrencies change this? Probably for the better. With the users around the globe being allowed to sell and buy digital currency freely and use it, not only for paying for products and services, but also for paying for access to content, it is possible that the content will depend less on ads and more on its quality for revenue. Now, these payments don’t have to be significant.
Even micropayments ranging from 25 cents to a dollar for each piece of content can add up, offering a large chance of success. But will the users be willing to pay for content? Well, platforms like Blendle showed that a lot of consumers are prepared to give money for content they really want to read/see/listen to. While it is improbable that micropayments will topple the free content available, they can still make a huge impact in this area.
What does the future hold?
Many people still see the cryptocurrency market as a shady environment which is often associated with illegal activities and frauds. However, it is obvious that digital money is not just another fad which will fade into history in a couple of years. We are only starting to discover its full potential and possible applications. For now, cryptocurrency is still limited to highly technical individuals, but the target audience is slowly changing and spreading.
In the last couple of months, we have already seen an increase in non-technical people interested in this way of making payments. For marketers, this is a very important trend that suggests that they will need to deal with the inevitable changes that will affect every aspect of coming up with and implementing a marketing strategy.
Ignoring the changes on the market is not something a good marketer would do. That’s why it is imperative for people in the advertising business to start studying cryptocurrencies and devising strategies that will help them stay afloat when (not if) digital money becomes a matter of the present.