Blockchain is a relatively new yet widely used technology. It enables you to store and distribute digital information without the fear of data breaches. In addition, blockchain allows transactions between two parties without third-party verification.
The fraud condition through the present world is going on; blockchain is the technology worth keeping an Eye On. Although blockchain is widely used in areas such as cryptocurrency and finance, blockchain in digital marketing is becoming increasingly popular as this technology can benefit the digital marketing industry greatly.
Marketers and customers can leverage blockchain to gain maximum transparency during transactions. Isn’t this what customers have always wanted?
Unarguably, blockchain is one of the most disruptive technologies to hit the marketing landscape. But how is it changing the digital marketing dynamics? How is it benefiting businesses and customers? We’ll help you understand all the technicalities and facts associated with blockchain to help you decide whether or not you want to use blockchain strategy for digital marketing.
Before getting started with the benefits of digital marketing with blockchain, let us understand the concept.
What is digital marketing with blockchain?
Think of blockchain as a series of digital records. These blocks are interlinked with each other and do not need third-party verification. Blockchain is the technology responsible for the growing surge in use and the success of Bitcoin. This technology verifies and records all transactions in one place. The best takeaways from this technology are increased transparency and data protection.
This has helped many marketers gain access to accurate leads and provide their customers with a better experience. Blockchain can do wonders for marketing and data transparency. This is why it has become one of the most rapidly growing technologies across various industries.
The most popular industries that rely on the blockchain are financial and banking. However, there are various other implications of blockchain outside of the conventional markets.
Some of the fast-emerging industries that are using blockchain are media, telecommunications. IT and some others. This sector can further be divided into various parts depending upon which industries are completely aware of the blockchain concept.
The industries are still educating themselves to become familiar with the concept, sectors that are still experimenting with blockchain, and the industries that are successfully deploying blockchain in their business.
If you are among those who haven’t heard of this concept by now, you might have a brief idea about what it is. But since the entire concept resonated with the finance and banking industry- you would wonder, is using blockchain in digital marketing possible?
The answer is YES! There are various ways in which blockchain strategy in digital marketing can help a business function much better.
Though marketing automation can do most of the marketing tasks easily, managing ads better changes the way marketers use ads for fetching data. Blockchain can boost the efficiency of a lot of marketing practices.
Authenticity and transparency
Remember when you like something online, and you decide to buy it, with fingers crossed- hoping to receive exactly what you ordered? Bid goodbye to this uncertainty. With blockchain, you don’t have to worry about receiving anything other than what was marketed to you.
Let’s say you ordered an organic jute bag. With blockchain, you’ll have access to various intricate information such as where the product was manufactured, the labor involved in the production, how the workers get paid there, and other vital information.
This is great for business, too, as customers will be able to establish credibility in your business. In addition, modern customers like to know everything about a brand they’re purchasing from, so this could be a real asset to both businesses and customers.
It is not easy for smaller businesses to gain the trust of their consumers. People are becoming more attentive and cautious of the information being told to them by the brands. People want truth and transparency from these brands.
They want every information about the product, where it is coming from, what are the things used to make the product.
In the internet era, people are constantly gaining knowledge from various sources before making a choice. When the choice has been served to them, then they want authenticity and details of the product.
Trust is impacting majorly on purchasing decisions. While the majority of consumers are using social networks to inform their buying decisions, despite the fact, social networks are currently an underutilized aspect of the marketing process.
Blockchain will make the business maintain transparency in their operations.
It will record and verify all the steps and will document every information for everyone. In addition, it will ensure the information is available on an open network. As a result, consumers can have complete information about the supply chain of a retailer or a distributor.
Each process will be tracked from where the products are getting manufactured to where they are being supplied. Every step of the larger process is getting tracked with blockchain. As the information will be open to the public, companies will become more responsible and accountable for their actions.
The company can’t lie to the public if anything goes wrong or can’t accuse the supply chain or retailer if the fault persists in the company itself; the same applies to the other participants in this process.
Companies have already started investing in blockchain technology; companies like IBM and Walmart enable the supply chain process with blockchain technology.
Technology is helping to track where the food products are coming from, where it is now. Then, the whole thing is applied to trace the source and supply of every product through each step of the supply chain.
Protect consumer’s digital rights
As a customer, every company would love the opportunity to get your details and market. From Amazon to Walmart, everyone wants your details such as phone number or email address so that they’re able to reach you in certain apps and websites, but it will return to the user) as soon as the job is done rather than being stored on the server.
However, this may not be good news for digital marketing businesses as you won’t be getting any information from customers to serve them better. But from a customer protection point of view, this is a major benefit.
No keyword inconsistencies
One of the most challenging things as a market is keyword tracking. Two reasons make keyword tracking complicated.
One is that the Google algorithms are ever-changing. And let’s admit, it is difficult to keep track of all these changes. The other reason is that your target audience is using different devices. And it is problematic to track keywords of various devices and decipher a local versus national search.
This is when as a marketer, you might resort to guesswork or assume while creating reports. With blockchain, you can have real numbers for tracking keywords. It will help you to track keyword positions effectively regardless of the devices and the location. This can help you create an accurate campaign that is more data-driven.
Usually, data collection for marketing is an integration of different approaches. Marketers collect data from various sources, combine them and run a campaign based on the same.
Although this is a common approach, it is not accurate. These campaigns run on inconsistent and inaccurate data. To curb this problem, blockchain will help you to get access to accurate data. All blockchain transactions are decentralized.
So, marketers will have an accurate source for data collection, i.e., directly from the consumer. As a marketer, you can either pay or incentivize consumers for their data. This will ensure high ROI from the campaign run-off and, of course, highly accurate data sourced directly from the customers.
In simpler words, those consumers who agree to give your brand their data are most likely already interested in your products/services. Hence, scoring leads and conversions will be much easier because you have access to a customer base ready to make a purchase.
It is to be noted that this requires time and effort, and yes, the cost upfront will also be higher, but you’ll be able to gather far more accurate leads using blockchain. So yes, it will be more effort and cost upfront, but marketers will gather far better leads using blockchain.
Combating fraud in the ad space
As a marketer, you will be aware of common fraud in advertising. Of course, this is done for faster and more frequent clicks. But to our luck, AdChain is a company that is trying to combat this with adChain Registry. An adChain Registry is a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.
It ensures authentic clicks and ad impressions because they’re on the trusted blockchain.
Their main motto is to eliminate the lack of transparency and high levels of ad fraud. Not just this, but the platform also provides end-to-end transparency of all data. This is a rare feature as it does not exist in the traditional ad space today.
Customers could control the Content
Being a marketer, you would like to show your ads every single time to your target customers. However, the customer will eventually get a little (if not a lot) annoyed when they keep on seeing your ads. This is the reason why ad blocking penetration has started rising between the consumers.
According to customers, when they are paying for the internet they are using, they should have full control over it. A survey suggests that people want on-demand content without waiting for the ad to load. Sometimes showing an Ad before the content or middle of the content is okay, but now it has grown way larger.
But you can’t blame the marketers for this. The technology, which made the consumer digital experience convenient, has also made the ad targeting better for the marketer. The audience from Facebook ads makes it much easier for businesses to reach the target markets.
You must have observed that when you make any transaction or share information with one party, you start receiving advertisements even if you have not opted for it. Blockchain technology gives consumers the power to charge companies for revealing their contact information. As per blockchain, if a company wants customers to subscribe to their newsletter, then they have to drop an email, and customers can reply with their price to avail of that content.
Transactions will be processed through cryptocurrencies automatically. This system allows consumers to have complete control over their information from being shared with anyone.
These limitations could affect the brands, but they need to think and create an effective way to benefit both sides.
Blockchain has made companies accountable for building trust within the consumers. Blockchain technology is making companies hide everything to hide nothing. And now the public can see the digital contracts between two parties.
Payment Methods will be affected
It will provide more liberty to the business regarding their payment methods. Generally, all the payments online happen through a payment gateway. The payment gateway receives information from the client and sends it to the bank & provides approval of the purchase.
There are some challenges in payment gateways, and ideas are being developed to overcome those challenges. Although cryptocurrency can become a solution, you are not probably paying your coffee bill through Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
But, we are not too far from those days. Some of the companies have already started preparation for adapting these alternative payment methods. They are eager to accept Bitcoin and planning to get this system included in their business. Although it has not penetrated the consumer market yet, it is approaching the market-paying habit faster than you think.
As a marketer, you should be prepared for this technology. You need to recognize these market payment trends before they hit you and force you to change everything. That will cost you. You should be in a position to adapt to those changes in the coming two to three years.
Other than cryptocurrency payments, Blockchain technology will be used for various purposes in the future, and it has started taking place in some areas as well.
The application of blockchain will change the way of digital marketing activity, we are familiar with. Blockchain provides the ability for the marketer to remove middlemen in selling or buying advertisements, just like in a PPC campaign.
It will be considered a competitive factor for advertisers in digital marketing, and they can’t ignore it. Some companies have started some pilot projects through Blockchain technology. It will be helpful for other companies if sector-wide data & experience sharing will be available about its implementation. In addition, organizations should look into the processes that blockchain could simplify or help to monetize.
Consumers will have control over the information from which companies they need to receive from. In addition, as blockchain transactions will be available for the public, businesses will be held responsible and accountable for their activities, and it will ask them to maintain transparency.
We suggest you keep an eye on this trend in the coming years as your companies might not be ready for cryptocurrency. But, at the end of the day, what will matter is how your company is preparing for digital marketing changes associated with blockchain technology.
Author Bio- Sanket Patel is the founder of Blurbpoint, a leading Digital Marketing Company specializing in Ecommerce SEO & Local Services, Online Reputation Management, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, and many more. With over a decade of experience, he helps businesses transform the way they market their products and services online, keeping track of the buying pattern of modern consumers.
Image Credit: provided by the author; thank you!
Low-Cost Business Ideas for 2022
Successfully running your business in 2022 is not easy due to the new norms of people’s lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the consumption of goods and services. If opening an offline store or restaurant just a few years ago was a profitable idea, now their owners can incur heavy losses.
Since most startups in 2022 are going online, you need to think about starting your business on the Internet. If you decide to become an entrepreneur and have the opportunity to invest, but there is no modern idea, you can take advantage of the options that someone is already successfully developing.
What Business is Popular in 2022
Thanks to the Internet, anyone can become a business owner. A startup on online platforms is an excellent idea for those who like flexible working hours and complete control over their income. This option of earning money is more resistant to crises and outbreaks of pandemics.
According to Statista, in 2021, online shopping exceeded $4.2 trillion globally, and social media has become the backbone of many businesses looking to build brand awareness.
Before preparing to launch for a startup, consider the following factors:
- Expertise. An entrepreneur needs to learn new skills and knowledge about a niche for any successful startup.
- Investments.If you don’t have enough money to invest a significant amount in a project immediately, think about how to raise capital for your business (investors, crowdfunding, business angels, grants, etc.).
- Scaling. To attract new customers and profit, the company needs to grow and develop constantly. Consider a long-term scaling plan and remember the hassles that can happen while you work.
- Personal interests. Consider whether you will still be passionate about the business in the long run.
The cost of starting a business decreases every year, which is especially important for an online business; to start, it is enough to have a computer with an Internet connection. The most challenging part when developing ideas is the problem of choice. To be successful, you need to deal with products in strong demand. A business should be run by a person who enjoys doing it.
Dropshipping is one of the profitable business ideas if you want to make money remotely online. Unlike a regular online store, you don’t need products to run an e-commerce site specializing in dropshipping. Conforming with Torchbankz, the dropshipping industry is expected to reach a market valuation of $557.9 billion before 2025.
This business is considered very affordable because to work, you only need to launch your website and access the directories of wholesale suppliers such as AliDropship or SaleHoo.
All you have to do is partner with wholesalers and manufacturers to sell their products under your brand name. The buyer purchases on your website, informs the supplier company about it and sends the order to the client. The dropshipping scheme for an online store is straightforward:
- The seller selects products from the supplier’s catalog and uploads them to the trading platform (online store, landing page, marketplace).
- Adds a markup to the supplier’s price.
- Promotes products and finds a client.
- When a client places an order, the seller communicates this information to the supplier.
- The supplier packs the product and sends it to the customer.
To quickly become a leader in this industry, you need to stand out from the competition. Instead of a thousand different products, you can narrow your niche and specialize exclusively in one category: clothes for children, home decorations, or more.
Food Delivery to Offices
Food delivery is not a new but trendy business idea. Fundera says that the online food delivery industry has generated more than $26.5 billion in 2021. While large companies set high prices for dishes, newcomers have a chance to gain customer loyalty at affordable prices.
Since there are a lot of office workers and not everyone can afford to go to a cafe for lunch, you will quickly gain a loyal audience and strengthen your position in the market.
An aspiring entrepreneur does not need a lot of investment. You can cook the food right at home and use your car to deliver orders. An important thing to invest in is a website or an application to tell about your services and present all the menus.
To minimize your costs, before launching a full-fledged software, you can use an MVP, with which you will test the main functions of the app and attract the first customers. Thus, potential buyers can see the available dishes and order them online without calls. They can choose a specific time for which you need to deliver food and even leave a particular comment on the order.
Also, your customers will pay for services using the app, saving you from cash. By allowing feedback on the service in the software, the delivery owner also receives feedback from the person and builds a loyal audience. Your own application will help you tell the world about yourself and take a leading position among those who do not use digital technologies yet.
Opening your own online store is the most obvious idea for an online business. The following online stores can be called relevant in 2022:
- children’s goods;
- ecological and natural versions of everyday products;
- sporting goods;
- clothing and footwear;
- home textiles;
- boxes with surprises.
This startup idea is not as simple as it seems at first glance, but it will not require significant investments at the initial stage with a competent approach.
First, you need to decide on your niche. Purchase several copies of each item to understand what will be more in demand and what is better to remove from the catalog altogether.
Next, you need to study your target audience. For example, selling home furnishings to teenagers is useless. The older generation is unlikely to be interested in fashionable gadgets, and residents of the city will not appreciate goods for the garden. The main characteristics of potential buyers are gender, age, place of residence, and financial situation.
The critical step is the selection of suppliers. To avoid getting caught by scammers, try to find out more information about them and look at the goods live.
Implement enterprise resource planning software to customize and automate the process straight away. ERP will integrate and manage finance, order supply chains, user operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resources. With this software, you and your employees will be able to plan deliveries and improve the quality of customer service. The use of digital technologies in business will help increase productivity and store all data in secure cloud storage.
Why Digitize Your Business in 2022
Without developing a digital transformation strategy, no modern business in 2022 can exist in the long term. Due to the pandemic, everyone observes a rapid acceleration of trends that previously gained popularity very slowly. Such resources allow you to save money, increase profits, and attract new customers.
The required minimum for any company now is a website and accounts in social networks. Brands looking to take one step closer to their customers can also develop a mobile app/chatbot and use other promotion channels.
A more thorough digital transformation involves working with clients and deep business processes: production, personnel management, and internal communications. To implement such a transformation, you need to carry out serious work, which can be based on Big data analysis, cloud and mobile services, and agile development.
Before embedding digital technology in your business, think about what exactly you and your customers need. You should not chase trends and use that software that cannot help optimize processes and establish communication with customers.
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you!
5 Ways To Grow Your Business With Technology
“I’d like my business to remain stagnant.” No entrepreneur, owner, or CEO ever uttered those words. You can be sure none ever will, either. That’s because corporate growth is always an overarching goal for any organization. Growing your business comes with its challenges, of course, like figuring out which steps will make it easiest for you to scale and expand.
One thing’s clear: You need to develop a clear-cut growth strategy. And technology needs to play a huge part in that strategy. After all, we’re living in a primarily technological world. If you’re not making the most of the tech at your fingertips, you regularly miss opportunities to strengthen your brand’s position.
Where can you start? Below are a handful of ways that you can leverage technology to grow your business’s footprint. Try these recommendations, whether you’re a micro startup or a mid-size corporation headed toward a Fortune 500 future.
1. Automate repetitive manual processes.
Is it worth automating all the mindless to-dos in your business in order to grow? Yes, especially if you do the numbers.
McKinsey research studied the ordinary tasks of several occupations. They concluded that around 33% of the tasks of six out of 10 jobs could be automated. For example, let’s say your company is modestly sized at 50 workers. If your staffers work a traditional 40-hour week, 30 of them are frittering away 13 hours. In other words, you’re losing nearly 400 hours weekly to pay employees to handle repetitive duties.
To be sure, not all tasks can be automated. However, you owe it to yourself to find ones that can. For example, is your finance department team processing payroll or inputting invoices by hand? Then, invest in software to remove the tedium—and reduce the chance of human error.
Check out your sales and services processes next. Do your salespeople or support agents have to cut and paste information? Are they forced to switch between two or more programs that don’t communicate? Look for ways to integrate those systems to free up everyone’s valuable time so they can concentrate on growth-based responsibilities.
2. Strive to make customer first impressions stickier with tech tools
Tons of articles highlight the importance of growing your business by retaining customers. It’s true that retention tends to be less expensive than acquisition. Nevertheless, you can’t hold onto your customers until you get them in the door. So put a premium on delivering impeccable first impressions that urge people to stick around.
The right type of technology can assist you in wowing your best leads via an unforgettable customer experience. Take first-time logins, for instance. Okta reports that asking a visitor to set up an account turns off 37% of prospects. So what can you do to overcome this friction point? First, you can rely on social logins to streamline the process. From the customer’s viewpoint, being able to login via already-existing Facebook, Google, or credentials is effortless. From your company’s viewpoint, you can begin marketing to yet another buyer or potential buyer.
A strong CRM can be equally beneficial to moving leads into and down your sales funnel. Once you’ve captured prospects’ data through a social sign-in, personalize future communications like emails, texts, and DMs. Only two years ago, McKinsey found that 80% of retail buyers valued the personal touch. So whether you’re in retail or not, strive for individualization to keep new buyers coming back.
3. Bring a virtual assistant to your team.
You may not have the funds to hire live customer service representatives 24/7. That’s okay. Chatbots can give your organization the ability to offer visitors self-service, even during non-business hours. And they can do it for a fraction of what you’d pay a live agent.
Not sure you’re ready to put your faith in a chatbot? A New York Times article explains that today’s AI-fueled chatbots are only getting smarter. They’re also gaining widespread acceptance, with chatbot growth poised to hit around 15% in 2022. One Gartner executive even predicts that a genuinely conversational AI chatbot program is just around the corner.
Already, some chatbots are inching toward humanlike responses. A University of Florida experiment found that about a third of people could not tell a chatbot from a real person. Consequently, there’s little harm in exploring the wide world of chatbots for your company. Your chatbot doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated by customers with questions who want fast answers.
4. Investigate tech solutions to tap into your data.
Tremendous amounts of data flow into your company. Yet it would be impossible for you and your team to make sense of it all. Does that mean you have to give up on finding a way to unearth your data’s insights? Not at all. You just need a tech-based data mining solution.
You have plenty of choices regarding software that can analyze data and find trends. First, though, determine where your data exists. Is it in your CRM? Or a legacy piece of software? Once you know where to find your data, you can search for highly-rated data mining systems.
Be aware that some data mining programs have been developed with specific industries in mind. These can include healthcare, finance, e-commerce, or manufacturing. It never hurts to see if something’s already been created for your sector.
5. Invest in a branded mobile app.
Mobile app use continues to rise. By 2025, one Forbes writer notes that the app market will approach $1 trillion. So why, then, doesn’t your brand have an app of its own?
This is the question a lot of business leaders are asking themselves. Offering customers the chance to interact with your company through an app makes sense. Not only does it give them an immediate connection to your organization, but it simplifies the purchasing process. At the same time, it helps buyers feel that they’re getting special treatment as you deploy push notifications and exclusive offers.
How can you make the most of your app once it’s been developed? First, make sure your customers know it exists. Lots of brands have apps that get very few downloads. The issue isn’t necessarily the app itself. It’s that they don’t know the app is available. Therefore, be diligent and consistent about talking up your app to drive higher usage and conversions.
You’re not alone if you feel that growing your business isn’t happening as fast as you like. Most leaders wish that they could get to the next plateau faster. One method to add a little speed to the process is to lean into the technologies you’re not using yet. Then, with the right combination of tech tools, you should begin to see a positive difference in your numbers.
Image Credit: Artem Podrez; Pexels; Thank you!
The Developer’s Guide to Mobile Authentication
Mobile app developers must ensure that the mobile app is effortless while keeping internal information protected and secure. Complex or repeated authentications can be frustrating for your mobile app users.
This article discusses various means of simple and secure mobile authentication, ensuring frictionless UI and UX of mobile authentication screens and data security.
What is Mobile Authentication?
Mobile authentication is a security method to verify a user’s identity through mobile devices and mobile apps. It caters to one or more authentication methods to provide secure access to any particular app, resource, or service.
Let’s look at the various mobile authentication methods developers can utilize depending on their business use case.
Mobile Authentication Methods
Email-Password and Username-Password are common types of password-based authentication. While utilizing these methods, developers should consider setting secure and robust password policies in their authentication mechanism, such as:
- Mandatory use of symbols and numbers
- Restricting the use of common passwords
- Blocking the use of profile information in passwords
These measures ensure better quality passwords and prevent user accounts from brute force and dictionary password attacks.
Limitation: Passwords are hard to remember, and typing in passwords on a small mobile screen degrades the user experience. Hence, developers must use authentication that does not compromise the security postures yet provide an appropriate user experience.
Patterns and Digit-based Authentication
The user must set a pattern or a digit-based PIN (typically 4 or 6 digits). Developers can utilize this as an authentication factor for their mobile application, as this authentication method is faster and more comfortable than entering passwords on a mobile screen.
Limitation: Both patterns and 4 or 6 digits PINs are limited. Also, users tend to use simple patterns and PINs like L or S patterns and 1234, 987654, date of birth as their password.
Users use an OTP received via SMS or email to authenticate themself. Thus, users do not have to remember a password, pattern, or PIN to access their account. At the same time, developers don’t have to implement password-based security mechanisms.
Biometric authentication uses unique biological traits of users for mobile authentication. Some common examples of biometric authentication are fingerprint scanning, face unlocks, retina scans, and vocal cadence.
Developers can implement pre-coded libraries and modules to enable authentication through mobile components like the finger scanner, camera (for facial recognition), and microphone (for voice-based identification).
It acts as a single sign-on authentication mechanism. Developers can implement this in mobile apps to use users’ login tokens from other social networking sites to allow access to the app.
Also, with social login, developers don’t need to worry about storing passwords securely and managing the password recovery option. It helps the user sign in to the mobile app without creating a separate account from within the app, hence increasing the user experience (UX).
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) in Mobile Authentication
Login and registration screens are a gateway to your mobile applications; if they are a hassle, the user might not bother using the application. Thus, developers should pay a lot of attention to these screens regarding user experience and usage.
Here are some quick tips for mobile authentication screens:
- Simple Registration Process: Lengthy registration forms are a big no-no. Brainstorm essential information for creating an account via mobile application and only include those fields.
- External or Social Login: Allow users to log in via external or social accounts. This way, users don’t have to remember another password or credentials for your app.
- Facilitate Resetting: Include forget password on the login screen for good visibility and reach if the app provides password-based login. Also, setting the new password should be seamless and fast.
- Keep Users Logged In: Not logging out users on app close is helpful in a good experience. However, this depends on the type of app you offer. Developers should include MFA for better security if the app stores sensitive information or skip the stay logged-in feature altogether.
- Meaningful Error Messages: Errors and how they are handled directly impact user experience. Thus, developers should keep error messages meaningful and clearly state what went wrong and how to fix it.
Tip: Customize the mobile app keyboard for the type of input field. For example – display a numeric keyboard when asking for a PIN and include @ button when asking for an email address.
Considering the above points would result in a great and secure user experience for your mobile app users. However, if you feel executing these guidelines would take ample time, be informed that CIAM solutions are available in the market to handle all these requirements for you.