Confession: I’ve heard about bitcoin and blockchain for years, but until recently, I never actually understood what they were.
Thankfully, John Hargrave gave a talk that finally spelled it out for me. John is the CEO of Media Shower, and his company just pivoted towards blockchain technology.
According to John, blockchain is the greatest tech to be involved with right now. It has the potential to disrupt every single industry, making this the most exciting time to be alive.
More specifically, John laid out how blockchain could fundamentally transform marketing and lead generation. This shift may mark the end of the current lead-gen industry, but it also presents a huge opportunity for marketers who are willing to adapt to it.
The first step? Understand the change that’s coming, and decide whether you want to be involved.
So first, the big question: what exactly is blockchain?
Imagine you pay a friend $5, who then passes that $5 on to another friend, and so on. Each time the money changes hands, you write the transaction in permanent marker on a block. You then chain the blocks together, so you can see the sequence of transactions. Finally, you make the “blocks and chains” available for everyone to see — open source. That is blockchain.
Essentially, blockchain is a virtual accounting ledger. So what makes it so revolutionary?
- It’s published openly on the web
- Nobody owns it — it’s stored on a decentralized network of computers
- The transactions go directly from consumer to vendor, without middle men like credit card processors taking a cut
Second question: how is blockchain different from bitcoin?
Think about it this way — the internet is a platform upon which Google operates, right? Well blockchain is a platform upon which bitcoin operates. Bitcoin is just one of many “decentralized applications,” DAPPs, that use blockchain as their foundation.
Cryptocurrencies are paving the way to a tokenized world where consumers can buy, sell, and trade “tokens” — pieces of digital currency, like stocks. With blockchain, there will be tokens of everything, from Van Gogh paintings, to real estate, to a consumer’s personal data.
If you’re interested in investing in cryptocurrency, or want to learn more, check out →
Now that we have a basic understanding of what it is, let’s dive into the major shifts presented by blockchain and how they could impact the lead-generation industry.
HOW TO: Change your lead generation mindset to account for a blockchain world
1. Prepare for a shift from centralized to decentralized business models
Decentralized just means that there is no single owner. The internet is the biggest example, but blockchain is the next step in that trend. Decentralized models are disrupting centralized companies.
For example, blockchain competitors to Uber are creating decentralized databases that connect riders directly to drivers. The model offers higher wages for drivers and lower costs for passengers, which begs the question — why use Uber?
2. Decentralized lead generation could leave the current leads industry behind
Imagine a giant, global database where consumers can sell their data directly to companies. If you’re in the business of buying and selling leads, you will no longer be needed.
John’s not yet sure if this will be the dominant model, but he’s pretty sure it’ll be a big player. Don’t believe it? Some companies are already working on it →
3. If you want to get involved, now is the time
By John’s reckoning, we’re somewhere between the innovator and early-adopter stage of the growth curve. Now is the perfect time to get involved, before it takes off.
4. Adapt your marketing skills to the blockchain economy
Most blockchain entrepreneurs are not marketers, but they have a ton of cash to invest in one. There’s an immediate opportunity to translate your marketing skills into the blockchain world.
For example, to get up and running, blockchain projects need an initial group of users to opt in — enter the blockchain marketer.
For a comprehensive guide on making the transition to blockchain, check out →