Want to Better Connect With Your Customers? Consider Blockchain.
Major players are investing in blockchain technology to provide more incentive for users.
When was the last time the effectiveness of your small business technology platform was evaluated? For millions of business owners, chances are good it has been way too long -- even for those in the tech sector.
To sustain success in today’s economy, business owners need to regularly evaluate the mission and vision they have established, making necessary adjustments to ensure they are best serving their customers and communities. Sometimes this means making big changes to core infrastructure.
While it may not look it on the surface, at heart, these changes aren’t about technology. Rather, they are a reflection of a customer-led business model.
Customers today expect a reason to do business with a specific company. They demand appreciation for the value they bring to each business they patronize. Today’s consumer is looking for a financial stake in the goods and services they use. They want to be appreciated for their critical role in the success of any start-up.
A growing technology called Blockchain offers a new and fresh ways to accomplish this goal. The ability to create a robust and transparent incentive system lies in platforms that utilize this up-and-coming tech solution.
If you want your business to be one of the few success stories in today’s highly competitive business climate then you should consider starting business innovation from the ground up. Today the new trend that companies are considering is updating their technology platform to include an interactive incentive system built on a blockchain platform. For example, Facebook has recently announced the company is making a substantial investment in blockchain technology.
A New Use Case for Technology
When Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, launched in early January, 2009, it caught the attention of a select few users. Back then, much of the business world laughed at their investment in an intangible currency with only a clear software feature use case in video games and interactive online worlds like Farmville. Nevertheless, a few years later, those few early Bitcoin investors made a fortune and more use cases emerged.
During that time, the complete spectrum of what cryptocurrency has to offer has become more and more apparent. Blockchain technology has caught the attention of not just cryptocurrency companies, but also mainstream business platforms and enterprise businesses such as SAP and Oracle.
Regardless of whether public opinion is pro- or anti-cryptocurrency, at this point, the fact that so much media attention has been given to this controversial new technology is perhaps even more telling than market performance.
Major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, and Morgan Stanley have initiated the process of cryptocurrency and blockchain integration. Even the NYSE and NASDAQ are reportedly in talks to bring cryptocurrency into their respective folds.
Transparent Profit-Sharing in Action
But it is not just financial movers and shakers who are poised to strongly benefit from blockchain. The new technology offers a truly elegant solution for shared profits and incentives through decentralization and transparency. Companies willing to embrace these systems are beginning to flourish.
I hosted a crypto investor dinner party in Davos, Switzerland this year where the buzzword was Blockchain technology. A panelist of mine at Davos Conference Week, the Co-Founder and CEO of CoinCasso, Luke Ozimski shared some insights with me about how businesses can take advantage of this blue ocean that is being powered in part by Blockchain and Tokenization technologies. The startup company is using a fresh, highly creative approach to their cryptocurrency exchange (the portal where digital currencies are traded).
Per its founders, CoinCasso is offering cost effective opportunities for their clients and users, while other exchanges are exploiting the exchange concept. In spite of lip service to blockchain, most exchanges have moved toward centralization, leaving users to foot the bill.
Ozimski reiterated these sentiments, telling me that CoinCasso found errors with the current exchange system -- errors they seek to solve.
“The problem with the cryptocurrencies are the exchange platforms. They start centralizing the whole system, destroying the concept of a decentralized economy. They always make a profit, whether the whole market is going up or down," said Ozimski. "Even if the whole market is going down, the platform is making a profit, and people are losing money. Our platform is the first cryptocurrency exchange platform that share our profit with the people, at approximately 80 percent. We want to democratize our network, democratize our users, and build community.”
The promise of democratized profits might seem far-fetched. However, in spite of retaining just 20 percent of profits, the company is growing. The reason? Through this concept, CoinCasso authenticates the immense worth they place on their user base.
Blockchain technology has allowed such platforms to grow by increasing user functionality while reducing centralized overhead. CoinCasso may be the first of a new wave of such companies, but watching larger enterprise and consumer businesses jump in and follow the trend is also telling.
Bridging to Consumers
Beyond simple profit share with users and tokenization features, blockchain technology is also allowing companies to increase user loyalty and customer rewards. Because blockchain allows for transparent interaction between platforms, it also allows consumers to migrate between platforms, increasing usefulness for reward programs.
For example, Singapore airlines recently launched its KrisPay application, which allows users to migrate rewards points for use with affiliates. The transfer is functional in real time through a digital wallet, meaning that consumers have constant access to those points for use at merchants.
This type of flexibility is available through the blockchain-based digital wallet, providing bridges between providers and customers. Such connections result in clients who are no longer restrained to long transfer processes, or bureaucratic red tape for usefulness of loyalty programs. As loyalty programs continue to evolve, the need for these types of solutions will increase for companies wishing to remain on the cutting edge of consumer expectation.
Ever-Changing Business Technology Needs
If you started a business 10 to 15 years ago, you likely focused on building a comprehensive website, incorporating keywords, and optimizing your Google ads. If you have not yet updated your strategy, chances are, your relevance is waning. Blockchain-based incentive marketing programs are trending and now is the time for entrepreneurs to jump in. The pool is warm.
If your start-up launched in the past five to eight years, the focus was undoubtedly on social media. You worked hard to build a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, accruing followers and views. Then Facebook and Instagram changed their algorithms, and overnight, your visibility plummeted.
If you are a relative newcomer to the entrepreneurial scene, there is a good chance your tech focus leans strongly toward interactivity, and you may have built a platform that is community and relationship focused.
Regardless of where your technology systems are at, consider incorporating blockchain technology into a consumer-focused incentive system. While the cost to build such systems may be moderate, the user relevance and loyalty your business will gain is invaluable.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor