Digitization The true potential of blockchain is in marketing and sales
Everyone’s talking about blockchain. At present, it is often being used purely for marketing purposes. But its true potential still remains untapped. “Kill the middleman” – blockchain can turn entire industries upside down.
It’s new, exciting and gives tech and marketing professionals butterflies in the stomach – blockchain. But love, as we know, is blind. So it’s no surprise that many of today’s blockchain applications miss the mark.
One particularly absurd example: the project to store a vaccination certificate in no less than five blockchains. Many projects confuse the general advantages of digitization with blockchain.
For example in the event industry, which is trying to find a solution to guarantee that tickets are genuine. In many places, the buzzword is blockchain. But as Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has realized , the problem in today's market can be solved purely through digitization, regardless of the technology behind it. The ticket simply has to be available in digital format. Stored in a system that communicates with the issuer of the ticket – for example in a smartphone app that then accesses the ticket provider’s servers.
A great deal of power in the hands of the middleman
But that doesn’t mean things shouldn’t change. Because the arrangement is anything but ideal:
Today, it’s usually ticketing providers who have the exclusive role of intermediary between organizers and event-goers, managing the available capacity, taking care of the flow of money and putting admission control measures in place to ensure that only legitimate ticket holders get into the event.
This set-up gives ticketing providers a great deal of power. It’s no coincidence that the ticketing industry in particular – with purchasing processes that are not very customer-friendly and high additional fees – has a bad reputation. The fact that event-goers have no choice as to where they buy their tickets for an event is shamelessly exploited.
The blockchain as a sales channel
This is where the true potential of blockchain lies. Where it gets really interesting is when several parties who don’t know each other want to process the same information.
Instead of handing the available tickets over to a single middleman for sale, an organizer could in future make them available publicly on a blockchain. All ticket sales platforms can see and offer the same available tickets. The platform that sells the ticket first marks it as booked on the blockchain and, in the same process, sends the organizer the sale price in the form of a cryptocurrency.
This approach would indeed turn the market upside down: ticket platforms would no longer be able to rely on their exclusivity to win customers and would instead have to set themselves apart with attractive conditions for ticket buyers. Because there would then no longer be a contractual commitment to a single partner, organizers for their part would benefit from a large number of sales channels.
The same approach can be applied to all markets where limited capacity can be mapped in digital format, for example hotel rooms or plane tickets.
We’re not there yet: today’s middlemen have little interest in any development of this kind. This means the drivers of this vision must be the actual sellers – event organizers and hotel owners. They and their customers are after all the ones who will ultimately benefit.
Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.
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