Blockchain will affect the practice of marketing and the media industry in ways not yet entirely obvious but is it over-hyped?
No. It will be both inevitable and transformative.
Blockchain has been made possible with the convergence of scaled audiences, connectivity and computation power and provides a new data structure enabling what is known as crypto economic protocols. Blockchain is technology which decentralises the way we do business. Blockchain can create new network designs and supply chains and reduce the friction from many processes.
What this means for media and marketing is the way in which content is distributed and indeed the ownership, management and use of personal information and therefore the ability for marketers to reach consumers as they have done previously will be up-ended. Existing distribution models for both editorial and advertising content will be impacted by disintermediation and many AdTech and MarTech businesses will be under threat.
Plain and simple; if you're a media middle-man and you've read anything about Blockchain, you're likely to be a little nervous or amidst a period of heavy innovation.
We have reached a time right now where we're questioning how the tech giants ended up with too much power. Blockchain will be their likely usurper and from this, peer-to-peer for everything will become (the most likely) reality. How we never thought of this rather than allowing the rise of large networked empires will amuse future generations.
Blockchain is less about how the technology works itself and more about how it will be utilised and what the implications or impacts are.
As Jeremy Epstein from Never Stop Marketing discusses on the EchoJunction* podcast, with Blockchain we 'now have technology which allows for the transfer of items of value as opposed to simply information (like the internet delivered) without the need for third party intermediaries which add time and risk'. That is, we are seeing the distinction between the internet of 'Information' and the Internet of 'Value'.
Most significantly, it allows consensus about the state and ownership of assets at particular times and has strong security guarantees to ensure that 'history' cannot be altered by bad actors. This means this innovation enables or liberates all types of value (including content) as the owners and recipients are protected through verification.
According to Singtel's APAC Associate Director for Financial Services Industry Innovation, Cindy Nicholson, 2018 will be the breakthrough year for Blockchain and the technology will mature by 2025^.
This is what we will start to see:
The most significant change will be in the space where consumers themselves make money from their own data...but more on that later.
Waiting to see how it plays out is likely to see players 'left out' or 'left behind'. Education, preparedness and early experimentation (or partnerships) is key.
Update (April 10, 2018): Found this explainer on Blockchain which might be useful - A Beginner's Guide to Blockchain - Steve Sammartino
* The EchoJunction Podcast with Adam Fraser; Jeremy Epstein talks Blockchain
^ AdNews; In Depth - Can blockchain revolutionise how media is traded? and Blockchain Summit 2017
It has become increasingly clear that workplaces of today will hardly be recognisable within the next decade or two. According to the Foundation for Young Australians, by 2030, automation, globalisation and flexibility will change what we do in every job. This will require preparation for the future and urgently shift our understanding of what the new work order will mean.
Experts agree the increasing casualisation of jobs and the rise of freelance or contingency workers is not a fad, but a long term trend which will become centrepieces of future workplaces.
Further, the impact of technology will have widespread implications for the type of roles which exist. A survey of 200 CEOs and Chief HR Officers conducted by Gartner owned, CEB found these groups believe 14 per cent of jobs will be automated over the next three years.
While many jobs will disappear with the advent of automation, artificial intelligence and robotics, many will be enhanced and more will appear...many of which we cannot currently imagine.
Every trend, as described in MediaPost's Death of the Company Man points to economies where "more people will work for themselves than for corporations (by 2027)...because they want to. This group is preparing for the future more swiftly than traditional employees (including) putting time aside to learn new skills" at a greater rate than traditional corporate employees.
In order to be both agile and 'valuable' in this new work order, workers will be required to not only learn 'future skills' including critical analysis and both computation and creative thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration, they will need to understand and develop skills in operating an enterprise because that 'enterprise' will be them.
Citizens will look not just for 'jobs' but for revenue streams (via projects, short-term contracts and/or fixed employment with short tenures). The likelihood is that teenagers today will have 17 different jobs across 5 careers^. How they manage themselves as a business (from marketing, financials, operations and resourcing) will determine their success in winning and succeeding in 'business' and being able to seamlessly switch between work 'gigs' and industries.
As emphasised in the Foundation for Young Australians' report, The New Work Smarts, 'enterprise' and communication skills, which are portable across jobs and industries, will be most important for future workers who need to be adaptable as career paths change.
Forthcoming disruptive forces mean embracing technology and developing strong digital literacy skills will be imperative for every worker, across every discipline. If we ignore the need, were in for a world of pain. If we embrace, there will be myriads of opportunities.
Almost anyone can learn the skills they need for a job...learning skills for jobs that are yet to exist, is quite something else. It will require preparedness with the development of soft skills and the capacity to continue to learn.
It's in everyone's best interests to develop future-skills, especially rich enterprise skills to ensure future-readiness.
Tip: See some of Australia's best future-skills providers and learn why these skills are important and more about future-readiness head to Full Circle Project.
Image: StartupStock Photos
Source: ^ Foundation for Young Australians, Work Smarts
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