Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have long been a disruptive technology – set on changing the way our world works entirely and introducing the blockchain to the masses. This introduction however has put a heavy focus on privacy, security, and anonymity. As such, people are growing increasingly more weary of sharing their personal data online, accepting tracking cookies, etc. Just think about all the major things that have occured in just the last few years as everyone’s focus on privacy and anonymity online has started to grow:
- Do Not Track Legislation
- Introduction of privacy browsers such as DuckDuckGo, Brave, Tor, Ghostery
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- Firefox Enhanced Tracking Protection
- The Cookie Law
- Facebook’s 5 Billion Dollar Settlement with FTC
- Google’s Multiple Anti-Trust Cases
- Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal
While everyone should definitely be weary of the personal information they share online, all of this focus on privacy and anonymity does make life for a digital marketer a bit harder. At least it also makes it more fun. Allow me to explain.
Since one of the biggest appeals around cryptocurrency, apart from the whole get rich quick concept because Bitcoin is going to the moon apparently, is the promise of anonymity & privacy. It’s not difficult to see why people are migrating to blockchain-based platforms to ease their growing privacy concerns and reduce their digital imprint.
Back in 2018, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred, trust in Facebook’s commitment to personal privacy dropped by 66%. It hasn’t really recovered since then.
Fact is the majority of Americans don’t trust social media to keep their data safe – and this lack of trust is further driving the growth in popularity for new privacy-focused social networks.
Platforms like Facebook & Google rely heavily on tracking their users and collecting data – something everyone has become increasingly aware of. However platforms like Steem and SocialX offer a blockchain-powered alternative where the focus lies heavily on privacy and anonymity.
While this focus on privacy all fine & dandy for personal security and anonymity – this does mean that the current system for gathering data about users may become a thing of the past. As this shift continues, traditional platforms like Facebook & Google will have significantly less data on a user to provide to its advertising partners. And as a digital marketer – that means targeting the specific users necessary for an ad campaign is only going to get harder.
There is an upside to this however.
The positive outcome from this increased focus on privacy and anonymity online is actually two-fold for a digital marketer.
Firstly: less charlatans. The digital marketing space is filled with less-than-qualified people who are following cookie-cutter campaign outlines, or simply pressing buttons and hoping for the best. This was easier to accomplish as customer data was readily available everywhere and putting together a well-converting campaign was fairly simple using the tools available. However as up-to-date data becomes more and more scarce, digital marketing campaigns have to adapt and find new ways to collect the necessary data and attract their target market. This means it’ll be that much harder to fake being a good digital marketer – which is an obvious positive for anyone who’s already running marketing campaigns utilizing outside-the-box targeting methods.
Secondly: forced change. The world of digital marketing has to continue to evolve with the times. As users focus more on blockchain technology to limit their online footprint, marketers must begin thinking outside the box. Developing campaigns that can garner the necessary audience and attention using more creative methods – think supplementive product placement, influencer marketing, etc. Change can bring about great things.
Regardless of what happens to Bitcoin tomorrow, the world around us is changing. It’s reasonable to assume that consumers will not wish to part with their data as easily as they have in the past. Whether Bitcoin hits $100k, or comes back down to $100, the focus on privacy and online anonymity isn’t going away. Just think about how many VPN commercials you’ve seen on YouTube this year, versus 3 years ago.
Frankly I am excited to see what type of creativity this change brings to the world of digital marketing. So long as we are prepared for it, it’s a welcome challenge to embrace.
As always, I welcome all your thoughts down in the comments below. If you need help putting together an outside-the-box marketing campaign to help grow your business – contact me.