Sam Radocchia, co-founder at Chronicled answers the question on Quora: What is the Safest Way for Businesses to Accept Cryptocurrency?
Try something at the next family party: Ask your aunt if she’s heard about bitcoin. She may be a little fuzzy on the details, but she’s probably seen something in the news recently.
Then, ask if she’s heard of blockchain.
As anyone in the industry can tell you, getting coverage for bitcoin isn’t a struggle right now. But getting coverage for the underlying technology—blockchain—is still difficult.
While both of these advances have existed in the cryptosphere for some time, many reporters only want to talk about buzz-worthy things happening in the market. I can sit down with someone and talk all day about blockchain, supply chains, the increased awareness we’re seeing compared to when we first got into the market—it won’t matter. The last question will always be:
“So, what do you think the price of bitcoin is going to be next week?”
Yes, it’s great that cryptocurrency and financial applications are finally getting mainstream coverage. But that tends to come at the expense of other applications for blockchain.
This begs the question: How can we market an emerging technology like blockchain when mainstream outlets aren’t interested yet?
Educate The Market
Traditional marketing strategies don’t work as well for an emerging technology like blockchain. It’s not as simple as buying advertising space or driving traffic to a website.
You can’t properly market a product to someone who doesn’t understand it. Educating the market about blockchain is essential if we want to get people interested and on the path to becoming customers.
At Chronicled, we’re most successful at educating when engaging with people at a speaking event, on a panel, or face-to-face with a customer. It gives us an opportunity to share what’s happening in the industry. And we want to share not only what we’re doing but what our partners and other companies are doing.
We want to get people thinking about the myriad of uses for blockchain and give our customers an understanding of the broader applications of the technology. But it’s difficult to find mainstream coverage. So, we’re forced us to reach people and educate them through different means.
Utilize Thought Leadership
At the moment, we can’t just list our blockchain products and solutions and hear people say, “Ah, okay. I understand this. I know what you’re selling.”
The best marketing strategy right now is providing consistent education and thought leadership to ground people in the possibilities of blockchain.
Take some time and look on Twitter and Reddit. You’ll find a huge amount of blockchain speculation resulting from thought leaders. They’re pushing buttons to find out how much influence they really have. It’s still a small market, so they see their influence when posting or tweeting.
That influence right now is significant, and it’s imperative thought leaders are using it to educate people and help them understand the practical applications of blockchain.
Focus On Unbiased Sharing Of Knowledge
The biggest growth strategy for blockchain-based companies is the formation of ecosystems or networks around a particular solution. This is where influencers are incredibly effective. They have the ability to bring a group of people together around that specific use case.
And it’s not just individuals. Blockchain also has the ability to bring together groups of competitors to build new infrastructure for the future.
A good example is what we did at Chronicled with the pharmaceutical industry. We were able to bring together big pharma companies to discuss a specific regulation they all needed to follow. They came together in a group project to share ideas and requirements, and took part in building a solution.
This is why the unbiased sharing of knowledge is so important to marketing blockchain. The best way to commercialize the different uses of blockchain is by building an ecosystem or community with a specific solution in mind. It’s essentially a collaborate-to-compete model.
The Way Forward
Sharing is the true spirit of decentralization and the blockchain community. We’re trying to create an open form mentality, not only sharing code, but also knowledge and experience. We need to be sharing data, not competing in a way that creates data monopolies (similar to what we saw in the early days of the internet).
That attitude of sharing and collaboration isn’t just important for building incredible code or blockchain-based ecosystems—but also for building the right industry reputation and a solid marketing plan.
It’s going to take time, but building a community with its own set of checks and balances will go a long way towards promoting blockchain and educating consumers.