Blockchain and marketing. Smart Contracts

Marketing and the blockchain. Smart Contracts

Hand on heart. Do you trust your marketing or advertising agency? Do you doubt the value? Are they thinking bigger picture when it comes to your brand, your marketing message, your future business development?

In an age of ever-growing mistrust in vast swathes of our interactions with banks, the media, government and the advertising and marketing industries – how can we feel more confident in these institutions and what they offer us? In our personal lives and business.

My money is on the blockchain.

WHAT IS THE BLOCKCHAIN I HEAR YOU SAY?

The blockchain is a digital ledger (basically, one large spreadsheet) that records transactions or interactions between two parties. The transactions get recorded and saved on numerous computers on the Blockchain network. Meaning no one central body, individual or organisation ‘owns’ the data.

It has been decentralised.

The data is then open to be viewed publicly by members of the network and can be almost 100% proven to be accurate and unhackable due to the nature of the Blockchain – if someone or something tried to change a single transaction in the chain, it throws all other transactions out of kilter.

Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties. These transactions are trackable and irreversible.[1]  Smart contracts were first proposed by Nick Szabo, who coined the term, in 1994.

How will this translate to more transparency in the advertising and marketing world though?

Imagine a world, where the agency you are working with discloses on the blockchain the subcontractors they used on your project. What they paid them. How many hours it took to create your website. Even, what their mark up is.

A world where the transactions made on your behalf when purchasing such things like AdWords, Facebook Ads, Media buying are all recorded, with a trail that fully discloses the costs, right through the real live data – of what that spend generated for your business.

Blockchain also has the power to protect copyright for agencies and creators – and ensures individuals and businesses are not the victims of plagiarism. There’s nothing worse than buying or paying over the odds for creative or professional consultation that has been copied and pasted from another source.

This data has the power to build real trust with your advertising, marketing or media buying agency – creating deeper business relationships that can scale and become sustainable for both parties. Client and agency.

‘Smart Contracts’ – “A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties. These transactions are trackable and irreversible.”

These ‘Smart Contracts’ set up between agencies and businesses can create the ability to be paid, only when both parties are happy with the outcome.

Will these industries succumb to this newfound honesty? It will and already is.

Truth is a media buying agency embracing Blockchain technology, giving them the competitive edge over other media buyers who are struggling to keep up. By adopting blockchain technology, this alone has become a prime marketing campaign for them. They are a business with their finger firmly ‘on the pulse’, leading the way with this technology in their field.

Truth Blockchain Media Agency
Truth are a blockchain media agency.

Bounties Network, backed by Venture Capital and Ethereum Development firm Consensys is a platform where individuals or businesses can outsource specific tasks – Programming, design, marketing consultation – and pay the freelance resource directly.

No commission or transaction fees. Possibly the end of UpWork and Fiverr? Too soon to call, but overall the blockchain and smart contracts need more time to mature and grow in overall usage.

The marketing revolution has started. Fuelled by blockchain, it needs time and the bravery of existing and new marketing and advertising agency owners to come around to the idea – but I think its inevitable.

In the meantime, what can you do to command more transparency from your advertising or marketing agency?

Moreover, how could you use blockchain technology in your own business to get ahead and build trust with your customers?

If you like this post, why not subscribe to my newsletter – DAMM, Design and Marketing Matters. A monthly email newsletter with marketing tips, news and discussion.

Photo by Mike Alonzo on Unsplash


B Corporation Certification Finisterre

It's good to Be Good. B Corporation status for Finisterre

Finisterre is a UK based Surf clothing brand, based in Cornwall. A brand I have followed and admired for their commitment to quality sourced materials for their well designed and durable garments, commitment to their people and the people creating their products and their appreciation of the natural environment.

So it was good to see that Finisterre has voluntarily committed to the B Corporation certification and passed with flying colours. B Corporation status is like having a shiny badge pinned to your merino jumper, that openly communicates with the world that you’re an all-round good egg.

B Corp Logo
Tom Kay Finisterre Founder

In the words of Tom Kay (Finisterre Founder)

“…committed to using business as a force for good. To become B Corp certified, we have morally and legally committed to prioritising responsibility to the environment and society as well as all stakeholders, from our staff to the people that make our products. Together with a global community of likeminded B Corporations and with the support of our customers, we have the power to make a real difference”.

A force for good

A growing number of brands are striving to set themselves apart from others – by either going through the B Corporation certification process or having credible Social Responsibility Policies that ensure commercial entities can be a real force for good.

Ethically minded buying is also a growing market, with consumers worldwide seeking out those brands that they know are using their money to do good. It helps consumers communicate a message that the clothing they wear, the food they eat has been considered – to reflect their own ethics and morals.

And the B Corporation certification means those that are compliant have to set out a code of conduct that voluntarily holds themselves to higher levels of transparency. This ensures accountability from their customers.

Greater levels of transparency in business are increasingly becoming the norm. Accountability and honesty for brands will be driven by voluntary schemes such as B Corporation, and I would envisage through digital technologies such as Blockchain (specifically Ethereum) that will be a digital ledger of all transactions and contracts a business undertakes – visible in the public domain.

How transparent is your brand? Your values, your social responsibility policy?

What badge are you wearing on your fine Merino sweater?


The Third Industrial Revolution Jeremy Rifkin

The Third Industrial Revolution & The Smart Economy

Jeremy Rifkin is an American Economist & Social Theorist.

The Chinese Government and the European Union have taken his advice to help grow their economies through creating a 'Smart Economy', using renewables, technology and internet of things to drastically reduce the cost of creating energy, logistics and communicating.

Vice Impact have put together a documentary, presented by Jeremy himself – where he runs through his vision for the future economy, why non-profits and co-operatives are bucking the trend of a global slow down and why productivity is falling massively around the world on a biblical scale.

It's a gripping documentary based on Jeremys book of the same title, that puts the focus firmly on America woefully lagging behind in this exciting Third Industrial Revolution. And how China and the European Union are placing themselves firmly at the forefront.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash


Marketing Transparency

Transparency in Marketing

I often think about how the Marketing industry will be disrupted in the future, and what marketing businesses are potentially ripe to disrupt.

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Tesla Roof Tiles

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles

This week at work, myself and a few colleagues were discussing roofing and roofing tiles.
Not the most riveting topic I'm sure you will agree.

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Wordpress Meetup Birmingham & Coventry

I've popped my Wordpress Meetup Cherry!

So last night (Wednesday 13th May 2015) I officially popped my Wordpress Meetup cherry at the Birmingham event.
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My website is falling down the Google Search Rankings!

You've got your website looking the way you want it. Its been achieving a high ranking on Google for some time, but for some strange reason you are beginning to see your mighty page 1 ranking on Google slip.

Why is my website falling in the Google Search Rankings?

The reason could be very simple.

On April 21st 2015, Google introduced a new Search Algorithm that meant that any website that was not 'mobile friendly' (i.e. a website that was not optimised for, views well or responsive to mobile or tablet screens) would begin to be demoted in favour for websites that were mobile friendly.

With 51% of all internet searches being undertaken on mobile, smart of tablet devices it's no wonder that Google have changed their outlook on mobile.

Getting your website mobile friendly

I've been building websites that are responsive and mobile friendly for around 2 years now and can offer you simple solutions to getting your website mobile friendly quickly and easily.

If you have any questions on how to go about this, please feel free to drop me an email on
or call on 02476 980 630.


Channel4 on Mobilegeddon and the Mobile Friendly Google Algorithm

We spoke yesterday about the new Google Algorithm that is going to shake up Google Search and start demoting all those websites that are not mobile friendly out of the box.

Channel 4 News did a great piece on why this is going to be a problem very quickly for a number of websites out there that are not meeting the standards expected by the new Google Algorithm.

If you have any questions on how to go about this, please feel free to drop me an email on
or call on 02476 980 630.

Check out the Channel4 News piece here:


Mobile Friendly Websites. What Coventry & Birmingham Businesses should do.

Google have announced their new algorithm in the last few weeks which will begin demoting any website that does is not mobile friendly.

Donned 'Mobilegeddon' by Channel4, the good and the great of internet land, the algorithm goes live on April 21st 2015 and will take around a week to take effect across the globe. With search and website traffic being around 51% of all website views you can see why Google is now bringing about this change.

So what effect will the Google Mobile Friendly algorithm have on your website?

If it's not mobile friendly (Not sure if it is or not? Search for your business name on a smart device and look for 'Mobile Friendly' next to your website name. If not there. You're not mobile friendly!) you will begin to see from this week your ranking on Google come down, which will mean less visitors to your site.

Mobile Friendly Google Coventry

 

What will Google be looking at in terms of being mobile friendly?

Google will now be looking at:

  1. How simple your navigation menu is
  2. If your website is responsive (i.e. if it adjusts in size to smart devices and tablets)
  3. If your images and the fonts you use adapt to the screen the site is being viewed on
  4. If there are clear and simple 'Call to Actions'.
  5. Page Speed. How long it takes to load your website. Mobile phones need to have

So how can you make your website mobile friendly I hear you ask?

The quickest and best way is to convert your website to a mobile friendly Wordpress website. I'm currently converting many of my clients old Wordpress websites, while also taking static websites and converting them to Wordpress.

I have been building mobile friendly websites for the past 2 years. Feel free to check out my 2 latest websites: Fargo Village & Clan Media.

Email me for more information on

Or call on 02476 980 630 and let's get your website working for Google and Mobile!


Extracting Youtube Thumbnail Images Dynamically from a Custom Post Type in Worpdress

Problem

I'm building a portfolio plugin for a Video Director. The client wants to simply add a YouTube URL to a 'New Project' with a 'Portfolio' Custom Post Type in Wordpress.

I wanted it to automatically extract the thumbnail image associated with that YouTube video directly from YouTube.

The Solution

  1. Query your post type meta.
  2. Extract the YouTube ID
  3. Pass it to $id
  4. Echo the ID (and a width and height variable) to an img src
  5. Voila!

query_posts( array( 'posts_per_page' => 3, 'post_type' => 'project','orderby' => 'ASC',) );
if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post();
//retrieve the URL from the project post meta
global $wp_query;
$postid = $wp_query->post->ID;
$url = get_post_meta( $postid, '_wpb_video_embed', true );
//extract the youtube ID
preg_match(
'/[\\?\\&]v=([^\\?\\&]+)/',
$url,
$matches
);
//pass the youtube ID to $id
$id = $matches[1];
//set a custom width and height
$width = '365';
$height = '220';
//echo the embed code.
echo '< img class="responsive" src="//img.youtube.com/vi/'.$id.'/0.jpg" alt="" width="' .$width. '" height="'.$height.'" />';