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Jeremy Epstein Interview Part 3; Blockchains Effect on AdTech and MarTech in 2017

Mike Krass • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 • 5 minutes to listen

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In the first part of our interview with Jeremy Epstein, founder and CEO of Never Stop Marketing, we covered the current state of compensation for marketing agencies and brand marketers.

During the second part of our interview we covered the future state of marketer and agency compensation using Blockchain as an efficiency driver.

This third and final part of the interview will discuss blockchain effect on AdTech and MarTech industries.

We’ve transcribed the interview for your reading pleasure below. Feel free to watch the video at the top of this post as well.

Mike: Let’s talk about blockchain adoption when it comes to AdTech or MarTech.

Jeremy: There are so many intermediaries in the advertising process! I read a story in the news the other day that found for every $1 brands spend on advertising they only see 44 cents of value at the other end because they pay demand side platforms, exchanges, publishers, etc. That's 56 cents of value that's sitting there, waiting to be taken back.

That's why I think there's a lot of opportunity. There's already one publisher out there who was working with one of these companies. They've saved a million dollars. Advertising is like ripe for disruption because when you have that many intermediaries, they're the ones in the crosshairs of the sniper, eventually the sniper's going to be like, "You're going down."

Mike: I got asked that question by a prospect yesterday. They asked "How much of my money is going into the market market?" You just brought up about Adtech and programmatic advertising. There's a lot of noise there, both positive and negative. And an advertising impression has is an inherent unit of value. I could see blockchain being really useful if you actually put an impression ID so you could see the history of that impression. How that would work, I don't know. But again that's a problem for somebody smarter than us.

Jeremy: Yep. That's for sure.

Mike Within programmatic advertising and AdTech, do you think that blockchain could come in and make it more legitimate?

Jeremy: I think you nailed it. I think that transparency is a big issue. There is a great blogger out there named Ben Thompson, and he writes a blog Stratechery and he had an amazing post the other day. He said "Here's why media agencies are totally falling apart," and broke it down because he basically talks about how they have these essentially dark pools that are going on the same way Wall Street does. They don't have transparency. They're not adding allowed values.

So I think everything you're intuiting is already happening. I mean that's what Brave is trying to do with this attention token. My attention is value. And if I pay attention to you, I'm not paying attention to something else. So that means there's value. So that, theoretically, could be monetized, could be traded, could be sold.

If you want to talk about a world of marketing? Work on this assumption. What if you have to pay for the attention of every single one of your customers? What if I, the consumer, get paid by you (cutting out the publisher) to give you my attention?

There’s a site called 21.co where you can list here's how much it would cost for people to contact you. And people pay. Marc Andreessen charges $100 to contact him (if he responds). You send him $100 through 21.co and he’s set up his profile so that 100% of that money goes to charity. For $100 he'll respond to your email. Whereas if you just blind email Marc he's going to delete that.

Now for example I'm the executive director of an organization called the Decentralized Marketing Network which is specifically for blockchain and decentralized startups to help them improve their marketing. We're conducting a survey and decided to try out 21.co. We got a 100% response rate. Now how often does that happen on a survey? Never. So I mean think about it. Surveys is a great thing that could get disrupted.

So I think surveys and of course CRM could be disrupted.

Mike: Last question: Take a moment to say anything you’d like about blockchain and marketing.

Jeremy: I think the important thing is no one's got all the answers. I certainly don't have all the answers. I mean everyday I think it's important to just get your head around this. So what I advise people to do is three things.

Saying blockchain isn't going to affect you is like saying the internet doesn't affect you. It's going to affect all of us. That's number one.

The second thing is technical readiness. If you work with developers, have them take a training class. What does it mean to program a blockchain? How do you do this? How do you work with this? How do you work on permission versus permissionless? It's not a huge jump from what they're doing, but it is a little bit of a different paradigm. My advice is it's much better to prepare for it before it shows up. It's like buying insurance on your house. You don't want to buy it after the fire.

And then number three is the lawyers and legal responsibilities you’ll want to be compliant with. I signed an NDA today. They sent me an NDA in Microsoft Word, and I told them "I am not printing this out and signing it." So I put it into blocksign, signed with my cryptographic key, and I sent it to the guy with a note that said "You're going to have to sign this or I can't even talk to you." He told me "My lawyers can't figure out how to use Google Docs they're so used to Word." I said "Well too bad. Whatever." So I think getting your lawyers comfortable with this because there's still room for lawyers in this economy but they have to understand all the if/then statements that they put into regular Word documents now can be attached to contracts that are blockchained.

Recapping those three points:

  1. Business readiness.
  2. Technical readiness.
  3. Legal readiness.

Keep asking questions. Follow up with me, and of course never stop marketing.

Jeremy Epstein