Decentralization as the New Norm

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Throughout the course of history, entire industries and segments of the US economy have consistently proven that drastic change can occur swiftly and definitively.

Take the shift that’s occurred in the news industry. The explosion of the Internet has given a prominent share of voice to bloggers, online-only publications and normal people capable of making coherent arguments. The 24-hour news cycle and the rise of alternate platforms like Twitter have decentralized the way people receive their news.

Now take mega companies like Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba, who have played massively disruptive roles in their respective industries. Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Airbnb, the world’s largest hospitality provider, owns no real estate. Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retailer, possesses no inventory.

You see where I’m going with this. There’s an undeniable shift towards decentralization across industries that have remained static for decades. Bitcoin falls into this category too, as it’s functioning as the world’s largest bank with no actual cash.

So how can marketers adapt their marketing efforts to align with this global shift?

Instead of fighting the concept of decentralization, you can embrace it. Content generation is an ideal place to start. The rise of user generated content (UGC) and influencer created content (IGC) have begun to replace larger and larger percentages of brands’ content, and that trend is projected to gain traction.

The International Data Corporation predicts that by 2020, 50% of content will be created outside of in-house marketing teams. That’s a staggering statistic but it makes sense, 2018 is the year that Millennials will grab the baton as the generation with the most spending power.

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Millennials crave authenticity, and even the most traditional of brands can come to grips with giving up some creative control and empower influencers and everyday people, who have become modern day visual storytellers, to help tell their brand story via both photos and videos.

In the coming decade the best brand stories won’t be created in corporate boardrooms. They will be created by real people, in the real world, who tell a real story.