Patron — Establishing Influencer Sharing Economy
The marketing world has been around for nearly a century and keeps searching for innovative ways of reaching its target customer. With each evolution in customer taste and access, the marketing world tried to innovate too. For example, back in the good old days of our great-grandparents where television was still a novelty, the best way to market was through posters and physical advertisement in places where people gather the most. These places could be small stores or just even a railway station or bus stop. The other obvious medium being newspapers. That served well for the people of that time.
With the television era, however, marketing world innovated to present its propositions through dynamic advertisements as against static ones. Dynamic Advertisement is something most of us experience even today. A Nike or Adidas advertising their shoes through some celebrity players is easy to catch our attention. But the era changed once again near the end of the last century. We have now entered the Social Media era!
Social media had its challenges and opportunities. The Marketing world did follow this new medium too, but the challenges were more than before. The earlier concepts of bunching advertisements where people gathered the most worked with less success in the virtual world. Virtual world also presented freedom to users to decide what they want to watch and what they can avoid. The freedom of choice meant that the marketing medium had to be more precise and target the right customer. If that did not happen then the customer would close the window and move on. The result would be higher marketing cost without enough returns.
Also, the customer base was spread across many Social Network Sites (SNS). The same user could be on Youtube as well as Facebook, or there could be users who use only Facebook or only Youtube. Which means the marketer has to be present on both SNS to target his customer. The other issue was the segmentation of the users. As an example, a Nike advertisement using an NBA celebrity may work for the audience in the U.S. but may not work for the audience in India. Why? Simply because they don’t follow NBA as much in India. So, while there was a regional divide, demographic divisions came into play too. For the first time, marketers had to not only think about how to reach the customer but also what to show them. The attention span was less in the virtual world! Also, escalating costs using a celebrity did not have the expected return on investment (ROI). The ROI was an issue the marketing world was still grappling hard to handle.
So, what could be done?
The only possibility was to look at another revolution of the twenty-first century — the Blockchain!
Welcome the Blockchain Revolution!
The Social Media era remained a difficult one to crack but still was very important to the marketing world. The total world population was 7.5 billion whereas the virtual world or SNS population was around 2.5 billion. That is nearly one-third of the world on the internet. And that’s not it. The virtual world population is set to grow to 3 billion by 2021 and would be at a faster pace than the actual world population.
Take a look at the following stats:
To the credit of the Marketing world, they did figure out that targeting influencers on social media was a lot better than targeting individual users. Also, reaching users through influencers would be more effective than attempting to reach individually. For example, an influencer posting about his fitness video and having followers would be the best candidate for exercise equipment companies or even exercise clothing company. These companies, in turn, could tie up with the influencer and advertise along with the influencer’s content. But there still was a small issue. As can be seen from the graph above, influencers were spread across social network sites, and the marketers had to target each individually. There was no way to target them at one place and reach their users across social media sites.
But here’s where blockchain comes to play. Since 2009, blockchain has been a revolution which catered to many industries and made, hitherto, unforeseen solutions being deployed easily. The same blockchain can provide a platform for the Social Network Sites’ influencers too. Imagine a scenario where an influencer can be reached on a platform and can be contacted to market to all the social network sites he is present on, wouldn’t that be great? You bet it would be.
But how could this be done? It is one thing to suggest that the blockchain can enable it, but has anyone given it a thought?
It turns out someone has.
We are talking about Patron!
Patron is a solution which has seen similar solutions being successful in the real world. Airbnb is an example where users wanting accommodation at a place they want to visit can look at options other than hotels. The provider of the space can allow the user to use his home for a certain amount. The Airbnb platform brings together such two people who do not know each other.
The Patron platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and using an ERC-20 token does something similar to Airbnb but with the robustness and security of a blockchain architecture. They intend to create an ecosystem of Influencers and make them approachable for brands. Statistics-wise, it is still a big market. In the previous section, we saw that there are 2.5 billion people on SNS, but the fact is also that there are about 800 million influencers on the SNS too. So, that’s a sizeable population.
If you think from the marketer’s perspective, this is a potential win-win. The marketer can focus his message and can do so without having super-expensive celebrity deals and intermediate agents. So, the proposition will be cost-effective for the marketer and yet will be high revenue for the influencer. This balance of monetary gains is what Patron helps to achieve.
In their own words, Patron describes themselves as:
PATRON is a highly reliable marketing place of influencers’ sharing economy, where the influencer’s SNS delivery frame are tokenized utilizing blockchain technology.
Besides, the main benefit of the blockchain is that the sponsor (brand) can connect up with the Influencer without the need of a third party to negotiate a deal. This elimination of the third party is possible because of the smart contract on Ethereum Network and allows the elimination of agents.
What is the benefit of directly connecting influencers to companies?
Patron is a blockchain solution emanating from the land of the ‘Rising Sun’ — Japan. The founders are clear that they do not intend to compete with other SNS but to work alongside them. If we understand the current model the SNS like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others provide easy connectivity for anyone to come on the site and post. However, some individuals post information, article or video which is of interest to other readers and viewers. In effect, these individuals become influencers who the others follow.
Now, in today’s world, the only way a company can know about the influencer is by following them on different social media sites and then connect up with them. Many a time, these influencers could be in a different country as compared to the company intending to connect up with them. As such, to ensure they speak to each other and understand each other multiple numbers of people have to get involved. Some of them are, the company’s legal team, influencer’s legal counsel, an interpreter (if required), agent and others. These third parties make the otherwise simple connect, a difficult one. No doubt, they are required, but their involvement also has a cost with it and takes more time. This cost is what Patron removes and benefits both the influencers and the companies.
Patron introduces its own native token PAT an ERC-20 compatible token. The PAT token is what fuels the Patron ecosystem. The company or brand can connect up with the influencer directly through a smart contract and eliminate third parties. Since this money is direct to the influencer from the brand, with the referral fee of average 40%, the proposition is cost effective for the influencer, and the influencer can be engaged immediately.
How do businesses benefit from using Patron?
The Patron platform has an effective way of scoring an influencer, and this is what a company (business or brand) can use to identify the best influencer for their products or services. The method used by Patron has three main parameters:
- Reachability / Spread of Information Dissemination
- Engagement / Power to Engage
- Trust / Evaluation by Users
Based on these parameters the value of Influencers is established. If we closely look at it, this is the ideal scenario for any influencer. For example, an influencer (Influencer 1) who has a good trust value and engagement but a very low reach would have lesser value as compared to an influencer (Influencer 2) with high reach, good engagement, and trust. So, a company wanting to reach a larger customer base will always go for Influencer 2.
Also, a business can use the influencer in multiple ways. Patron allows contracting Influencers for a post, or a month or even a year at a higher value. This model, therefore, works perfectly for businesses. The same is pictorially presented below:
The Patron platform further provides the businesses with information on the Influencer. There is multiple information which helps businesses decide on choosing the right Influencer. Some of them are:
- Influencers from around the world can be searched on the platform
- They are ranked for each genre and each SNS
- Their value is provided in terms of money including digital currency
- Through the message, function queries can be sent to Influencers
- Income rankings of Influencers will be shared
- Content that Influencers share will be disclosed
- Sponsor and affiliation information can also be known, albeit through a secure medium
- Bring in the trust element by including even information like the Influencer’s birth information, goals, and dreams
It is the guest (brand) who uses the host (influencer), and hence Patron platform does everything to enable the guest to know more about the host. In doing so, they help businesses to decide on the right influencer and go ahead with their business proposition.
How do influencers benefit from using Patron?
Influencers of different social network sites (SNS) would already be aware of the time taken even to take their association forward. It is quite a task, and this is what Patron handles so well. Since most of the information about the Influencer is made known, the business can initiate discussion with almost complete knowledge of the influencer. The knowledge of influencer helps them decide how to contract and to what quantum should they contract. This knowledge about the influencer, in turn, makes the life of the influencer that much easier.
The other advantages are that Influencers can connect up with other influencers to understand the trick of the trade as much as provide tips to users who would want to become influencers in the future.
Some of the clear advantages are:
- Stable income for the contracted period
- Contract period can be agreed based on Influencer’s commitment
- Can work as Advertising tower or PR ambassador for the contracted period exclusively. Hence does not have to think of promoting multiple items
- If Influencers are active on video medium of interaction like Youtube, etc. then their value increases
- An influencer can choose the types of contract, per post, per month or annual contract
- Influencers can choose the highest bidder in case of multiple brands approaching them
- Influencers can buy potential buyers anonymously
These and many more advantages make the Patron site one of the best suited for an Influencer, and it would only make a lot of sense for them as they continue to use it.
How does Patron enable targeted demographic access and why is this important?
Patron has realized the uniqueness of tastes and choices of individuals across the world. While there can be some level of common thread between the choices of individuals, chances are that there would be more differences. These differences can be because of multiple reasons including geographical location, culture, tradition, age-group and other aspects. Hence it is pertinent that businesses find the right kind of influencer with a specific demographic spread. Otherwise, the information could be ineffective to the target audience and in many cases could be offending.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Football is without doubt one of the most popular sport in the world, and almost all nations watch them with varying degree of passion. Many fans throng the stadium to watch their favorite club playing a game, and this is true in almost every country.
Now, let’s assume Brand XYZ is interested in selling sleeveless jerseys for both men and women. What’s more, the jerseys look similar to the ones worn by the popular club. They found a couple of influencers who keep interacting with fans. They are the perfect audience for XYZ. So, XYZ approaches the influencers to talk about the contract. However, when advertising about their jersey, they realize that they made a minor error. While fans in Europe and South America love the jersey and buy them in good number, the fans in the Middle East are offended by the design of the jersey. Sleeveless dress for ladies is a strict no-no and has offended not only the fan base in the Middle East but also could bring about possible repercussions for Brand XYZ.
The above example is one of the simplest talking about cultural differences between fans of the same sport but from different geographical locations. So, there are millions of permutations and combinations which a Brand has to take into consideration, and this is what Patron helps to achieve. Hence this is an extremely important initiative and helps both brands and influencers on the platform.
A look at the Patron Platform
Patron has learned from the benefits of a similar platform like Airbnb and applied it to the Influencer Sharing Economy. In doing so, they have taken learnings from some of the aspects which already exists (Airbnb model) as much as coupled new ideas with it (Influencer Economy). In doing so, they have hit the perfect balance regarding the usability of the platform and creating an effective business model for both influencers and brands.
Here’s a pictorial overview:
1. Patron LIVE is powered by their partner Switchboard. Through this association, the platform gets the following feature:
Patron LIVE information or message can be broadcast all at once to many SNS sites.
At the moment, users and followers of influencers would understand the difficulty of following many SNS at the same time and the issue with visiting each and downloading content to watch. With Patron, this issue can be resolved. This challenge is what Patron handles well.
From one mobile terminal, it is possible to distribute information to multiple social media sites, thus making the life of an influencer easy. As an example, it is possible to deliver a video to ten active applications including Facebook, Youtube LIVE and others.
2. Platform Major Parts
Some of the major components of the Patron Platform are listed below:
1. Patron Platform Client Side (Fan)
- Sign up/in
- User Profile
- Influencer list with filters
- Booking page
2. Patron Platform Influencer Side
- Sign up/in
- User Profile with services and cost
3. Super Admin Panel
- Approve or decline influencers
- Verify influencers
4. Resolution Center
- Super admin can manage disputes between influencers and fans
In short, Patron has made the platform quite easy to use with robust dispute resolution system in place.
Benefits of Patron Platform
We have already mentioned some of the benefits of the Patron site under the sections talking about the benefits to Influencers and businesses. However, there are more benefits.
Let’s look at them too:
- Patron can be used by even people wanting to become an influencer. They can connect up with influencers by using the PAT token for communication
- Dissemination of information from the platform can be delivered to many people in a short period
- Businesses can sell more products and services
- Collective purchase of influencer or influencers is possible
- Genres such as beauty, fashion, music, professional and others are already there, and more will be added giving a wide array of businesses to look at Patron with interest
- Through the calendar function, the schedule of influencers can be checked
- Influencers can be contacted through the messaging function
- Social media program of the influencers can be purchased in advance but delivered at the time that the businesses want
- Businesses can collect as much information as possible on the Patron platform, add them to their cart, complete all processes until they settle and purchase
Funds from the Token Sale
The funds from the token sale are earmarked for four areas. These are:
1. Patron Development
2. Patron ICO
4. Establishing Enterprise
The activities under each are explained below:
Is the author of this article an influencer? What is the author’s opinion of Patron platform supporting him?
Well, I can see myself as an influencer on Steemit, writing about ICOs and new blockchain solutions. Periodic bounty posts also help users to sign-up for airdrops which helps them earn tokens of some sound businesses in the blockchain world. Since I tend to recommend only those bounties or airdrops which are studied by me, there is a level of trust with the users who sign-up.
Patron’s proposition is bang-on and helps people like me. If there are new blockchain solutions (especially ICOs) needing an influencer to talk about them, then I could be of service. So, in the genre blockchain could be one of them and I could be listed under it. That is one of the ways I think that I can use Patron platform and its solution. Besides, with so many ICOs coming out every year, this is one genre which is only expected to grow.
Case 1: ROI on Super-Celebrity Contract
Brand ABC has a contract with a Football star for their duffle bags and traveler bags. However, despite the super expensive contract, the RoI is not that commensurate. While there is conversion, it is not to the extent that the Brand would like to see.
Brand ABC comes to know about Patron and visit the site. They see a genre called ‘Travel and Lifestyle’ and find many influencers under that genre. These influencers are communicating with the exact user base that the bag Brand would like to target. They instantly connect up with these influencers and sign them up for a year. What’s more, they can reach multiple SNS through the Patron platform. The ROI increases exponentially because the users are, after all, those interested in traveling.
The Brand ABC allows the contract with the Football champ to continue for the full-period, but beyond that, they choose to use Patron alone. Such targeted selling is not something they could expect from the super-celebrity contract.
They are pleased with the Patron experience!
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Case 2: Cult Bike Manufacturer
Bike Brand TXX is one of the leading brands in the U.S. and enjoys a cult following. However, they have not been so effective in selling the bikes beyong the traditional U.S. market. They had used celebrities to advertise the bike, but the message of its lineage and the cult status does not get through. It is rather disappointing for them despite spending so much.
The Marketing Head of TXX comes to know of Patron through his network. He visits the sites and comes to know of a ‘Biking’ genre. There are many influencers across the geographies that they intend to sell. Not only that, the specific demographic information and spread are also provided on the platform. The demographic information helps TXX quite a lot. The Marketing Head speaks about the site to CEO and immediately gets some funds allocated to sign-up influencers. In the following months, the advertising through the influencers appears effective.
The Marketing Head realizes that they are spending less on the influencers and hence saving cost and so he decides to forward the same as benefits to the users. In other words, people signing up from the influencers code will get a discount on the bike. The sales further sky-rocket and establishes the Brand TXX across geographies. What’s more, the credibility of the influencer also goes up. It becomes a potential win-win for both the Brand and the Influencer!
The Marketing Head cannot stop talking about Patron and recommends it other colleagues from different industries to try out!!
Patron Coin Exchange Details
Here’s a look at the Patron Partners
Now, the team behind Patron
And Patron Advisors
Patron comes to the fore at a time when social media influencers had no specific model to monetize their work. While contracts for influencers did exist but they were few and far. Patron creates a new influencer economy which will not only help the influencers make money but also the brands to make a good return on investment (ROI).
Patron therefore is a clear winner in the social media space and one that needs to be closely watched!