We need to talk about Bitcoin marketing

TL;DR:  I think the Bitcoin community needs a Kickstarter-like platform to fund marketing ideas & proposals for the benefit of all Bitcoin stakeholders

Bitcoin has no owner, no central authority … therefore no-one responsible for a broad marketing effort.  Each stakeholder currently only worries about their own self-interest, promoting their business or agenda accordingly.  For this reason, the vast majority of marketing spend is probably targeted at existing Bitcoiners and not at trying to convert newbies into users and HODL’ers.

It is easy to rest on our laurels, sit back and wait for the network effect to grow the market organically.  Or we can, as a community with clearly aligned interests, create a platform where marketeers make proposals and we contribute to the ones we like … improving marketing material and messages available, accelerating the network effect and ultimately making Bitcoin worth more.

Reddit is full of people asking ‘Where do I get started?’ or ‘What site/video can I give to friends/family/colleagues to explain Bitcoin?’.  We need to fix that, as well as reach out to potential new users directly.

Examples of Bitcoin’s marketing deficiency:

  • Look at Paypal’s “There’s a new money in town” advert, it is pretty obvious it is in a different class to nearly all Bitcoin marketing undertaken so far
  • T-shirts, hats, etc. are typically made by nerds, for nerds and most make no sense to a non-Bitcoin aficionado
  • When you search Youtube/Google for “What is Bitcoin?” the most popular results are typically low-quality and usually too technical
  • Bitcoin often projects a “meritocracy” publicly which is discouraging to new users and non-techies
    • A sub-set of the above is the highly visible split community “at war” regarding block-size
  • The largest Bitcoin businesses rarely collaborate to promote Bitcoin rather than themselves

Magic Internet Money

As mentioned, I think we can fix the above with a platform dedicated to creating ‘open-source’ marketing material and funding marketing proposals.

What is stopping us, as a community, funding adverts in Venezuala promoting Bitcoin as a way to escape inflation?
Why don’t we have adverts on /r/investing showing the longer-term returns of HODL’ing?
Why isn’t there a library of design work, video, etc. that is free to re-publish for non-profit purposes but which can be licensed by businesses for their own use (the funds reinvested in funding more work)?
How are we targeting those remitting money to their home country?
Why are we letting the mainstream media control the message to the public?

The above may be idealist.  It may not work as Bitcoin’s ‘greed’ killer app is very strong.  Individuals and companies may think ‘why should I pay when others are not?’.

If there are others who agree with me and are willing to help try to make something like this work, please get in touch on Reddit or Twitter … I’d be happy to try and make it happen!

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