Blockchain and digital marketing are a perfect match. As Blockchain technology continues on its mission towards adoption, a wide range of use cases continued to be invented along the way. Blockchain’s potency as a trustless, decentralized unhackable database that kills the need for a middle man is no longer up for debate. While the tech is no silver bullet it is disrupting so many industries: banking, real estate, healthcare, legal and many more are just a few examples.
Blockchain has now come a long way from being seen as a way to record financial transactions like bitcoins to now being deployed in almost all areas.
Digital marketing is one of these areas in dire need of a solution to many of its attendant problems ranging from data collection and privacy challenges to ad frauds and data quality issues.
In this post, we consider how blockchain can be deployed to improve each of these areas. Blockchain and digital marketing are indeed a perfect match.
A lack of transparency and accountability about how ad dollars are being spent continues to be an issue for digital marketers. Billions of dollars are lost every year to ad frauds of all kinds. As a digital marketer can you guarantee you’re getting value for your money spent on ads with giant advertising publishers like Facebook and Google? How genuine is the traffic you’re getting from ad networks? It has been observed that many publishers swindle advertisers by bringing you a lot of traffic with no results because ads are shown to dubious websites with useless bot traffic. An estimated tens of billion dollars are lost yearly to ad frauds.
The solution? Blockchain
Blockchain can make advertising more transparent by validating and analyzing every consumer’s journey through ad delivery that is verifiable ensuring that a real person and not a bot saw the ad. With blockchain, digital marketers can control how their ads are being delivered and ensure proper ad engagement tracking which will lead to better attribution and efficient ad spending overall. You get to see actual results for money spent on ads.
Display Ad Efficiency
We have all been there. You just selected an interesting video on Youtube only to be punished with an ad you didn’t ask for and didn’t enjoy. You couldn’t wait for the 5 seconds mark when you could skip the ad. But sometimes you enjoy watching the ads shown to you. For example, most of us have one favorite Pepsi ad we enjoyed. The truth is advertisers and publishers don’t know what we want. They just hit us with everything hoping something sticks eventually. A lot of times they don’t even know what stage of the buying process we are on. Imagine being shown an ad for a hotel booking service on every website you visit despite having booked the hotel on another website 2 days ago. Scenarios like this should not occur in a data-driven world. It’s a lose-lose for the advertisers and the users. As a user, you hate these annoying intrusive ads. Advertisers also have it bad. Ads are expensive, low engagement, and complicated to understand and manage. Affiliates waste money paying heft commissions to affiliate networks, on sites that bring no value.
The solution? Blockchain
Blockchain tech can help prevent display ads from being over-served to anyone ensuring the optimal frequency of ad serving for each customer. Several blockchain solutions have also been presented to ensure relevant ads are served by changing the way users interact with ads. One way is to allow publishers and advertisers to trade on the value of the user’s attention and compensate users in tokens for their time. Users also get to choose which ads they like and the categories of their choice. It’s a win-win for all parties. Digital Marketers will get better at performance data and targeting because since they are paying for the user’s attention, it would make them think more about the quality of their ads and be more customer-centric overall. With blockchain, publishers get better revenue and control over the ads they display. Users get better, quality ads that match their attention span (read: fewer ads). They also get compensated for their attention and data which is encrypted on the blockchain.
Data Collection and Privacy
Every time we surf the internet we know our privacy is compromised. Our internet providers, web browsers, and social media platforms keep track of everything we do online and collect the data. As the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 taught us, these companies we trust to provide us with access can betray this trust by selling our data to third parties. The result can be disastrous as in the case of the US where it cost an entire country a free and fair election.
The solution? Blockchain
Blockchain could be leveraged as it’s a technology that does not require trusting a single entity (trustless). As a solution for data breaches, a network (internet and browsers) can be built on the blockchain to ensure that your data remains with you instead of existing with a platform or a server at an unknown location. Smart contracts (set of codes that are programmed on a blockchain to execute when certain conditions are met) with advertisers will allow users to receive targeted ads and have a say on how much information they want to share.
Other ways blockchain will impact digital marketing
Influencer marketers will become redundant: Today companies pay social media influencers- skinny models, and celebrities, to serve as middlemen in promoting their products. But is it money well-spent? Hardly. Lack of transparency, fake followers, and engagement, difficulty in tracking ROI are a few of the challenges of this form of marketing. Deploying blockchain solutions to digital marketing will effectively reduce these influencers ensuring the few genuine ones have trackable results.
Customer loyalty programs: Customers having to keep track of different loyalty programs is a huge challenge. Blockchain can streamline the process by allowing multiple brands to collaborate and allow users to redeem loyal points with any brand within the network.
Blockchain technology is here to stay and will continue to impact digital marketing in a lot of ways. Many startups are already working on the many use cases highlighted above.
Consider a few of them below.
It’s a shame that some of these platforms are struggling to stay afloat.
Brave.com (Still going strong. One of the best internet browsers right now. Surfing the internet is fun when you can earn tokens at the same time. )
Customer Loyalty Programs
The future of blockchain-powered digital marketing is sparking delight.
What other changes will you like to see in digital marketing?
Sound off in the comment section below.
Join the conversation on my telegram group here.