What blockchain could mean for digital marketing

The emerging technology offers the digital marketing space many opportunities.
13 September 2018

The technology is looking to revolutionize many industries. Source: Shutterstock

Companies today have access to more data than ever before, and many are using this as the fuel to power significant business decisions.

As a leader in the area, IBM have broken down “big data” into four dimensions: Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity.  It can be said that we have seen ample evidence of the impact and importance of the first three dimensions.

The greater volume of data available to businesses had resulted in more efficient decision-making in many ways, such as in programmatic marketing.

Research and literature has shown how utilizing high velocity data, such as from mobiles, has uncovered knowledge that has facilitated firms in better understanding their customers.

And the potential of the wide variety of data (such as text, images, videos, ect) in making better predictions has also been well documented in various studies.

But when it comes to the fourth V – “Veracity” – there has been roadblocks in proving its worth. Issues relating to the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of data are difficult to address within the domains of data-driven marketing.

Looking to address this limitation though, is blockchain technology.

Much of the discussion surrounding the technology has so far been around its impact on banking and finance. While these two areas alone are significant, the principles underlying the technology is set to disrupt almost all industries- with digital marketing being one of them.

More transparency into ad fraud

A predominant pain point for brands and advertisers in recent years has been the lack of transparency and accountability regarding ad spend.

Digital advertising is a complex landscape due to the difficulty in ensuring that the media purchased was actually delivered as it was intended.

Blockchain can help address the prevalent issue of ad fraud. Source: Shutterstock

The problem of ad fraud is a major, and is costing marketers and publishers a large amount of money. In fact, the global cost of ad fraud is expected to increase to US$50 billion over the next ten years.

According to one study, 79 percent of advertisers surveyed shared worries about transparency, with over a third attributing the lack of visibility on third parties as a primary concern.

Blockchain has the power to make data-driven marketing more transparent. The technology can help confirm that a real person saw an ad through the validation and analyses of the ad delivery.

Marketers will have the power to control how their assets are delivered by monitoring exactly where their ads are placed, alleviating ad fraud by ensuring genuine ad engagement.

Helping companies build trust with consumers

Trust is a basic human trait that can be tracked back to the very beginning of mankind. Humans needed to trust one another in order to survive and trade. Fast-forward to 2018 and the same can be applied: customers have to trust you in order to transact with you.

While customers information enables brands to deliver more personalized experiences, many consumers are reluctant to share information due to a lack of trust with what might happen to that data.

In the world of marketing, blockchain’s ledger-based transparency can help businesses address this consumer concern.

There has been evidence to show that customers are willing to part with data in return for better offers from companies. And so this implies that brands who are able to build trust with consumers and deliver value exchange will be given a great access to personal information.

Blockchain technology will also address consumer concerns regarding trusting what happens to their data by giving them a transparent look into how it’s being used.

This revolutionary technology also opens up the possibility for consumers to be able to own and sell their personal data to authorized companies on the blockchain.

With greater control, consumers will have greater authority in determining when, to who, and for how long their personal information is available.

We are already seeing examples of companies doing just this. Snovio, for example, is a lead-generation service built on blockchain technology. It allows the customer to sell their personal data by exchanging SNOV tokens. This provides people with greater control over their own data, while creating a large database of up-to-date, high-quality leads.

Whether blockchain technology will be widely adopted by marketers is not a question of if, but rather when.

It would be wise for digital marketers to stay in the know of upcoming companies who are operating on blockchain technology. While right now it may seem futuristic and overwhelming, early adoption of the technology will be crucial to success and survival.