3 ways blockchain is already disrupting digital advertising

Blockchain may be the most disruptive technology yet to hit marketers in every industry.
23 February 2021

3 ways blockchain can disrupt digital marketing. Source: Shutterstock

  • The transparent nature of blockchain data allows companies and customers alike to feel more secure
  • Solutions by blockchain are fast becoming mainstream in marketing as it helps to eradicate advertising fraud
  • While AI and analytics have benefited businesses more than consumers, blockchain may level the playing field by giving the power of data back to consumers themselves

The marketing industry has changed a lot since the dawn of the internet. Today, most aspects of digital marketing are associated with artificial intelligence and analytics but the way blockchain technology would disrupt the industry is expected to be the most revolutionary of all as the landscape becomes more competitive with time.

To begin with, global digital ad spends is estimated to reach US$389 billion by this year, While worldwide digital ad spending achieved a modest 2.4% growth in 2020, it’s expected to bounce back with a growth of 17% in 2021, according to eMarketer. To cut through a saturated search engine and social media landscapes, digital marketers have begun prioritizing personalized, omnichannel experiences to engage with their audiences. 

However, it can be difficult to execute these campaigns, especially with mounting concerns about third-party data privacy. This is when blockchain could be adapted and in fact, more advertising professionals have been mastering this technology as it takes over. At its core, blockchain with its decentralized database enables transactions between two parties without the need for third-party verification. Most of the uses for blockchain have been around finance and crypto-currencies, but the underlying technology could be huge for marketing.

More trustworthy ads with blockchain

Undeniably one of the most exciting things about blockchain is data privacy and since many companies from large to small have been pulling data from their customers, blockchain is changing digital marketing by removing that part of consumers. Take Brave browser for instance who is changing how users interact with online advertising. 

Rather than simply being pelted with online ads, Brave users opt-into viewing ads and receive Basic Attention Tokens (BATs) for the ads with which they interact. It’s a completely new way of viewing advertising, by trading the value of online attention, rather than simply the trading of space for potential ad sales.  Even brands like Unilever, Nestlé, and McDonald’s have been adopting the technology to improve transparency in their digital campaigns.

More transparency and authenticity

Blockchain’s public ledger allows transparency of every product at each stage of the supply chain. One of the problems large companies face is consumers’ trust. From right where their food comes from to the factory conditions where the product was made, consumers are skeptical about so many things. Blockchain places tremendous power in the hands of the customer – thereby improving their customer experience.

For an instance, Walmart teamed up with IBM on a project to make their supply chain process transparent. They used blockchain for the consumer to trace where their pork came from, starting from the retailers in China. In turn, it boosted the consumer’s confidence in Walmart.

Better digital ad expenditure

Blockchain provides a trusted, validated framework that indicates with precision the actual value of ad-spend for customer acquisition through online advertisement. It can cut out the scores of intermediaries that have popped up to offer measurement, verification, and source attribution services — while taking a cut, of course. 

Blockchain can also help with issues like safety and fraud, documenting where the ads actually appeared. Hence why Unilever and IBM are creating tools to diminish or eliminate the confusion regarding online advertising spend. The scheme is estimated to save Unilever tens of millions of dollars.