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What Blockchain Could Mean for Marketing and Advertising

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Companies are collecting more data than ever before, and are making significant business decisions based on it.

If you are familiar with big data, you know it, if not I'm telling you now: when you talk about big data you talk about 4 Vs  ( Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity).

We have over the years seen clear evidence of the impact and importance of the first three in marketing and advertising.

  1. A higher “Volume” of data has led to more efficient decision-making. 

  2. High “Velocity” data — such as data from mobile devices — has helped firms better understand their customers.

  3. High “Variety” data — data that is unstructured in the form of text, images, videos, and so on — can lead to make better predictions.

But what about “Veracity”? Even if you've never heard the term before, this definition is related to the issues of data accuracy, reliability, and transparency.

Are these data accurate? reliable, transparent? Is there any possible fraud or fellony going on? what kind of insight could I get from these data?

For data-driven marketing, an answer to this questions comes from blockchain technology.

#Blockchain can make data-driven marketing more transparent by validating and analyzing every consumer’s journey through verified ad-delivery, confirming that a real person saw the ad as per the specifics of a media contract.

Thanks to Blockchain, marketers will able to control how their assets are delivered by monitoring exactly where their ads are being placed, reducing ad fraud from automated bots by ensuring that real followers and consumers are engaging with their ads while also ensuring proper ad engagement tracking that will lead to more precise digital attribution.

Another fundamental pain point that is experienced by consumers in the mobile economy is the noise!

Companies are overwhelming their customers with too many ads, emails, coupons, and messages. The reason they send out a dozen different messages is that they don’t know much about consumer preferences, as astonishing as that might seem in todays’ data intensive economy. The current practice is often a numbers game: throwing a dozen darts in the air and hoping one will hit the bullseye.

survey of brand and agency marketers revealed that 94% of marketers don’t have a single view about their consumers that could have facilitated cross-platform continuity. what's obvious is that there’s a disconnect between consumers and marketers with respect to what people want, when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. This problem manifests itself, for example, when you see that same display ad for a hotel following you from one website to another, even if you already made a booking for that hotel two days ago.

Blockchain can prevent the same display ad from being over-served to anyone, ensuring the optimal frequency of ad serving for each consumer.

When it comes to the impact of frequency of ad exposure on consumers’ propensity to buy, studies have shown that, anywhere from four to six ad exposures is optimal. However, it has been nearly impossible to deliver on this optimal goal due to issues of data quality (the fourth V). A smart contract on blockchain can fix this by providing a level of tracking and transparency that is currently not available to brands.

If consumers share more of their preference information, brands will know more about them, which in turn will increase the relevance of their messages and decrease the frequency of #advertising. But for some consumers, an impediment to sharing information with firms is often a lack of trust with what firms might do with that data. Blockchain’s inherent ledger-based transparency can help companies build trust with consumers. We have seen clear indication of how consumers are willing to share their data with firms in return for better offers and tangible value.

Those Brands who have earned consumer trust and who offer a relevant, value will have greater access to personal information. Blockchain #technology offers tremendous potential for mitigating consumer concerns by giving the, a transparent look at how their data are used by marketers and advertisers.

This will likely give rise to markets for consumer data that will not only give users a transparent look at how their data has been used by advertisers, but will also give them more control over how their data should be used. It also has the potential to allow newer ad tech vendors, such as telecom providers like Verizon and AT&T, a credible chance to compete against the likes of Facebook and Amazon.

All this said, we are a still a while away from actual implementation of blockchain by the ad-tech ecosystem. The key roadblock that needs to be fixed is the speed of transactions. Because of its distributed nature, where transactions are verified by “miners” around the world, blockchain generally takes between 10–30 seconds to validate transactions. This means that as of today, it cannot validate ad-tech transactions (that occur in milliseconds) fast enough.

So ad tech vendors will have to aggregate ad transactions into one block to create a single transaction, but of course that reduces transparency. In the short term, brands will likely use blockchain as a post-campaign layer to validate and authenticate transactions, not in real-time, but after-the-fact. However, this is still a vast improvement over current practices.

Despite its speed limitations, which are typical of the path in which a foundational technology such as blockchain unravels, this new paradigm will change the data-driven #marketing #business landscape for good, it's purely a matter of time.

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