Digital technologies have evolved to a point that has majorly impacted marketing practices worldwide. The internet was one of the largest technological advances in the last several decades, which enabled marketers to gather more data about their customers. However, with time, digital marketing started facing several concerns such as transparency, data protection and cyber security. This is where Blockchain technology can come into the perspective.
A little about Blockchain
Blockchain technology can be best described as a digital ledger of transactions. It is then distributed and duplicated across the entire network of computer systems. Each of the blocks in the chain houses several transactions. Every time a new transaction occurs in the network, a record of that transaction is sent and added to every participant’s ledger. This decentralised database is known as Distributed Ledger Technology.
Blockchain is set to disrupt a lot of businesses including advertising and digital marketing. Many of these changes can level the playing field which will allow the smaller companies to have the same access as larger ones.
What can Blockchain solve in the digital marketing landscape?
Described as another major technological innovation of our time, blockchain can provide digital marketing with increased online ad authenticity and brand transparency. It also helps support cross-promotion with influencers and rewards customers for data sharing. The digital advertising scene has also been disrupted by data scandals in the past. There is an increasing feeling among digital marketing users and advertisers, that their control over data is slipping away. Blockchain provides these organizations with the necessary tools to function autonomously in the advertising market. It can also be used to increase the authenticity of a brand’s product as well as corporate communications.
The current digital marketing sector is suffering from problems such as high costs, the failure of real-time apps to achieve commercial viability, and the lack of sector-wide initiatives. While the potential applications for blockchain are still not known, it is starting to make in-rows into the digital world.
What are the main characteristics of blockchain in the context of digital marketing?
Blockchain helps in storing data using decentralised servers at several locations instead of using a single server. The distributed data records are linked into a chain. This allows every computer in the network to receive the same copy of untouched, unalterable data. Market players can trust this, as there is no central point of attack for technical malfunctions of cybercriminals to exploit.
How can Blockchain be applied to Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing can truly transform if blockchain technology is properly implemented. Some of the use-cases of blockchain in digital marketing are as follows:
- Data collection
The internet is accessible through web browsers and ISPs, both of which record and analyse online behaviour to gain insights about visitors. However, both of these technologies do not always offer fair internet access. This is where Blockchain comes into play.
A network using blockchain verified signatures will result in the data staying with the user, compared to it floating around servers owned by applications such as Facebook. All personal information will be encrypted and protected when one visits a website.
- Digital Display marketing
Current online ads have a lot of flaws. The inventory is mostly controlled by Facebook and Google almost exclusively. Displaying ads can be an expensive, complex and difficult affair for almost all marketers.
Blockchain browsers can fix this problem. It incentivizes users to view content by trading on the value of online attention. This can break up the current duopoly that exists in the digital ad space.
- Increasing privacy and trust
Privacy and brand trust are two crucial aspects of digital marketing. This has led to a substantial number of users becoming sceptical and discerning. With blockchain technology, those organisations that prioritise user privacy will get the upper hand in earning trust from users. Users will also be more willing to voluntarily provide their personal information.
- Security and ownership of assets
When it comes to artists, they are only compensated very little per stream. The complexities of the current music industry result in streaming service payments not going to the appropriate persons. Blockchain technology can solve this problem of artist payments. With blockchain, creative professionals such as filmmakers, musicians and photographers are provided with a platform, where they can showcase their talent to the rest of the world, without an intermediary.
The way blockchain is slowly entering into our lives, its collaboration with digital marketing is not far off in the future. While blockchain is in its infancy, digital marketing has matured. Some of the best minds in the world are working on blockchain to adapt it to different business models and digital marketing is high on the list. Blockchain creates transparency, trust and efficiency in the digital marketing ecosystem and can be a competing factor in the future.