A moment of truth for 2018 - the advertising industry is losing its sheen and is facing a crisis. Reports state that “for every dollar spent on an advertisement, about 70 percent of it is lost into the digital abyss.” Privacy and fraudulent practices are the two challenges ahead of digital advertising.
Technology and innovation have made it easier to capture the digital footprints of web users. For each user activity on the web, tracking information is gathered by marketers as cookies and later used for marketing. However, the sheer volume of user data on the Internet and the consequent ease of marketing comes at a price - user data breach.
The recent Cambridge Analytica data breach incident raised several questions and concerns over digital security. Moreover, the event alarmed everyday users who until then were using the Internet (especially Facebook) liberally. This is where blockchain, a digital ledger with unparalleled security features, takes prominence.
TV[R]EV and Adledger jointly published a report that states that the majority of advertising pundits, 70%, believe that blockchain is the future of advertising.
Blockchain in digital marketing acts as a regulator by allowing businesses to directly connect to the user. For instance, there are browser applications such as Basic Attention Token (BAT) that facilitate users to pay for viewing ads. This approach will make advertising smarter and enhance user experience without giving the feeling of being sold to.
Blockchain is a technology that allows data to be stored in a decentralised manner on multiple systems; information is distributed not copied. Further, once the entry is recorded in a “block,” alterations done on system will appear on all the systems. The built-in robustness of blockchain imbeds transparency in transactions. Any one entity cannot control the blockchain.
The authors of Blockchain Revolution (2016) define blockchain as an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions devised to keep a record of not only financial transactions but everything of value, virtually.
With blockchain, advertisers can protect their intellectual data as well. Blockchain-based Decentralised Identifiers (DiDs) enables users to gain complete control of their information associated with their identity, and ensure its accuracy.
Blockchain technology can put the power back in hands of the people with the ability to read the advertisement and grant allowances to their data. Customers can draw a line on the kind of advertisements they wish to see while surfing the Internet. Blockchain eliminates the need for customer identity from the purchasing cycle. Therefore, private customer data is no longer freely available for marketers as leads.
The advent of blockchain in digital marketing has yielded greater autonomy of information to web users.
The traditional ways of advertising doesn’t give accurate details about adverts; whether the user clicks or views are generated from real customers or bots. With the use of blockchains, advertisers by means of a unique digital signature can provide complete transparency to their users.
IBM, MetaX and Amino Payments are investing in blockchain technology for advertising.