What The Blockchain Means For Marketing

You might not have considered it before, but blockchain technology can offer unique benefits to your marketing. Along with other aspects of Web 3.0, blockchain can be a game-changer that has the potential to improve ad targeting, boost ROI, avoid ad fraud and increase transparency. Here we will take a look at ways that the blockchain can improve your digital marketing strategies.

What Is The Blockchain?

If you aren’t up to date with blockchain technology, it can be a little confusing, especially outside of the realm of cryptocurrency and finance. Basically, a blockchain is a decentralised public ledger that stores information about, say, financial transactions, although any data can be stored in this way. This ledger of information is stored on several computers all over the world, and each has a copy of the full ledger – no single person or entity has control over it. 

Each ‘block’ contains data, about a transaction or indeed, anything else. They are all linked together in a chain. Every time a new block is added, it’s verified by multiple computers in the network. This verification process involves solving complex mathematical puzzles i.e. cryptography, which makes it very secure. Once a block is verified and added to the chain, it’s nearly impossible to alter, as every computer in the network has to ‘agree’ on the data contained in each block, preventing fraud.

What Does Blockchain Marketing Mean?

Blockchain technology is usually used for financial transitions involving cryptocurrency, it has applications outside of this field. The blockchain can be used by marketers to more accurately target their ads and improve ROI, keep track of ad spend in real time, offer better protection for customer data, and facilitate better user rewards and loyalty programs. 

How Blockchain Can Improve Marketing Strategies

Better Targeted Advertising Campaigns

Ad campaigns are fraught with challenges such as ad fraud, diminished ROI, and limited transparency in the customer journey. However, blockchain technology can help to address these issues and enhance ad targeting accuracy, introduce greater transparency in the ad-buying process, and eliminate extraneous third-party fees. 

Currently, many brands rely on cookies and other sources for gathering customer data, which informs strategies such as retargeting campaigns and email marketing funnels. Yet, this data is often incomplete and unreliable, leading to campaigns that may not yield the desired effectiveness.

With blockchain, companies can access far more accurate leads by obtaining precise data directly from customers. This method not only enhances the accuracy of targeted advertising but also respects and maintains consumer privacy.

Moreover, blockchain’s capability extends to tracking user behaviour across their online journey, providing marketers with more precise and reliable insights into campaign performance. This includes detailed analysis of ad views, clicks, and subsequent consumer actions, such as purchases directly attributable to the advertising efforts. Such granular insight enables marketers to fine-tune their strategies, ensuring a higher degree of relevance and effectiveness in their campaigns.

Increased Transparency For Consumers

Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword these days; it’s a cornerstone of brand identity, especially when engaging with Gen Z and millennials. For these discerning demographics, supporting causes such as fair trade and environmental sustainability is not just preferable, it’s often a deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.

However, the challenge for consumers has always been in verifying the authenticity of brands’ claims. Brands may tout their products as “100% organic” or “ethically sourced,” but how can consumers be sure? Scepticism often surrounds marketing campaigns and advertisements, with consumers questioning the veracity of these claims.

This is where blockchain technology emerges as a game-changer for enhancing transparency in marketing. By leveraging blockchain, brands can offer unprecedented levels of transparency, thereby fostering trust and loyalty among consumers. Blockchain’s ability to record and showcase transactions allows businesses to prove their supply chain processes in a verifiable and tamper-proof manner.

Imagine a consumer interested in an “organic” product. With blockchain, all they need to do is scan the product’s code, or its Digital Product Passport, to access its complete history. This transparency extends from the point of manufacture to the final retail outlet, including insights into where the raw materials were sourced. Such detailed traceability ensures that consumers can verify the genuineness of the product and confirm that it’s not counterfeit.

This level of transparency is not just about building trust; it’s about aligning with the evolving values of consumers. In an era where consumer consciousness is at an all-time high, companies that fail to provide clear evidence of ethical supply chains may find themselves losing favour. Consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on ethical considerations, preferring companies that can demonstrate a commitment to values like sustainability and fair trade.

Helps Combat Ad Fraud

The spectre of ad fraud looms large in digital advertising, presenting a formidable challenge that can compromise the integrity and effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Issues like bot traffic, fraudulent clicks, and the shadowy presence of click farms and ghost websites are not just nuisances—they actively undermine the reach of ad campaigns and distort valuable data. This fraudulent activity not only wastes advertising budgets but also skews the analytics that marketers rely on for strategic decision-making.

One of the most significant obstacles in addressing ad fraud is the involvement of third-party intermediaries. Their presence often obscures the source of fraudulent activities, making detection and prevention a complex task. Blockchain technology is a potent solution poised to revolutionise the fight against ad fraud, making it exceedingly difficult to conceal or engage in suspicious activities.

Verasity reported that advertisers could lose an estimated $100 billion to ad fraud in 2023, highlighting the urgency of finding effective countermeasures. To this end, Verasity has developed VeraViews, an innovative tool that leverages blockchain technology to analyse both first- and third-party data. VeraViews calculates a score that reflects the likelihood of a user genuinely viewing an ad. This tool represents a significant advancement in ensuring that advertisers pay only for legitimate interactions, enhancing the overall efficiency and trustworthiness of digital advertising campaigns.

Improved ROI On Paid Ads

Just as blockchain has effectively removed the middleman of banks and financial organisations for transactions, it can also offer a better deal for paid ads than the PPC giants of Facebook and Google. Currently, the market dominance of these advertising behemoths allows them to set steep prices, contributing to their staggering ad revenues—$153 billion for Facebook and $297 billion for Google in 2023. However, blockchain presents a compelling alternative that could reshape this landscape. By enabling direct connections between brands and websites with available ad space, blockchain technology bypasses the need for a middleman, which often leads to inflated ad costs.

This streamlined approach promises not only more affordable advertising but also significantly enhanced accuracy in ad data and metrics. Brands can gain precise insights into the reach of their ads, understanding exactly how many people viewed their advertisements. This level of accuracy in ad tracking makes for a more seamless and efficient advertising experience.

A prime example of blockchain’s potential in this arena is the Brave browser. Brave has instituted a program where users can opt-in to view private ads and are rewarded with tokens for their engagement. These tokens can be exchanged for gift cards or cryptocurrency. This system benefits all parties involved: advertisers achieve revenue and gain valuable insights into their ads’ effectiveness without infringing on user privacy. Simultaneously, Brave’s ad blocker leverages blockchain technology to identify and neutralise harmful ad pop-ups, safeguarding users from potential malware.

But how does Brave target its ads? The process hinges on the amount of personal data users are willing to share with the company. Advertisers then select their audiences based on the demographic data held by Brave, yet they never access the identities of the individuals viewing their campaigns.

This innovative model could significantly impact phenomena like ad fatigue, as consumers are now actively choosing to view ads, rather than being bombarded by them during their online activities. Furthermore, this aligns seamlessly with the refined level of targeting previously discussed. Customers have greater control over the data shared with marketers, fostering a more transparent and mutually beneficial relationship.

Better Influencer Programs And User Rewards

Blockchain has the potential to redefine the traditional advertising model and provide a more direct and rewarding advertising experience for consumers and brands. With blockchain, there’s an opportunity to shift some of the existing ad spend budget towards compensating users who engage with ads, creating a more interactive and mutually beneficial environment.

One of the most intriguing applications of this technology is evident in the case of the aforementioned Brave browser, where users can opt-in to view ads in exchange for digital currency or tokens. This model not only incentivises user engagement but also fosters a more transparent relationship between advertisers and their audience.

Influencer marketing has become a crucial strategy for brands looking to amplify their message through both celebrity and micro-influencers. Despite its popularity, influencer marketing faces challenges such as the difficulty in tracking ROI, transparency issues, and the prevalent problem of fake followers and engagement. The latter issue, in particular, has given rise to a form of fraud where so-called influencers charge for access to what is largely a fictitious audience.

Blockchain technology offers a solution to these challenges by providing a more transparent and reliable framework for influencer marketing campaigns. Through blockchain, it becomes possible to accurately track and authenticate the engagement metrics of these campaigns. This not only ensures that influencers are fairly compensated based on verified interactions but also aids brands in measuring the true impact of their influencer partnerships.

Furthermore, blockchain can be employed to assess the performance and legitimacy of influencers themselves. By verifying the authenticity of an influencer’s followers and engagement, brands can make more informed decisions, choosing to partner with influencers who offer genuine value and reach.

In conclusion, blockchain sounds like a dream come true for marketers and advertisers, but there are still some pitfalls to be aware of. While blockchain technology is generally very secure due to the lack of ownership, there are some rare instances where a single entity owns the majority of the nodes and thus could take control – see the 51% problem for more on this. It’s also very expensive to set up and demands a lot of investment in infrastructure, leading many marketers to turn to third parties for solutions – possibly defeating some of the benefits by adding a middleman back into the equation. It would be wise to keep track of recent developments in blockchain tech that can offer solutions to long-standing problems faced by marketers, and see what you could implement for yourself. 

Whether you’re looking to implement targeted ad campaigns, enhance the transparency of your marketing efforts, or explore innovative influencer programs, our team of experts is ready to assist. 

Contact us today to discover how we can help you harness the power of blockchain in your marketing strategies, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve.

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