When you hear someone mention blockchain potential, you generally assume they are about to start talking (and keep talking) about cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin. It’s worth noting that while blockchain has significant currency application, the technology is capable of revolutionising much more than just the financial sphere.
When it comes to digital marketing, blockchain may well be a transformational advent. Concerns around transparency, integrity and advertising metrics can theoretically be erased by use of a blockchain network, as we explain in depth:
How Does Blockchain Work?
Before we outline blockchain potential from a marketing perspective, it’s worth giving a basic explanation of the technology for those still in the dark.
Essentially, blockchain is a decentralised data structure that is theoretically impervious to attempts at hacking. Think of it as a shared record book that is not governed by any company, bank or other centralised body – everyone who is involved in a transaction holds a copy of what transpired, and the information in question cannot be deleted.
Before a transaction takes place, a ‘line item’ is sent to every point of contact on a blockchain network for automatic verification. If the details match up perfectly, the transaction will go ahead. This doesn’t just refer to currency, but any number of things. The concept is in its infancy, but the world is quickly beginning to understand how the Internet might be set for a revolution.
The strength of blockchain lies in decentralisation – as there is no single point of weakness that hackers can focus on, users can trust that information transmitted is secure. There is more to blockchain security than just this, but the absence of a singular attack point is the main contributor.
It Allows for Much More Accurate Advertising Metrics
Advertising technology built upon blockchain potential is slowly beginning to hit the market. The first Blockchain Marketing Technology Landscape was launched last year, and others have quickly followed suit.
At present, advertising metrics are based upon assumptions to some degree. Ads are sometimes delivered to non-live browsers, meaning the reach figures we see are not always accurate. Blockchain technology can reveal the true reach of these ads – business owners can identify specific ads and utilise the blockchain to automatically analyse how users are interacting with them.
One such platform that aims to utilise blockchain to improve advertising is The Papyrus Project, an open-source advertising space. This graphic from Clickz.com demonstrates how the project intends to tackle redundancies and fraud to provide higher quality metrics.
From this, we can see that a better user environment is a clear possibility. Eliminating non-essential parties from advertising makes things cheaper for business owners and in turn cheaper for consumers.
It Can Disintegrate Concerns Around Storage of User Information
Users are often worried about what is happening with their personal information when they transit data to a company. Promises about data security are meaningless when there are ‘middlemen’ from other companies involved. Are we sure their security is up to scratch? The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is a good example of the way third-parties can leverage your personal data.
Blockchain eliminates this concern by eliminating middlemen. Transactions are ultimately simpler and, due to the distributed network, much safer from a security perspective.
It Makes It Easier to Establish Personal Connections with Clients
Another blockchain potential is the ease with which businesses will be able to build personalised user profiles. With trust in information security likely to rise, users will be happy to provide detailed information which businesses can use to form personalised profiles. In turn, value propositions for these users will improve.
Customers are already turning to detailed user reviews and online information before deciding on a product – blockchain can put the power even further in the user’s hands. Blockchain allows users to identify every step in the supply chain to determine the legitimacy of all parties involved in a sale.
Google Joins Facebook in Banning Crypto Ads
It’s worth noting that while many businesses are ready to ride the blockchain train, established corporations are treating the cryptocurrency phenomenon with caution.
Facebook instituted a total ban on ad content related to crypto earlier in the year, and Google have announced they will be following suit as of June. The hard-line stance is based around the uncertainty of the product and potential for consumers to get in over their head on something they don’t fully understand.
If nothing else, business owners should heed the advice of their crypto-crazy buddies and ‘look into’ blockchain. The technology is here to stay, and forward thinking entrepreneurs will want to be in the right lane. It is likely that blockchain will underpin our society in the way that the Internet does right now. While users don’t have to understand blockchain to safely interact with it, business owners will want to be well-versed in the transformational technology.
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