Blockchain is here to disrupt digital marketing

Blockchain is here to disrupt digital marketing. Source: Shutterstock

Blockchain tech can seriously disrupt the digital ad scene

  • The transparent nature of blockchain data could push the technology to be the most disruptive one yet to hit marketers in every industry
  • Unlike how AI and analytics have benefited businesses more than consumers, blockchain will level the playing field by allowing consumers control over their data

The marketing industry has been undergoing a series of changes over the last few decades. Many technologies have come and gone but experts are reckoning that in this day and age, blockchain could be the one to disrupt digital marketing the most. Though many professionals in the search marketing industry are still entirely unfamiliar with it, it’s almost imperative to catch up on how this technology is changing the industry to remain competitive.

Global digital ad spends alone is estimated to reach US$389 billion by this year. While worldwide digital ad spending achieved a modest 2.4% growth in 2020, it’s expected to bounce back with a growth of 17% in 2021, according to eMarketer. To cut through a saturated search engine and social media landscapes, digital marketers have begun prioritizing personalized, omnichannel experiences to engage with their audiences. 

However, it can be difficult to execute these campaigns, especially with mounting concerns about third-party data privacy. This is when blockchain could be adapted and in fact, more advertising professionals have been mastering this technology as it takes over. At its core, blockchain with its decentralized database enables transactions between two parties without the need for third-party verification. Most of the uses for blockchain have been around finance and crypto-currencies, but the underlying technology could be huge for marketing.

More trustworthy ads with blockchain

Undeniably one of the most exciting things about blockchain is data privacy and since many companies from large to small have been pulling data from their customers, blockchain is changing digital marketing by removing that part of consumers. Take Brave browser for instance who is changing how users interact with online advertising. 

Rather than simply being pelted with online ads, Brave users opt-into viewing ads and receive Basic Attention Tokens (BATs) for the ads with which they interact. It’s a completely new way of viewing advertising, by trading the value of online attention, rather than simply the trading of space for potential ad sales.  Even brands like Unilever, Nestlé, and McDonald’s have been adopting the technology to improve transparency in their digital campaigns.

More transparency and authenticity

Blockchain’s public ledger allows transparency of every product at each stage of the supply chain. One of the problems large companies face is consumers’ trust. From right where their food comes from to the factory conditions where the product was made, consumers are skeptical about so many things. Blockchain places tremendous power in the hands of the customer – thereby improving their customer experience.

For an instance, Walmart teamed up with IBM on a project to make their supply chain process transparent. They used blockchain for the consumer to trace where their pork came from, starting from the retailers in China. In turn, it boosted the consumer’s confidence in Walmart.

Better digital ad expenditure

Blockchain provides a trusted, validated framework that indicates with precision the actual value of ad-spend for customer acquisition through online advertisement. It can cut out the scores of intermediaries that have popped up to offer measurement, verification, and source attribution services — while taking a cut, of course. 

Blockchain can also help with issues like safety and fraud, documenting where the ads actually appeared. Hence why Unilever and IBM are creating tools to diminish or eliminate the confusion regarding online advertising spend. The scheme is estimated to save Unilever tens of millions of dollars.