How Will Blockchain Redefine Digital Marketing
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The digital marketing industry is dynamic. It has to adapt to newer innovations and the shifting focus of the consumer.
In 2016, ad-blocking was the norm.
In 2017, blockchain is having a moment. And shaking up the digital marketing industry.
Blockchain articles are parading all over my Twitter, Medium and Facebook feed.
So what is blockchain?
A chain of events (and data) stored forever.
The Blockchain is a record-keeping public ledger – which everyone can see and is shared with all its users. Each participant can record a new transaction into the ledger. The data is secure, unalterable and permanent. This is stored in blocks and can only be built but not changed.
IBM’s CEO Gini Rometty describes blockchain as “The underlying technology that allows you to have trust and efficiency in the exchange of anything. This will have a profound change in how the world works. Blockchain will do for transactions what the internet did for information.”
Here’s what blockchain will mean for digital marketing:
#1. Improved accountability with smart contracts – Blockchain allows companies to sign smart contracts. Mohit Mamoria, India’s blockchain expert mentions in a post on Hackernoon, “These smart contracts cannot be modified after being deployed. They consist of software code and are executed by the blockchain network. After being triggered, they are completely inalterable and can only be replaced by a new contract.”
Additionally, these contracts make the exchange of money or shares transparent.
Influencer marketing and blogging is a domain with direct application of smart contracts.
When you reach out to an influencer for a shoutout on Instagram or YouTube, the influencer decides their cost.
There is no third party regulating the terms of the agreement.
With smart contracts, you can enforce the obligations of every party involved, so that payments are made only after the terms are met.
For instance, if the blogger fails to publish an article or a social media post about your brand – the smart contract in place won’t release the payment
Each contractual milestone has to be fulfilled to move to the next step of the process.
#2. Cuts the middleman – Ad networks collect data from users who visit their publisher websites and sell the user data and profiles to other advertisers. Small pieces of codes, called cookies are used to track the users across the web.
According to a Forrester analyst, if a publisher removes the middlemen, their CPM would increase from $1 to $5.
With the use of blockchain, publishers can create their own networks to keep the data for themselves instead of getting it from an ad network.
Eventually, companies could skip the ad buying process completely. Ilya Orlov, the cofounder of TravelChain believes marketers will be able to access the data from their clients straightaway. Using micro-currencies, companies can track metrics such as the actual audience attention and not imprints. Businesses will get easier and cheaper access to their customers while travelers would get special offers based on their browsing history and a reward for sharing their information. This will increase customer loyalty towards the service providers.
Previously advertisers would gain information about their audience from separate sources. Using blockchain advertisers can build the customer profile from the data shared willingly by the customer. This allows for an even greater ability to create customized ads and shows them to those who are the most likely to buy your products or services.
#3. Improving transparency – Renowned blogger and digital marketer Jitendra Vaswani says, “Blockchain’s public ledger allows transparency of every product at each stage of the supply chain. One of the problems large companies face is trust. Right from where their food comes from to the factory conditions where the product was made, consumers are skeptic about so many things. As a marketer, our job is to build trust with the product such that it sells. Blockchain places tremendous power in the hands of the customer – thereby improving their customer experience.”
So what’s the quickest way to gain trust? By being transparent.
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.
This boosted the consumer’s confidence in Walmart.
#4. Distribution of loyalty payments – Blockchain will bring about near real-time and exact distribution of royalty payments – based on the usage – as specified in the smart contracts.
Publications can track the usage and consumption of every reader using blockchain.
Content marketing expert and the founder of Cash Overflow Pardeep Goyal feels that as a marketer he would like to participate in the existing protocols to validate if blockchain is solving marketing problems.
For example, there is a Reddit+Medium version built on blockchain technology called Steemit. Authors get paid for their content when their followers engage with their content by upvoting/re-sharing/commenting. The authors earn Steem Power which can be converted into Steem dollars and traded for real dollars on the crypto exchanges.
He adds, “I published my first article on Steemit a few days ago but could not make any money because I have zero followership on the platform. But I have seen other authors making $100 to $500 from their single article because they have built a good follower base. If I start publishing all my top performing articles on this platform, my follower count will increase and they will start upvoting my content. This is one way to use blockchain technology for content writers.”
A blockchain powered content platform preserves an unchangeable record of all actions. This creates total transparency for the content creators and media consumers – by reflecting all views, comments and ratings every piece of content experiences. All content posted reflects its actual popularity.
Content creators get the security that their work and reputation will remain intact, trolls will be unable to hide their past behavior and is easily spotted through the comment history.
The bottom line here is – content creators publishing high-quality content that people are willing to pay for, deserve a transparent digital platform which compensates the writer according to the demand for their work. And media consumers deserve to directly support content creators whose posts they enjoy reading.
Summing the post in the bitcoin and blockchain expert Kumar Gaurav’s words:
- Blockchain will help preventing duplication of information – the receivers will not be bombarded with repeated information
- Publishers, graphic designers and content writers will be compensated based on the audience’s interaction with their work
- Millennial generation who is the primary target audience for every marketer demands proof of work for which blockchain creates transparency
- The audience should be rewarded as they provide the most confidential piece of their identity based on trust and interest
The concept of blockchain has the power to disrupt the digital marketing industry on many fronts. As a marketer, it is important to keep an eye on these developments to know where to put your time and energy.