What is blockchain?
“Blockchain is a digital method of economic transaction record-keeping -- also known as a ledger. What differentiates it is its security. While blockchain records can be openly viewed by everyone within a given network, no one can edit or delete existing records.”
An easy way to think of it is how Google Docs work. If your team has a document that needs to be edited by other team members, instead of waiting around for each person to update then send a new copy - Google Docs allows your whole team to have access to one document.
You can see live updates, and multiple people can be working on it at one time. You can also see where changes have been made, and even go back to see the original document.
Another example that is a little more integrated - think about when you buy a house. There are documents you have to get sorted (title registration, mortgage lenders, inspections, legal fees …) with many different people involved. With blockchain, the complexity of this sale is made simpler.
You can record property data and build smart contracts to automatically transfer a document (or money for purchase) once it is filled out, ultimately speeding the process up without losing the confidentiality of the sale.
“Blockchain is a method of digital record-keeping that creates a ledger of transactions that is transparent and impossible to tamper with.”
How is blockchain influencing digital marketing?
Most of the buzz involving blockchain has been around bitcoin and banking and financial transactions. More importantly to us as digital marketers, what are the implications of this secure way of handling information to the marketing world? There’s significant potential for marketers of any industry to be affected, let’s take a look:
Data Collection and Data Privacy
It’s no secret that digital marketers rely on the information that is collected from ISP’s and web browsers - from consumer insights to the way we target well, everything. But consumers are becoming more and more worried about their privacy online - specifically who has access to their information.
Networks like Blocktack and Skycoin are aiming to decentralise the internet and make all user data encrypted and protected. Imagine the impact it would have if us marketers didn’t have access to the mass amounts of user data we have now.
Blockchain even has the potential to let customers individually decide which content and ads they want to see. We will have to fill in the gaps of information from customers and prospects, and target audiences via things they are specifically looking for (if you aren’t already, that is!).
Digital Display Ad’s
“Brave and BAT, which is powered by blockchain technology, are aiming to break up the current monopoly on digital ads by allowing users, publishers, and advertisers to trade on the value of online attention.”
Here’s how it works
- Advertisers buy ads using BAT - Can be private tabs, push notifications, or landing pages. Fewer, but higher quality ads is the aim.
- BAT compensates users who opt into viewing ads - By opting into ads, consumers get to decide what they see and are paid a portion of the advertisers spend. This will provide more accurate information to advertisers anonymously.
- Publishers are compensated by consumers and advertisers - publishers will receive a larger portion of ad spend than consumers and can charge BAT for access to different content.
It’s a win-win for all parties included. Consumers have a choice and will see higher quality ads related to their interests, marketers get better ad performance and targeting, and publishers get more revenue and control over what they display. All without giving out any personal information, thanks to blockchain.
Even the entertainment world is being touched by blockchain technology. At the moment, artists are sharing their music via streaming applications like Apple Music and Spotify. Which isn’t the best method for the artist, as they are being paid a fraction of the streams.
Blockchain technology could allow for artists to share their music directly to their own community, called an Initial Artist Offering (IAO). They would create and sell a type of crypto token, and once you sold enough you can offer them special releases, live videos, in exchange for a token. The more popular you get, the more valuable a token will be.
This would allow artists to market themselves directly, rather than going through platforms where they lose revenue and control of their work. This would shift entertainment marketing more towards P2P (C2C) since fans could now make the transactions themselves.
Is this reality?
These, of course, are mostly scenarios of what could happen, although many are still under development. While we can’t be sure what will happen with blockchain, it’s important to note that it could drastically change the way marketers attract the buyer’s attention.
Like this article? Share with your colleagues and let them know about blockchain!