Blockchain applications can recreate the current advertisement and marketing solutions in many ways in order to help marketers and advertisers with new ways of generating more useful leads and increase sales.
Already, a number of companies are trying out various models in that regard although most are in the experimental or initial stages. However, blockchain is far from being perfect. It will need to improve on speed of delivery (for instance ad delivery) to ensure that viewer experiences are not made worse especially on mobile devices. Besides, blockchain is considered too expensive and too complicated at its current state. It will also take time before these ideas sell to masses.
Here are some of the ways through which blockchain can help marketers and advertisers to optimize their campaigns.
1. Getting more freedom in the launching and managing of their ad and marketing campaigns: Using blockchain, marketers get an opportunity to crowdfund through initial coin offerings: This means marketers can crowd fund on new products and services and bring them to market.
Additionally, they can create new reward programs for their product and service consumers and make it harder for participants to cheat on reward points. Marketers can also use blockchain to vet and authenticate any and every contract. They can also use blockchain to store digital assets as an alternative to cloud hosting, but in a distributed technology. Additionally, they can store employee data, verify employment history of job candidates and confirm reporting structures and identities of references and other details. They can use it to verify application document, to digitize their own documents and secure them. This way, it can improve on internal processes and logistics hence cutting down costs.
Because blockhain helps bring in more participants to projects whether through ICOs or other participation models, it allows marketers to access more information and creations from a larger number of people. As such, blockchain systems can be a place where marketers leverage diverse skills from project participants (and purchasing of rights) to advance their marketing campaigns and their companies.
2. Pulling together all industry players into resource and revenue sharing and hence encourage participation: This is one of the strengths of blockchain-based ad platforms. Most of them try to ensure that not only the advertisers incentivize less for ads through easy and fast methods, but also that the consumers share in the revenue – and the middle man serving the ad to users does not take the entire share of revenue. For instance, many companies are rewarding publishers for content creation and for joining distributed storage systems.
At the same time, impressive blockchain ad models are generating a lot of interest among participants because they advocate for incentivizing of consumers who share and give out their implicit data, such as behavioral or psychographic data all with consent.
In addition to this, some projects have models where the consumers are paid for providing explicit data such as personally identifiable information, interests, and purchase plans. Because this information and content helps them generate more useful leads, incentivizing these kinds of users will help encourage users to provide more useful data instead of leaving them feeling "used." Besides, the fact that users are free to curate what they feel passionate about, motivates them.
3. Enhancing equality: If users of a system are voting in an award show or sponsored content, with smart contracts, blockchain can facilitate equal voting and ensure that voters meet eligibility criteria.
4. Verification of ad delivery, ad engagement and ad performance: Blockchain on its own offers more valuable data because of gathering distributed data from variety of systems. However, coupled with AI, for instance, it could deliver more accurate metrics that help track when an ad is delivered (in terms of timing), how and for how long the user engaged with the ad, and an overview of ad performance in terms of helping convert a viewer into a buyer (all with the motive of improving on future ads and delivery). Some companies are trying models that involve media buys across social media platforms with cryptocurrencies. Thus marketers can spend more time measuring output and performance of the work instead of more time on their campaigns.
In terms of identity and transparency, although legacy systems do reveal metrics regarding ad serving and (viewership, cost per click, click through rates, impressions, visits, reach and cost of running ads), at the current state, it is hard to know and verify if these stats are accurate. Also, there is need for more transparency such as how consumer data is used by advertisers in aggregate, how revenues are shared and even for advertisers to get precision metrics. These approaches will improve trust between ad buyers and servers. AdChain, for instance, creates a trusted ad space where users can leverage campaign auditing and cryptographically secure impression tracking.
Transparency of metrics is at the center of debate about current advertising models because in many cases, some ad serving platforms and “intercepts” use bots and/or rather it is hard to verify whether the ads were served to real people or bots. It is worth noting that advertisers get conversation rates as low as 3 percent on legacy systems.
Plus digital identity gets better on blockchain, with a promise of providing a direct link between advertiser and publisher. This helps to improve certainty about viewership, ad delivery, and conversion and other metrics. All the information can also be collected anonymously.
At the same time, blockchain can help avoid annoying issues in advertising while collecting metrics and information and in serving ads. For instance, with more precision, it will help prevent companies from over-serving a given ad to a given user or users hence elating negative feedback or actions. For instance, there is no doubt that installation of adblock software and its popularity is due to ad (and related ad) annoyances such as over-serving and monotony. However, blockchain will also need to improve on speed to ensure that mobile experiences do not become worse.
Also, blockchain can help in validating delivery of emails and the tracking of exchange of messages between marketers and target audiences.
5. Lowering the cost of marketing and advertising and increasing ROI: Currently, marketers get a low value of $0.44 for every $1 invested in advertising and marketing campaigns. One Forrester analyst said last year that publishers can increase CRP from $1 to $5 by removing middlemen. A good example is the Brave browser which uses the “Basic Attention Token” to allow advertisers to directly incentivize the person viewing the ad for their “mental effort.” It means smarter advertising, lower cost with more intimate connection between the two. In addition, preliminary proof-of-concept implementations will reduce reporting time, improve reporting accuracy, reduce ad fraud mostly facilitated by bots, and reduce costs in the advertising supply chain. These systems can reduce that time to 12-18 months.
Besides, cryptocurrency commerce helps in reducing high transaction costs whether it is in local or cross-border payments. Again, guaranteed contracts through trustlessness, means these contracts are easier and automatic to enforce and harder to illegally abandon or terminate immaturely.
6. Minimize fraud, spam and hacks: Bot inflicted ad fraud, for instance, reached $7.2 billion in 2016. Additionally, with its improved security features, blockchain can help with safety as a marketable asset.
7. Improve quality of ads, content and ad networks (hence performance and outcomes): Some companies are trying aggressive models on their blockchain-based ad platforms where, on the one side, a team of approvers are paid for verifying that the content submitted by publishers is high quality, to lay grounds of "advertisers having to get back their value" even before the content is put up. Some other platforms help determine if an ad submitted qualifies as spec work and if it is in the right category.