BLOCKCHAIN IN MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
Throughout the history of advertising, we have experimented many changes on the way consumers interact with companies. One of the most groundbreaking shifts was the advent of the internet. Since the first email with commercial content was sent in 1978, the business world started to change, especially in the 90 ́s decade, when advertising industry popped up, quite literally, with a whole new system to reach the public. Banner ads, pop-up ads, video ads…these are some of the most popular online advertising forms. But the point here is not “what”, but “how” they interact with the online users. The raising number of methods that companies use to get information about their consumers, for example, the “cookies”, make advertising intrusive and annoying. Not only for the users that have to deal with the upsetting emergent tabs that appear while they are searching for any information on the internet, but also for the own companies that have to invest big amounts of paid advertising so that they can reach the largest number of users in order to get one miserable click from a user who will probably just clicked by mistake.
The development of a new technology called Blockchain can alter the way internet works. And the advertisement industry will, for sure, take part in this revolutionary change.
Firstly, we should talk about Blockchain. What is that and how it works? To understand it, Blockchain is an informatic system which works like a decentralized ledger. It is built upon a code that registers every transaction is made in it. That traceability together with its security system based on millions of nodes distributed all over the world, makes this technology one of the safest nowadays. Every transaction must be verified by each node and once it is verified it cannot be modified, that makes it unbreakable.
The most known way to enter the internet now is through a web browser (Chrome, Yahoo, Safari…). These companies know our browsing habits, how much time we spend online, the things we read and even what we buy. And the cookies policies are the responsible of that. By accepting them, we are agreeing to turn our data into merchandise for the advertisers.
Blockchain can change the current situation radically. The main reason is that apps based on Blockchain technology don’t store personal data. Although every transaction is public, it remains the anonymity of the person that is behind the screen. The users can log in with their passwords and, once they have ended using the app, they log out and none of their personal data is kept inside.
At this point, business owners and companies would think, how can this affect online advertising? How would companies get access to the costumer behavior? How can they segment their public? The answer is that data collection will directly depend on the own users. The costumers will be able to arrange with companies what, when, how and who can interact with them, increasing market competition. People will choose the brands they like and give them consent to receive commercial information and advertisements about their products and services.
On one hand this method will eliminate the annoying unwanted and massive spam advertisements because the users will only accept watching what they are really interested in. On the other hand, the information about the consumer behavior will be of higher quality, more accurate, realistic and therefore more useful.
Blockchain can also open new business opportunities. Its technology allows to generate digital tokens based on the platform is being used. That exclusive token may be offered by the companies
in exchange for information about the consumers. The users who accept these new currencies will have the opportunity of buying products of the company with that token or even hold it as an inversion. If the company gets bigger and successful, the people who have tokens from that company will have a worthwhile active.
Moreover, a whole new system of relational marketing and loyalty programs can be used to rise startups and use blockchain as a new financing option.
These examples are only the tip of the iceberg of what is yet to come. Not only in the marketing and advertising industry, but also in e-commerce, trading and cybersecurity.