The blockchain is the new champ in the ad tech ecosystem. Best known for backing popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the forward-looking technology today is making noticeable inroads in the ad tech space.
Let’s start with a brief on blockchain first before moving onto how this technology could positively affect the ad tech space:
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain, basically, is a globally distributed ledger. Each participating member has a first-hand account of the transactions conducted, which make the entire process transparent and accountable. The best part is that the database can be built upon but not changed.
All these incredible benefits make Blockchain a technology of choice for the ad tech ecosystem.
The 4 major benefits that inspire ad tech world to bet on Blockchain:
Excellent Value for your Ad Spends
In the digital advertising world, the middleman runs the entire show – be it buying or selling ads – and in return demanding a huge pound of flesh for the services rendered. Which means, the website owners and publishers don’t make much in terms of revenue for their ad spend.
Spooked by the unfairness of the situation, publication houses have time and again, though off-record, spoken about the need of cutting out the middleman and dealing with the advertisers directly by setting up in-house ad exchanges. According to a Forrester rep Michael Greene, publishers owning ad exchanges witness a significant rise in their C.P.M. rates – from about US$1 to up to US$5.
Unsurprisingly, publication behemoths such as Forbes and CNBC Interactive have finally decided to walk the talk by establishing their own in-house ad exchanges. These newly set up ad exchanges focus on selling lower-priced ads that get run at the bottom of the web pages.
Now, with Blockchain entering the ad space arena, companies without ad exchanges also stand to gain as the technology enables both the publishers of the ads and the advertisers to directly deal with each other, doing away with the need for middleman.
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Further, the technology is so advanced that it helps advertisers audit the audience’s’ attention before the cryptocurrency exchanges hands.
The Brave browser, for instance, leverages “Basic Attention Token” (BAT) that enables advertisers to calculate payment based on the “mental effort” applied by the person viewing the ad. This means advertisers get real value for the ad money spent.
Harnessing Trust and Transparency
The Economist refers to Blockchain as the “trust machine.” Why? Refer to these two interesting real-world scenarios.
Scenario 1 : While dealing with Low Trust Economy
As per 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in US institutions, including the government and media, is imploding. Richard Edelman, the CEO of the company that produced this report said in a press release that,
“The United States is enduring an unprecedented crisis of trust. And the ultimate irony is that it’s happening at a time of prosperity with the stock market and employment rates in the US are at record highs.”
Enter blockchain. This highly advanced technology, referred to as trust-machine, helps in identify verification and management by helping you look into the facts of the matter, and thereby determine the authenticity of the claims.
Picture this: You bought an expensive Tag Heuer watch online, only to find that the watch was fake. No more. Blockchain’s digital ledger system ensures every item that passes through its supply chain is tamper-proof. In other words, buyers can easily find out about the product origin, whether it’s legitimate or faux, regardless of whether they have been brought online or offline.
Companies, like the fashion line Babyghost, leverage blockchain to help customers verify the products’ authenticity by enabling them to scan the tag of the Babyghost item. If that was not enough, customers could even see the ‘story’ in terms of place of origin and who previously modeled the products. Such ingenious use of technology allows customers to create a personal connection with products.
Scenario 2 – Dealing with Bots and Hired Traffic
Yet another crippling issue that advertisers are facing today while dealing with online advertising is that it’s almost impossible to know whether the incoming traffic stats are accurate. Thanks to the profit-driven, manipulative practices adopted by ad companies, bots and hired clickers are shooting up the stats.
According to an Entrepreneur post, nearly 50 per cent of the ad traffic comes from bots. All these bots and hired traffic cost brands US$16.4 billion last year.
Step in Blockchain. The technology is encrypted and transparent, which makes it easier for companies to verify that those viewing the ads are part of their target audience, saving millions in ad spend each year.
Public Scrutiny of Corporate Social Responsibility
The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sounds good to the ears. But then, most companies don’t keep up with their CSR goals, thanks to the noncommittal ways of the executive level managers who are actually entrusted to run the program, while the CEO’s engage sporadically.
Unsurprisingly, such inconsistencies are deliberately and swiftly swept under the carpet, given that it does not overly affect the profit margins of the company.
This is where a blockchain technology could be made useful, in terms of verifying CSR goals. Blockchain ensures that there’s no room for fake promises and vague numbers as the programs and progress get documented in a shared ledger. Which means each and every step taken with regards to your CSR activity is open for public scrutiny.
Put another way, the public themselves can make sure that corporations are taking active steps toward fulfilling their social responsibility goals, in keeping with their promise to promote greater justice and equality in the world.
Better Targeting of Audiences
Usually, advertisers gather information about customers via various sources. One source might reveal the age and sex. The second source reveals the salary. The third source might tell them about the best dining places they visit and so on.
The bottom line? It’s difficult to gain all the required data from a single source.
This is where blockchain comes into the picture. The technology enables customers to collect all the required info directly from the customers in one swoop. This allows businesses to market products as per customers’ needs and spends calculatedly only on those customers who are likely to buy the product.
Future of Blockchain
The breakthrough technology is sure to unfold an array of opportunities for marketers who are ready change with times and are willing to experiment all the same.
Find top blockchain chain technology companies who’d help chart out different growth strategies that would give you an edge over the competition.
Sure wide-scale adoption of this technology may take some time, but then being prepared beforehand will help you stay ahead of the curve.
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