No matter what new technology gets hyped to revolutionize marketing, it only does three things—enhance customer experiences, drive business performance, and achieve more insights at scale. As the applications for AI in marketing continue to unfold, blockchain’s capabilities are also being explored to solve the same fundamental challenges.
Here are the transformations in which blockchain will play a significant role in impacting the future of marketing.
Delivery and targeting will gain integrity
Engagement and campaign performance will be measured and verified to ensure optimal delivery to the right audiences—specifically, those that want to be targeted. A brand could identify ad deliveries from an ad server and write the tags on the blockchain. Individuals that have opted in will be identified as real people and not bots, strengthening the integrity of the entire delivery network while capturing more significant real-time data.
In the current digital environment, non-human traffic, fake profiles, and botnets are abundant. When new blockchain platforms emerge, the integrity of user profiles will be strengthened through diffused validation — all user interactions will be verified on the blockchain, including ad instance IDs, timestamps, metadata, and also how a user’s data is used. This new level of visibility creates new opportunities for marketers to use data to make informed decisions and create more relevant and resonant experiences.
Customer data security will be enforced
Marketers today thrive on customer data, but the global paradigm shift for more rigorous security standards, like GDPR in Europe, will reshape the way customer data can be used. Opt-ins on the blockchain will take a long time to scale, but this kind of data security will be necessary to impact the three primary drivers for marketing (customer experience, business performance and scale).
Blockchain will provide a new way to manage customer data assets on the brand side, but it will also empower customers to manage their own data and identity. Attention tokens and transactional exchanges for value will gain widespread adoption. Brands will pay and reward customers for committing their attention and providing more data related to behavioral and psychographic characteristics, versus using sensitive data like social security numbers for verification.
More users on the blockchain interacting with known users builds inherent trust through more transactions. Marketers will have full visibility of these attributes when more relevant ads get delivered in real time in exchange for a user’s attention, or a piece of data. Over time, this creates new layers of insight, which can be used to enhance experiences even more.
Brands will become more accountable
Marketing has fundamentally operated on selling big ideas to customers that promise to change their lives—even when advertising mediocre products. On the blockchain, brands will be more accountable for delivering on their promises. Do their products, in fact, contain nutritious, organic elements? Are their products produced while employing children in sweatshops for two dollars a day? Broader issues such as legal practices and sustainability issues can be verified more easily, which will make marketers more inclined to present facts without any marketing spin.
Blockchain data for brands will act like power user reviews on yelp or rotten tomatoes. A brand won’t be tainted by a few off-putting opinions but will rather achieve insights through the collective mind of the audience. Since blockchain incentivizes authenticity through a distributed network, it will be much more challenging for a brand to lie about their nutritional value or organic ingredients, whether or not they employ astute working conditions, or cover up if they’ve been used for malpractice. In other words, it takes 10x more effort to fabricate data on the blockchain than it is to simply be a true and honest brand. As a result, only the best and most authentically sound brands will survive.
In terms of marketing initiatives, blockchain will help those interested easily verify which influencers for the company are true influencers meeting the brand’s criteria. In that same vein, it will help verify social media followers and sort out bots from real people.
Embracing and adopting blockchain will give marketers a true edge in the next wave of innovation that will revolutionize the world.
Blockchain holds promise for a more transparent infrastructure that will prove valuable to technology providers and marketers in the long term. By providing broad and granular visibility into data utilization, protecting personal data management and supporting brand integrity, blockchain is poised to transform how digital marketers strategize and implement effective campaigns.