Blockchain. The word and its applications, often associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, are still shrouded in mystery for many individuals. But blockchain is spreading beyond its origins in the world of finance. It is destined to change the way advertisers and marketers do business. Many advertising-specific blockchain applications are already actively being explored.
What Is Blockchain?
Think of blockchain as a shared or decentralized online spreadsheet or ledger. No particular person owns it, everyone manages it and every transaction is tracked and linked to a previous block of data. Transactions can be conducted within the blockchain and every transaction is coded with unique identifiers. The history of a transaction can’t be changed unless all of the individuals in the blockchain agree, and then every block of data must be altered. Because of this complexity, blockchain is regarded as especially secure.
For further reference, a simple illustrated explanation can be found by visiting Lisk, a comprehensive educational resource of blockchain technology; a slightly more in-depth version can be found by visiting blockchain.
Blockchain’s Impact On Media Buying
How blockchain will restore the transparency of advertising, including in the media buying process, was explored recently during a recent appearance at SXSW by Babs Rangaiah, IBM’s Executive Partner of Global Marketing, and Manu Warikoo, Chief Product Officer of Mediaocean.”
Using blockchain technology, advertisers and media buyers are expected to get near real-time data that shows where digital ads were served, when they were served and how the monies invested were distributed to players in the equations. It also has the potential to tighten up the supply chain, reducing any “unneeded” partners in the process. Such technology is also expected to help fight digital ad fraud, helping to demonstrate real people were served ads and not robots.
To accomplish this though, all parties involved in the ad transaction must agree to be part of the blockchain. According to research by Advertiser Perceptions, it’s estimated that only about 11 percent of 300 US agency and marketing professionals polled by them in May 2018 had ever completed a transaction using blockchain. There’s still some work that needs to be done educating and onboarding agencies to make this feasible.
Advertising Blockchain in Action
According to Digiday, blockchain is already changing the way TV advertising is being purchased.
Comcast advertisers can buy time on broadcast and streaming services using blockchain. Automaker Toyota is working with the blockchain firm Lucidity to stamp out fraudulent ads and eliminate wasteful spending. They used blockchain to expose domain spoofing and bot traffic. After using the data collected to steer advertising dollars to more reliable venues, the auto corporation saw a 21 percent rise in traffic to their website.
Meanwhile, Havas Media and AdsDax are using blockchain to track ad data. The data collected in the blockchain ledger, after being vetted and verified, can be viewed almost instantly. Advertisers and marketers will be able to see how their ad dollars are being spent. Greater access to the freshest information gives marketers the opportunity to make course corrections in real time. The end result will be less waste in advertising budgets.
And blockchain is also starting to help digital advertisers avoid fraudulent websites by directing them to vetted sites. adChain, a list of participating non-fraudulent advertising websites, uses a specialized token to allow its participants to curate that list. The member sites have an economic incentive for keeping that list clean of bad actors.
A lower rate of fraud benefits everyone; advertisers, retailers and the public, alike. Increased confidence in the safety of the market will stimulate participation. With it though will come a learning curve for many advertisers.
For more information on buying media that sells, contact Diray Media today.