Let’s face it. 2017 was a year of victories for the dark web. The number of hacks, breaches and leaks faced last year have made data and privacy a top concern, and brand-safety has become a number one priority for advertisers as people become more guarded about the information they share online.

And this is where blockchain comes in. Blockchain technology promises to delivery transparency and unprecedent security to any form of data transaction, and more and more industries are adopting it and the digital advertising industry is no exception.

Obviously, the big names in the advertising space have already started experimenting with blockchain technology. But some smaller companies have also been preaching the benefits, Australian based digital media agency One Stop Media jumped on the blockchain bandwagon early in the game, along with the new ideas that came with it.

Here are three of the ways blockchain is set to shake up marketing in 2018.

Getting rid of the middle man

Companies may eventually be able to skip the ad process completely. Previously advertisers had to rely on separate sources to gain information about their audiences. However, using blockchain, they can build their own customer profiles and track their own metrics from the data shared willingly by the consumer. This means businesses will get cheaper access to their customers and provide them with customized advertisements that take into consideration everything from their local outlets to their browsing history.

Ad Fraud

Digital advertising has long been plagued by ad fraud, from phantom ads maliciously installing software onto user’s computers, to the Methbot scheme which cost advertisers billions in 2016. In the context of digital advertising, the blockchain ledger is a database of information relating to an online advertising campaign. The database is shared among parties in an ad campaign, storing all the relevant data from impressions to audience segments. A brand or retailer buys these impressions through a real-time platform that finds the target audiences. The impressions are then encrypted and broadcast to each participant within the blockchain, who approve it before it becomes part of the permanent ledger and is verified. What this means is that when a fraudulent impression is made, there is a clear record of where it came from and who made it. If blockchain can provide a way to identify fraud, it could save the industry big money.

Transparency

One of the most valuable things that blockchain brings to the marketing table is transparency. Blockchain can be used by companies to show consumers who they are selling their data too, and since this information can’t be copied or changed in anyway, customers can rest assured their data is secure, and won’t be tampered with. This also means companies can’t manipulate data either, allowing customers the peace of mind that the information they’re viewing is accurate and based on real data, not made up figures.

There’s no question that the ideas behind blockchain and it’s uses are powerful forces for change. The technology has the potential to redefine the user experience, and impact digital marketing to the industries benefit.

To contribute an article, please pitch your idea via email.