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Blockchain for Marketing – Hope or Hype?

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While the marketing industry is still trying to understand its Artificial Intelligence strategy, blockchain is already on its way to replace AI as the next buzzword. Blockchain isn’t just the next buzzy word for geeks, it is fundamentally going to change the way business is done in the marketing industry.

So, what really is blockchain? Simply put, public ledger where transactions are recorded and confirmed anonymously. It is a register of events that is shared between many parties. Or even more simply put, blockchain is the distribution of trust. With its applications being experimented in all sectors, from finance to land record maintenance, to law (where our company SpotDraft is building disruptive legal technology).

So how does blockchain fit into marketing? Lack of transparency is a problem often faced by marketers. Blockchain-based application have the potential to change the manner in which digital ads are purchased, targeted and valued. Given the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, it promises more accurate ad-tracking, thereby resulting in better returns for the companies. One can draw a broad outline of the advantages of the adoption of such an application through the following points:

(a) First and foremost, agencies can accurately gauge the number of actual customers who show interest in a certain product. Bots and hired clickers are no longer involved in calculating the actual value of a campaign. Given the secure and transparent nature of blockchain, companies can measure if the people viewing their ads are real potential customers or bots.

(b) Secondly, blockchain has the ability to get rid of middlemen. For example, currently, a majority of the revenue of companies like Facebook and Google come from being middlemen to advertisements or marketing content. The blockchain is a decentralized system which is not just capable of securely storing personal information but also allowing companies to directly target consumers without having to suffer increased costs by employing a middleman.

(c) Lastly, like all other sectors, even the marketing and advertising space can benefit from blockchains ability to act as a transparent ledger. It does not hurt for an entity to be able to track exactly how its investment in marketing/ advertising is being handled. The blocks can give clear information as to how and for what purposes the investments have been utilised. Thus, benefiting companies by allowing to correctly audit expenditures.

Putting customers’ interests first, companies will now be able to stress on providing relevant advertisements without any external interferences. In the 1990s, a dial-up connection was the happening thing, but in today’s innovative environment it is only fair to expect more. A push towards adopting blockchain applications will not only create a new set of opportunities but also help us with solutions to challenges faced by marketers today.

Shashank Bijapur – Is a Harvard Alumni and the Co-Founder & CEO of SpotDraft, a legal technology startup.

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Shashank Bijapur

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