Throughout the history of advertising, we have experimented with many changes in the way consumers interact with companies. One of the most groundbreaking shifts was the advent of the internet. Since the first email with commercial content was sent in 1978, the business world started to change, especially in the 90’s decade when the advertising industry popped up, quite literally, with a whole new system to reach the public. Banner ads, pop-up ads, video ads, etc., are some of the most popular online advertising formats. But the point here is not “what” but “how” they interact with other online users. The rising number of methods that companies use to get information about their consumers, for example, “cookies”, makes advertising intrusive and annoying. Not only for the users that have to deal with the upsetting emergent tabs that appear while searching for any information on the internet, but also for the companies that have to invest in significant amounts of paid advertising. So that way, they can reach the largest number of users and get one miserable click from a user who will probably just click by mistake. The development of a new technology called Blockchain can alter how the internet works. And the advertising industry will take part in this revolutionary change.
Firstly, we should talk about Blockchain. What is that, and how does it work? Blockchain is an informatics system that works like a decentralized ledger for understanding. It is built upon a code that registers every transaction that is made in it. That traceability, together with its security system based on millions of nodes distributed all over the world, makes this technology one of the safest nowadays. Each node must verify every transaction, and once it is verified, it cannot be modified; that makes it unbreakable.
The most common way to access the internet is through a web browser (Chrome, Yahoo, Safari, and others). These companies know our browsing habits, how much time we spend online, the things we read, and even what we buy. And the cookie policies are the reason for that. We agree to turn our data into merchandise for the advertisers by accepting their offers. Blockchain can change the current situation radically. The main reason is that apps based on Blockchain technology don’t store personal data. Although every transaction is public, it remains anonymous for the person behind the screen. Users can log in with their passwords, and once they have ended using the app, they log out, and none of their data is kept inside. At this point, business owners and companies would think, how can this affect online advertising? How would companies get access to customer behavior? How can they segment their audience? The answer is that data collection will directly depend on the users’ data. Customers will be able to arrange with companies what, when, how, and who can interact with them, increasing market competition. People will choose the brands they like and give them consent to receive commercial information and advertisements about their products and services. On the one hand, this method will eliminate the annoying unwanted, and massive spam advertisements because the users will only accept watching what they are really interested in. On the other hand, the information about consumer behavior will be of higher quality, more accurate, more realistic, and therefore more helpful.
Blockchain can also create new business opportunities. Its technology allows you to generate digital tokens based on the platform being used. The companies may offer that exclusive token in exchange for information about the consumers’ preferences. The users who accept these new currencies will have the opportunity of buying products from the company with that token or even holding it as an inversion. If the company gets bigger and more successful, the people who have permits from that company will have a worthwhile activity.
Moreover, a whole new system of relational marketing and loyalty programs can be used to boost startups and use Blockchain as a new financing option. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg of what is yet to come in the marketing and advertising industry and e-commerce, trading, and cybersecurity.