The blockchain can help easily prove that users, along with click-through data, are real, leading to website owners and those interested in advertising not needing a mediator to sign an agreement.
The basic objective of blockchain technology is the elimination of intermediaries at the time of a transaction or process, decentralising the entire management and where the control of the entire process becomes the users'. This technology is not only being coined in the economy through cryptocurrencies, but is also being implemented in other sectors. It is estimated that it will soon be the turn of marketing and advertising, due precisely to the decentralised and intermediary-free nature that is at the heart of its operation.
Although the use of blockchain technology in advertising has not yet been adopted as such, the trend dates back to the mid-2020s and is growing to this day. That being the case, I develop five key insights into blockchain in advertising, as well as the forecasts that revolve around the sector.
For example, advertising platforms, and finally, advertising messages could reach the consumer directly. At the moment, the middleman has become part of the process in the digital advertising world. However, companies that invest in advertising only get half of the value because of those intermediaries involved. The blockchain could alter this reality by creating better value for advertising campaigns. In finance, cutting out the middleman means eliminating the need for banks, as the primary function of a financial institution is to reliably store and transfer money. In marketing, these central authorities could be Google or Facebook, where they work by ensuring the reliability of transactions or advertising campaigns.
Therefore, instead of indirectly communicating with brand owners to publish an advertisement, there could be direct communication with them. The blockchain can help to easily prove that users, along with click-through data, are real, leading to website owners and those interested in advertising not needing a mediator to sign an agreement.
This could pave the way for a model where consumers are compensated for each advertisement or content they consume. With blockchain technology, brands can bypass intermediaries and interact directly with consumers, leading to a model where they share the rewards of ad exposure directly with these users. For example, by registering on a form and leaving data or subscribing to a newsletter. In this way, special offers could also be pushed to the most engaged followers to drive brand loyalty.
The application of blockchain in marketing could allow consumers to choose which ads they are interested in seeing. Thanks to this win-to-win model, marketing possibilities could reach new levels, where users could consume advertising "voluntarily", and truly focused on what they are interested in.
Also, this technology could be used to verify ad delivery and consumer engagement, thus avoiding over-messaging that users dislike and discourage them from becoming buyers.
The so-called NFTs (non fungible tokens or non fungible tokens) are part of the blockchain ecosystem as a kind of "digital objects" in the form of images, audio, videos, animations, etc. that are characterised by being unique or of a limited number and that are brought to market through an auction where users can buy them through cryptocurrencies (the most widely used for this is Ethereum).
An example of an NFT in the non-digital world would be a work of art, which may well be unique and be auctioned, where in the end it is the buyers who decide the price of that work and give it its value. NFTs would transfer that reality to the digital world, and through auctions it would be the users who would assign the value of each NFT to it.
Several brands are currently using NFTs to launch limited edition digital objects. In this way, they are seeking not only to position themselves, but also to give value to their consumers through this type of objects, which may well be considered the next boom in terms of branded content and, of course, in the digital marketing ecosystem. Examples include Nike, Pizza Hut, Panini, Vodafone, Pringles, among others.
NFTs allow for a shared licence for whoever buys it, while the NFT issuer retains full ownership and autonomy of the content. In addition, a percentage will be paid to the creator each time the NFT is sold or changes hands, ensuring that, if his work becomes popular and increases in value, he will receive a share of the profits.
On the other hand, NFTs allow brands to sell their content directly to fans, collectors and financial speculators, as well as to decentralise the distribution and monetisation of their content.
José Gabriel García Ortega, Digital Marketing Expert and CEO of content marketing agency La Caja Company